Approved by: President
History: Issued            -- February 18, 2010
Revised           --
Last Reviewed --
Related Policies: Conflicts of Interest (Faculty Research); Copyright Policy; Trademark; Patent Policy
Additional References: SPARC Author Resources; Copyright Publications;Copyright Resources
Responsible Official:

Provost tel. 202-319-5244


I. Introduction


The Catholic University of America encourages the production of creative and scholarly research, works and inventions, known broadly as intellectual property, among Faculty, other Employees and students. The products of this scholarship may create rights and interests on behalf of the creator, author, inventor, public, sponsor and the University. This policy, in conjunction with the University Patent Policy, seeks to support and reward scientific research and scholarship, help Faculty, students and staff identify, protect, and administer intellectual property matters, and define the rights and responsibilities of all involved. As a matter of fundamental policy, the University encourages the wide dissemination of scholarly work produced by members of the University community, including copyrightable works. University Faculty, other Employees and students are encouraged to retain a non-exclusive, royalty-free license in their published works that will allow the author to use the work in the course of teaching and research.

II. Definitions


A. Employees are any people employed by The Catholic University of America in any capacity, whether they are Faculty, staff, administration, or students and whether they are employed full-time, part-time, or in a temporary capacity.

B. Faculty are full-time and part-time tenured, tenure-track, emeritus, lecturer, visiting, research, clinical, and adjunct Faculty.

C. Independent Contractors and Consultants are non-Employees hired by the university.

D. Scholarly Works are works authored by Employees as part of or in connection with their responsibilities, if any, in teaching, research, or scholarship. Common examples of Scholarly Works include: lecture notes, case examples, course materials, textbooks, works of nonfiction, novels, journal articles, scholarly papers, poems, lyrics, musical compositions and recordings, architectural drawings, software, visual works of art, and other artistic creations, among others, regardless of the medium in which those works are fixed or disseminated.

III. Policy


A. Applicability


This policy applies to intellectual property created by all classifications of Faculty, other Employees, and students of the University, and non-employees who create works on behalf of the University unless a written agreement exists to the contrary.

B. Policy on who Holds Copyright


As a default, the University holds the copyright (as "works made for hire") in works authored by its Employees who are acting within the scope of their employment. Otherwise, the university does not hold copyright in a work, unless the copyright has been transferred legally to the University.

C. Scholarly Works and Copyright


In light of the default, the University hereby transfers any copyright it has in Scholarly Works to the Employee who authored those works with the following conditions/exceptions:

1. Conditions - When the University transfers copyright in Scholarly Works to Employees under this policy, it reserves the right to:

  1. use Scholarly Works for educational, administrative or research purposes consistent with its educational mission and academic norms and
  2. host Scholarly Works in institutional repositories, such as Digital Scholarship at CUA.
  3. retain a non-exclusive right to all research reported in manuscripts funded in whole or part by NIH funding, so as to ensure compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy and as needed for public access initiatives required by law in the future. 

2. Exceptions - The university does not, under this policy, transfer its copyright in Scholarly Works when:

  1. development was funded as part of an externally sponsored research program under an agreement which allocates rights to the funding entity;
  2. an Employee was assigned, directed, or specifically funded by the University to develop the Work, and the University has negotiated an understanding or formal contract with the creator;

    the Work is software that was created with the assistance of University staff; or
  3. the Work was transferred in a writing which the Employee signed as a condition of employment.

D. Students


Students hold the copyright in works they author unless they authored works as Employees or transferred their copyright in writing.

E. Independent Contractors


It is the standard practice of the University to require that Independent Contractors and Consultants transfer, in writing, the copyright in works they create for, in conjunction with, or on behalf of the University.

F. Joint Works


When people collaborate to author a copyrighted work, it often results in a "joint work" in which all the rights holders jointly have nonexclusive rights to use the work. Employees or students who collaborate with each other or with non-University third-parties should anticipate (perhaps in a writing) the disposition of the copyright prior to authoring the work.

G. Policy Interpretation and Dispute Resolution


This policy and its implementation may require interpretation and review. University constituents should make every attempt to resolve disputes informally with the assistance of one or more of the following: the Office of the Provost (for policy clarification), the Office of the General Counsel (for legal clarification), The Center for Planning and Information Technology (for technical issues) and the Office of Technology Transfer (for matters regarding patents and commercialization of intellectual property). If informal procedures and consultation do not provide resolution of a dispute or policy issue, University constituents may file a request for formal dispute resolution or policy interpretation with the Office of the Provost. The Provost will appoint an ad hoc committee and designate a chair. The committee will consist of a combination of administrators, Faculty, staff and/or students as appropriate given the nature of the complaint and the respective roles of the parties involved. The decisions of the committee may be appealed to the President (or his or her designee). The decisions of the President (or designee) shall be final.

H. Relation to other Policies


Inventions or inventive concept as defined under the University Patent Policy will be treated in accord with the terms of that policy and the necessary disclosures of patentable materials should be made under the terms of that policy to the Office of Technology Transfer.

In the case of software, if there is a patent on the software, and it is owned by the University, then the copyright in the code should be owned by the University and treated under the Patent Policy. In this situation, the University should have a written agreement with the author.