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Information in this page was reviewed and approved by legal counsel. Please see disclaimer. Review date: January 2009 .

Works Created at UConn

The U.S. Copyright Office states that "though the general rule is that the person who creates a work is the author of that work, there is an exception to that principle: the copyright law defines a category of works called “works made for hire.” Most such works arise in the employment context, where a work is considered a work made for hire if created during the course of and within the scope of an employee's job. In this situation, the employer, and not the employee, is considered the author and owner of the copyright. The employer may be a firm, an organization, or an individual." (See Works Made for Hire under the 1976 Copyright Act.) There are also a number of specific categories of works specially ordered or commissioned that may be considered works made for hire, as long as a suitable written agreement is in place. See the definition of "work made for hire" in Section 101 of the U.S. Copyright Law, 17 U.S.C.§ 101.

That said, many academic institutions grant an exception to work made for hire rules, allowing faculty members (and perhaps others) to retain their individual copyrights in most traditional circumstances.

UConn's Policy Statement

The policy entitled Research Collaborations with Industrial Partners and Technology Partners addresses research-related agreements and inventions. It applies to all faculty, employees, and students at all of UConn's campuses. It also includes a statement on copyright:

Copyright Ownership:  The University's copyright policy is also based on Connecticut law (C.G.S., Sec. 10a-110g) which specifies that any literary, artistic, musical or other product of authorship covered by actual or potential copyright belongs to the author(s). In those instances where such works have been produced at the direct request of the University with specific financial support from the institution or with "substantial use" of University resources (equipment, facilities and support staff), the University should seek a reasonable return upon commercialization. To do so, the author may be required to assign rights to such copyright to the University.  Such works also include software.  Also, if copyrightable material is produced under a grant or sponsored research agreement awarded to the University and the University needs to fulfill a contractual obligation, the author is required to assign rights to such copyright to the University.

Student Organizations

Copyright is held by the registered student organization.

Content in this page was used or adapted with permission from one or more institutions. Please see acknowledgements.

Related Links:

Instructors' Lectures, Notes, Handouts, and Displays

Patents & Trademarks

Secure/Retain Your Rights

UConn's Center for Science and Technology Commercialization: responsible for the identification, evaluation, protection, marketing, and licensing of the university's inventions in the life and health sciences.

Using or Publishing Student Works

Works for Hire (U.S. Copyright Office)



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