Ownership of Electronic Course Materials in Higher Education


The introduction of sophisticated information technology to higher education is now forcing faculty and administrators to reexamine the traditional allocations of ownership interests in course materials. This article has been prepared to alert educators and administrators in higher educational institutions to the issues surrounding ownership of electronic course materials. In particular, this article focuses on the allocation of copyright ownership in electronic course materials between faculty and their sponsoring institutions. The article reviews relevant copyright basics, the work-made-for-hire doctrine, and options for contractual allocations of copyrights. The discussion includes a series of criteria that should be considered in formulating an institution's intellectual property policy.

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