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University Policy Library

Shelly Bachus, Policy Director
Administration 208
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4730

Intellectual Property Rights Policy
Board of Governors Policy 3.1.020
Revised by the Board of Governors on April 18, 2007

I. Purpose

The purpose of the “Intellectual Property Rights Policy” is to foster creative activity and discovery within the bounds of academic freedom, while at the same time protecting the interests of the university.
This policy will cover several different areas of intellectual property, including copyright, rights to online intellectual property, patents and trademarks. 

II. Definitions

A. “Substantial UCM resources” means that the scholar receives from UCM time and/or resources specifically dedicated to the project that go beyond those typically available to scholars at UCM for development or production of intellectual property.  Those resources may take the form of, but are not limited to, internal funding, external funding, special assignment of graduate assistantships, reassigned time, or specific remuneration for course development.  Resources that are typically available to scholars (and hence should not constitute “substantial UCM resources”) include such support as regular salary, office space, library facilities, ordinary access to computers and networks including Internet access, space for course pages, and technical support.  In addition, the preparation and publication of educational materials utilizing regular secretarial, graduate assistant and/or professional staff time are not to be considered substantial support.

B. The definition for copyright is found in 17 U.S.C. 102, as amended.  Prohibited copying generally extends to performances of creative works, broadcasts, digitizing works or creating new works using someone else’s protected work.  These are examples of prohibited acts not an exhaustive list.

III. Policy

A. Copyright

  1. The Board of Governors expects faculty, staff and students to adhere to the provisions of current copyright laws and Congressional guidelines.  Employees and students are to adhere to all provisions of Title 17 of the United States Code (USC), entitled “Copyrights,” and other relative federal legislation and guidelines related to the duplication, retention and use of copyrighted materials.


    1. Unlawful copies of copyrighted materials may not be produced on university owned equipment.

    2. Unlawful copies of copyrighted materials may not be used with university owned equipment, within university owned facilities or at university sponsored functions.

    3. Neither legal nor applicable insurance protection of the university will be extended to employees who intentionally and unlawfully copy and use copyrighted materials.

    4. Employees who make copies and/or use copyrighted materials in their jobs are expected to be familiar with published provisions regarding fair use and public display, and are further expected to be able to provide their supervisor, upon request, the justification under Sections 107 or 110 of Title 17 USC for materials that have been used or copied.  Use of copyrighted materials includes, but is not limited to, performance of creative works, broadcasts, digitizing or creating derivative works using copyrighted works.

    5. Employees who use copyrighted materials that do not fall within fair use or public performance or display guidelines must be able to substantiate that the materials meet the following tests:

      1. The materials have been purchased from an authorized vendor by the individual or university and a record of the purchase exists;

      2. The materials are copies covered by a licensing agreement between the copyright owner and the university or the individual employee;

      3. The materials are being previewed or demonstrated by the user to reach a decision about future purchase or licensing and a valid agreement exists that allows for such use.

    6. The university provides educational resources on copyright and has appointed a copyright professional to provide copyright education and assist employees in fulfilling their obligations under U.S. copyright law.  Employees and students have a duty to search for copyright protection before using work they do not own.

  2. Intellectual endeavors pursuant to a grant or contract with third parties must be conducted in accordance with the terms of any such grant or contract, including the allocation of rights to or interests in any resulting copyright.

B. Online Courses and Online Supplemental Materials for Traditional Courses

  1. Faculty reserves the right to determine all content for online courses in accordance with the principles of academic freedom.  Individual faculty members should have the same responsibility for selecting and presenting materials in courses offered through distance education technologies that they have in those offered in traditional classroom settings.

  2. Distance-education courses shall comply with all of the standard practices, procedures and criteria which have been established for traditional in-the-classroom courses including, but not limited to, faculty involvement at the level of course development and approval, selection of qualified faculty to teach the course, pedagogical determinations about appropriate class size, and oversight of all final course offerings by the appropriate faculty committee to ensure conformity with previously established traditions of course quality and relevance to programs.  UCM reserves the right to specify format, technical standards and procedures necessary to protect and uphold UCM standards for delivery.  Such standards will be developed jointly by UCM technical staff and UCM faculty, and must be approved by the university president and/or his/her designee.

  3. It is in the best interest of the online course creator(s) and the university to have a written agreement that specifies the conditions of use and ownership. Online courses will be developed according to a written agreement between the faculty member and UCM.No course will be put online until an agreement is reached.The agreement will include at least the following provisions:

    1. The course creator retains ownership rights to the product, in recognition of the creative work and interests of the course creator.

    2. The course creator will retain the right to refresh the course at any point during the offering of the course.  Reciprocally, UCM expects the course creator to incorporate new ideas/knowledge of the discipline into the course.

    3. If substantial UCM resources are utilized in the creation of the course, the course creator must agree, as part of the agreement, that UCM will enjoy a free, nonexclusive license to use the course at its discretion.  UCM will retain this license to use the course throughout the time the course creator remains part of the UCM community.  If the course is not taught by the course creator, he/she will have the option of removing his/her name as creator of the course.

    4. If substantial UCM resources are utilized in the creation of the course, upon the departure of the course creator, UCM will be granted a five-year nonexclusive license beginning on the date following the course creator’s last official day of employment.  Further, UCM is granted the right to modify the course. The course creator will have the option of removing his/her name as creator of the course.

  4. The course creator retains all rights to online materials used to support his/her traditional face-to-face instruction.
    1. Supplemental materials which will require substantial UCM resources to be created will be negotiated under specific agreement.

    2. If UCM wishes to use supplemental materials created by one or more faculty members in any fashion, including the bundling of these materials into future online presentations or courses, UCM must negotiate with the course creator(s) for the right to use the materials.

  5. In the presence of a specific work-made-for-hire contract, UCM shall hold all rights.

C. PATENTS – Board of Governors Policy 3.1.030- CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW


Link to procedure: "Intellectual Property Rights Procedure"

The “Intellectual Property Rights Policy” replaces the former “Copyright Policy” which was approved by the Board of Regents on February 18, 1987.
Approved by the Board of Governors on September 15, 2004
Article III. Section E. and Article IV. Transferred to UCM Intellectual Property Rights Procedure April 18, 2007
Approved by the Board of Governors on April 18, 2007 
Formatting updated August 1, 2007