Essay on Copyright

2092 Words Dec 5th, 2015 9 Pages
Who owns what?
Basics | Sorting through ownership | Getting permission | Protecting your work
People typically need to know who owns what for two reasons:

They are creating a work, either alone or in collaboration with others, and want to know who will own what or who will have what rights in the finished work.

They want to use another's work beyond the bounds of fair use and need to know whom to ask for permission.
The basics of who owns what are the same regardless of which concern one has, so we will cover the basics first, then show how those rules apply in the two situations above, and finally address how to protect your work.

The basics

The author is usually the owner.

Except when the work-for-hire rules apply:
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Scholarly works owned by faculty members can be implemented in software; works-made-for-hire can incorporate pre-existing materials that a faculty author created earlier.

Other issues arise because of collaboration. The more cooks there are stirring the stew, the more complicated it becomes to figure out who owns what. This kind of complication arises in the following circumstances:

Collaboration in online networked environments
Creation of multimedia course materials
Telecourses and distance learning
Both of these and other similar situations usually involve:

Inter-institutional collaborators or other non-affiliated collaborators
Student contributions
Contract labor contributions
Non-faculty University employee contributions

In order to be joint authors of a work, each person must:

Contribute copyrightable expression and
Intend at the time the work is created that all contributors will be joint owners of the whole finished work
The best way to sort out joint ownership is through discussion and agreement at the start of a project. For example, a blog and its commentary present potential joint contributors with opportunities to create collaborative works. One way the blog owner or owners could address ownership and use issus would be to indicate from the start that all contributions are individually owned, no joint work is intended, but all contributions will be publicly licensed under

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