14 July 2012
Contracts and policies for managing ownership of teaching materials vary tremendously across the UK, from the employer owning everything (which helps when IPR is 'jointly arising' - developed by more than one person) to the author (employee) owning everything, depending on the culture and freedom of the organisation. Policies may be different for teaching and research.
Obtain, if possible, copies of employment contracts for different categories of staff, and review who owns any teaching outputs developed by the employee. Search your organisation's website for your IPR or copyright policy - if you cannot find one then try looking in your organisation's teaching and learning strategy. The Registrar (or equivalent), representative of HR, student affairs, business development/contracting may be able to tell you whether such a policy exists. If you find a policy but can't find teaching mentioned, look for who owns research outputs or copyrights (as these are generally considered more commercially exploitable) and extrapolate/infer. The IPR policy in relation to teaching might look like:
|"Subject only to any existing third party copyright, in material incorporated into Teaching Materials, the copyright and design rights in all Teaching Materials belongs to the University. The University respects the moral rights of its employees including the right to be identified as author of the Teaching Materials, and will ensure that the author's contribution to the work is credited where appropriate. The University recommends that, as a matter of good practice, all Teaching Materials should carry a standard copyright and authorship statement as follows: ©[year], [organisation] [author name, if different from organisation]."|
If you do find a policy stating who owns the copyright in teaching outputs produced as a normal part of the role (or similar), then it is important to also know what licence terms apply (if any). A key question is whether teaching outputs licenced in any way (including to third parties and staff who move to new employment).
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Posted by: Megan Quentin-Baxter