(Approved by the Provost and Executive Vice President by authority of Executive Order No. 4)
Copyright generally protects original works of authorship embodied in a tangible means of expression. Copyrightable works include literary works, musical works, dramatic works, pantomimes and choreographic works, pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works, motion pictures and other audiovisual works, sound records, and architectural works. Copyright does not protect titles, slogans, short phrases, inventions, ideas, discoveries, or facts apart from their description. Copyright arises automatically when a work is created and does not require any formal registration or publication. The duration of copyright varies depending on a number of factors. For individually authored works, created on or after January 1, 1978, the copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. Generally, the owner of a copyright has the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do any of the following:
Under University Copyright Policy, faculty, staff, and students retain all rights in copyrightable materials they create, except when special circumstances or contractual arrangements prevail. All questions regarding ownership of copyrightable materials should be referred to the OIPTT.
Software may be protected both by copyright and by patent law. Patent law protects any novel, nonobvious, and useful process or method performed by a computer program. Copyright law protects the expression of the process or method. Questions regarding software ownership should be directed to the OIPTT.