LEGAL SERVICES

Copyright

Copyright is at the heart of the University’s teaching, research and public service. University faculty show copyrighted video in their classes. They copy portions of copyrighted books in their scholarly articles. Students do the same in their term papers and staff in their administrative memos. Federal law, however, grants copyright holders the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, prepare a derivative work based on, publicly display and publicly perform copyrighted works. The Copyright Permissions Center helps members of the University community obtain permissions from rights holders. But federal law also permits the use of copyrighted works in certain instances without having obtained permission. Fair use is one well-known example. The University Libraries provide detailed information on copyright generally and on fair use and the “classroom teaching” exception. Senior Associate General Counsel Greg Brown advises the faculty, students, the center and the libraries on whether a proposed use would violate the holder’s copyright and if so, whether a statutory exception applies or permission must be sought. Mr. Brown also answers questions on who owns copyrighted works created by University faculty, staff and students. Federal law vests in employers the ownership of works authored by their employees in the performance of their employment duties. University Regents policy and Administrative Policy refines that rule, granting to students, faculty and University employees with “faculty-like” positions ownership of their academic works. The University claims ownership of academic works only if they are specially commissioned or directed works. The University’s Copyright policy defines these types of works. In addition to interpreting federal law and University policy in this area, Mr. Brown advises University units on the ownership and licensing implications of engaging faculty to prepare specific courseware and other instructional materials. 

Contact Us

Office of the General Counsel
360 McNamara Alumni Center
200 Oak Street S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455

612-624-4100 (phone)
612-626-9624 (fax) ogcweb@umn.edu

Make a data request through the Data Request Center.

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