Student Copyrights

Copyrights in material created by Fort Lewis College faculty will be governed by the Intellectual Property policy currently under development. Currently, the draft of this policy provides as follows:

  1. Copyright Policy.
    1. General Rights of Ownership: In the course of their activities at the College, faculty, administrators, staff and students are continually creating copyrightable works. Current copyright law provides that copyrightable works created by employees in the course of employment will be owned by their employers. Traditionally, colleges and universities have declined to assert ownership over works of scholarship created by faculty in the course of traditional academic activities. Therefore, the College assigns any ownership interest it has in Traditional Works of Scholarship to the person or persons who create such works, and such works shall be sole and exclusive property of the creator or author.
      1. The College retains the right to use Traditional Works of Scholarship for administrative purposes, such as satisfying requests of accreditation agencies for faculty-authored syllabi, assessments and course descriptions, and for use in the title or description of a College course in College publications. Additionally, in the event that a faculty member assigned to teach a course becomes unavailable to teach that course, the College shall be permitted to use materials related to such course for the duration of the semester in which the course was scheduled.
      2. The College shall make no claim of ownership with respect to materials created by a faculty member in the course of a disclosed and approved outside employment or consulting engagement if (1) the materials were created without the use of College resources; and (2) do not relate to any ongoing research or instructional activities.
    2. Traditional Works of Scholarship includes: syllabi and other original materials created for use in a College course, books (including textbooks), class notes, classroom presentation and instruction (regardless of the format of these materials or method in which they are delivered), research proposals, articles, other forms of textual material (whether in printed form or electronic media and including academic journals and professional resources), software, works of art and other creative works including music, lyrics, compositions, photographs, poetry, choreography, architectural works, sculpture, pictoral and graphic works, motion pictures, and sound recordings, which are created as part of the regular academic and scholarly activities of a person covered by the Policy.
      1. Exceptions: the College will retain ownership of copyrightable materials otherwise considered Traditional Works of Scholarship in the following circumstances:
        1. Where the production of such materials is part of a sponsored program;
        2. Where the materials are created under the specifically assigned duties of employees other than faculty;
        3. Where Substantial College Resources were used in creating the materials;
        4. Where the materials were specifically commissioned by College contract, or done as part of an explicitly designated assignment made in writing, other than normal faculty scholarly pursuits; and
        5. Where the material is closely associated with a patent owned by the College under the Patent Policy (this exception will typically apply to any copyrightable material created to effectuate an invention, e.g. software, or supplement an invention).
      2. In cases where it is not clear whether or not these exceptions apply, authors are encouraged to pursue a negotiated written agreement as discussed herein.