Ownership and Authorship
Scholars are often a little surprised to hear that:
In addition to copyright law, University policy (or employer policy, more broadly) may affect ownership in works that are created as part of someone's job duties. The default rule of law is that the employer owns those kinds of works, but the University of Minnesota has two policies that control ownership of material produced by employees (faculty and non-faculty) - the Board of Regents policy, and the Administrative policy. While the policies are quite detailed, fundamentally, they provide that faculty own their academic works, employees with faculty-like jobs own their faculty-like work, and the work of employees in neither of those categories is owned by the University.
A scholar needs to know about the rights that she has in the works that she creates, and how to manage those rights in order to distribute her works via publishers, while also retaining the rights the scholar herself may need in order to make full use of her own works throughout her career.
The Libraries Open Access site can give you information about the changing nature of scholarly publishing, and how you can contribute.
The Libraries Publishing Services can give you more information on starting a new publication, or the wide variety of publication options available to individual authors.
- A copyright comes into existence the moment a copyrightable work is created - no registration is necessary for a copyright to exist,
- The copyright usually automatically belongs to the creator (or creators) of the work,
- Status as an employee for an organization, working on commission, and collaborative creation with others can change and affect copyright ownership.
Unless otherwise noted, all content on the Copyright Information section of this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.
This web site presents information about copyright law. The University Libraries make every effort to assure the accuracy of this information but do not offer it as counsel or legal advice. Consult an attorney for advice concerning your specific situation.