UCR Policies and Procedures

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Policy Number:    550-20

Policy Title:         Copyrights

Policy Owner:     Vice Chancellor - Business & Administrative Services

Effective Date:   10/01/1983

Revision Date:   05/10/2011



    It is the policy of the University that copyrightable material in the form of books, musical or dramatic compositions, architectural designs, paintings, sculptures, or other works of comparable type developed by employees either in conjunction with or aside from their University employment, will be the property of the author unless the material is prepared by means of special contractual arrangements or as a specific part of their University assignment. A faculty member's general obligation to produce scholarly works does not constitute such a specific University assignment.

    1. University Owned copyrights

      Copyrightable material, other than mentioned above, developed by employees either in conjunction with or aside from their University employment utilizing University funds, or the staff, equipment, and facilities of the Learning Resources, Media, and Computer Centers or other University production facilities, shall be the property of the University and shall, at the University's option, be copyrighted in the name of The Regents. However, the University shall provide for the disclosure of appropriate credits and shall consider the comments of participating employees regarding subsequent presentation of the material.

    2. Sharing of Royalties

      The University may allow employees who develop copyrightable material, other than that mentioned above, using University resources, to share in any royalties which accrue from the sale or lease of such material outside the University, provided an appropriate agreement is entered into prior to the beginning of a project. Any such agreement shall take into account the employee's effort and contribution as well as the extent of the University's development costs (and any conditions on the recoupment of such costs imposed by extramural funding sources) in setting the employee's royalty, the University's income share, and the recoupment of the University's costs. See Policy 550-70.

    3. Employee Copyrights Developed in Conjunction with University Employment

      Copyrightable material prepared without use of University funds and facilities by employees in conjunction with their University employment shall be the property of the author unless the material was prepared through special contractual arrangements. However, the University shall reserve the right to receive a free and irrevocable license to use such material in connection with its educational, research, and public service functions. It shall be the policy of the University to acquire only such license right, leaving authors free to establish copyrights in their own names, if they wish. The University shall not profit from the use of such material, and authors shall have the right to periodically comment on the material as provided above.

    4. Copyright Agreements With Outside Individuals And Organizations

      In all cases in which persons or organizations other than University employees prepare copyrightable material with the support of University resources or facilities, exclusive of libraries, an agreement shall be executed in advance setting forth the understanding regarding the use of facilities, ownership rights, and financial arrangements.


    In instances when the copyright is in the name of the author, the name of the University shall not be used in connection with publication, production, or distribution of the material, except in such form as approved by Chancellors, Vice Presidents, and Laboratory Directors. Such approval must be in accordance with the University policy to permit use of the University's name.


    Chancellor's Vice Presidents, and Laboratory Directors are authorized to enter into agreements with respect to ownership and other rights related to copyrightable material, to obtain copyrights, and to grant licenses in the name of The Regents for all copyrightable material under their jurisdiction.

    1. Registration of Copyright

      Copyright law provides for the registration of the copyright with the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress. The forms for registering copyrightable material may be obtained from the Register of Copyrights, U.S. Copyright Office, Washington, D.C., 20025.


    The following guidelines should be observed when making requests to use non-University copyrighted material:

    1. The request should be for no greater rights than are actually needed.
    2. The request should fully identify the material for which permission to publish or use is requested.
    3. The request should be submitted to the copyright owner in duplicate so that the owner may retain one copy and return the other copy indicating consent.


    Recent legislative action affecting common law copyrights on reproduction of works of art provides that when a work of fine art is transferred by sale or otherwise, the right of reproduction thereof is reserved to the artist or his representative unless that right is expressly transferred by a document in writing in which reference is made to the specific right of reproduction, signed by the owner of the rights conveyed or that person's duly authorized agent. (It was previously the law in California, that the sale of a work of fine art, which had not been copyrighted under the Federal copyright law, transferred with it all rights of reproduction.) If a work of fine art has been copyrighted under the Federal copyright laws, specific written permission in the form of an assignment, license or other agreement is necessary to transfer reproduction rights.