III Copyright

  1. Copyright Ownership

    1. Ownership by Use of Resources

      Norwich University recognizes and affirms the traditional academic freedom of its faculty and staff to publish freely without restriction. In keeping with academic tradition, the University does not claim ownership of their works of independent academic effort the intended purpose of which is to disseminate the results of academic research or scholarly study or professional practice improvement. In keeping with this philosophy, the University will not construe the provision of office or library facilities as constituting significant use of University funds, except for those situations where the funds were paid specifically to support the development of such material. However, awards funded by the Bride Committee, the Faculty Development Committee, the Student Research Committee, or other bodies under the aegis of the University, are to be considered well within the parameters of resources customarily provided. These awards are exempt from being considered as constituting a significant use of University funds.

      Copyrightable materials may be produced or developed under the following conditions: substantial use of university resources, or as an assigned duty (i.e. a work for hire); nominal use of university resources; no use of university resources.

      1. Substantial Use of University Resources

        The university will own solely, or hold joint ownership with the faculty and staff, all creative works that make substantial use of university resources, or make use of university resources not customarily provided.

        1. Sole University Ownership

          The University shall be the sole owner of intellectual property falling into any of the following categories:

          1. developed within the scope of employment by non-faculty staff members
          2. agreed in writing to be a specially contracted work
          3. assigned in writing to the University. See Appendix A (PDF) for the Norwich University Copyright Assignment and Agreement form.
        2. Joint Faculty/University Ownership and Joint Staff/University Ownership

          Substantial faculty use of university resources results when the creation of the work requires use of university resources beyond those allocated in support of their academic or scholarly work within their respective department or division. Substantial staff use of university resources results when the creation of the work requires use of university resources beyond those allocated in support of the staff member’s scope of employment. Although it is the responsibility of the division head or equivalent supervisor to evaluate situations and determine if substantial use of resources has occurred, faculty members or other employees have an obligation to notify their supervisor or division head when they believe that their work involves more than nominal use. Copyrightable materials developed under these conditions are required to be the subject of a written agreement between the author and the division head or the chief administrative officer of the unit involved, or another authorized University representative, that equitably determines copyright and ownership rights. See Appendix B for the Norwich University/Faculty Joint Ownership Agreement form.

          The following are criteria and examples for establishment of substantial use:

          1. Substantial use of university resources not customarily provided.
          2. Extensive use of the services of a support unit financed by the university (e.g., Academic Computing) for production of a creative work. See #6 below.
          3. Substantial assistance by the university in the publication of a scholarly book or creative work.
          4. Electronically published course materials created jointly by faculty and staff. The faculty author and Norwich University will jointly own electronically published course materials that are created jointly by the faculty author and staff members whose contributions are within the scope of their employment. Any owner of copyright in electronically published course materials may secure copyright registration. Joint owners may, but do not have to, agree on responsibility for enforcing the copyright.
          5. Works created jointly by several faculty. In order to facilitate joint work on teaching materials and support collaborative teaching, and notwithstanding the ownership rights otherwise granted by this policy, individuals who contribute teaching materials used in jointly developed and taught University courses thereby grant a nonexclusive, nontransferable license to the University to permit other contributors to the course to continue using those jointly produced teaching materials in University courses.
      2. Nominal Use of University Resources

        Faculty and staff will own solely all creative works that make use of university resources usually and customarily provided. Nominal use of university resources is use that is within the required teaching, scholarly, and service activity of one’s appointment at Norwich University. University personnel may make such nominal use of university resources and devote office time in carrying out a range of professional activities.

      3. No Use of University Resources

        A personal work resulting from a faculty or staff member’s efforts on his/her own time without any direct support from or through Norwich University and without the use of any of the University’s resources beyond those normally provided by Norwich University will belong solely to the creator.

    2. Ownership by Other Categories of Work

      1. Consulting Activities

        The University does not assert ownership to works produced by those involved with professional outside consulting except in cases where substantial use of University resources occurs to support the consulting activity. In such cases there must be prior negotiation and written agreement between the consultant and the division head to determine disposition of the intellectual property. Generally, activities are more properly carried out as “Contracted Work” when there is a substantial use of university resources.

      2. Student Work

        Intellectual property created solely for the purpose of satisfying a course requirement is owned by the student and not the University or the student’s professor.

        Because it is often necessary for the University to maintain files of student work for normal administrative and pedagogical purposes, such as accreditation requirements, the University asserts its right to retain possession of student work. Retention of student work for these purposes, however, is not an assertion of ownership.

        Exceptions to this policy occur when / if:

        1. Online Programs

          Students are enrolled in online programs that use the student’s employer as a lab site for assignments. In such cases, the employer may assert ownership rights of the student/employee’s work in the seminar that is directly or indirectly related to use of the employer’s business.

        2. Assignation of Ownership Rights

          The University becomes the owner of student work if the student assigns ownership rights of the intellectual property to the University in writing, or written assignment of such ownership rights to the University is made a condition for participation in a course.

        3. Tests and Examinations

          The University owns the answers and questions on tests and examinations, unless otherwise indicated by the course instructor. Tests and examinations include but are not limited to print, electronic and audio or visual formats. The University also owns the intellectual property rights to MBA case study reports that involve corporate learning partners.

        4. Funding by Sponsor

          Student research projects are funded by outside sponsors. If the sponsor requires ownership of the intellectual property produced by the student as a condition of sponsorship, the University will so advise the student before the student begins the project. The student will be required to sign a waiver prior to beginning the project.

        See Appendix C (PDF), Student Intellectual Property / Creative Works Assignment of Ownership Form. See Appendix D (PDF), Student Intellectual Property / Creative Works Release Form.

      3. Works Created for the University by Agreement with an Independent Contractor

        For works created in the course of or pursuant to “Contracted Work” (see Section VI Definitions), industrial affiliates programs, or other contractual arrangements with external (non-University) parties, ownership will be determined in accordance with the terms of the University’s agreement with the external party and applicable law (see Section II, Purpose & Scope). When the University contracts for the production of a work, title normally shall reside with the University. In all cases, copyright ownership shall be specified in a written agreement. Any such agreement that provides for ownership by other than the University generally shall also provide the University with a free-of-cost, nonexclusive, worldwide license to use and reproduce the copyrighted work for education and research purposes. See Appendix E (PDF) for sample form.

  2. Copyright Agreement and Notification

    1. Disposition of Intellectual Property

      Prior to any use of a University facility by non-University employees or by University employees outside University employment, a signed agreement shall be required that specifies the disposition of intellectual property. University employees using University facilities for work outside University employment are responsible for bringing this to the University’s attention so that an appropriate agreement for use can be negotiated.

    2. Production, Delivery and Ownership of Sponsored Works

      Designated academic appointees participating in sponsored projects must have a signed agreement on file with the designated campus official which acknowledges: (a) individual and joint responsibility to produce and deliver sponsored works to the sponsor, as required by the terms of the sponsored project agreement, and/or to the University when so requested, and (b) that intellectual property ownership of sponsored works, unless reserved to the sponsor or otherwise provided for in the sponsored project agreement, shall vest in the University.

    3. Agreements

      Any designated academic appointee, other employee, or student wishing to participate in a specified University project that includes intellectual property ownership requirements, must sign an agreement indicating his or her concurrence with that project’s special conditions. The Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) shall designate special University projects that shall require such special intellectual property agreements. It is the responsibility of the school dean or equivalent supervisor to notify the VPAA of University projects with obligation to notify their supervisor or school dean when they are leading a project that includes intellectual property ownership requirements.

  3. Release of University Rights

    The University may release its ownership rights in copyrighted works to the originator when, as determined by the University: (a) there are no overriding or special obligations to a sponsor or other third party and (b) the best interests of the University would be so served. Such release of ownership rights must be contingent on the agreement of the originator that no further effort on, or development of, the work will be made using University resources and that the University is granted a free-of-cost, nonexclusive, worldwide license to use and reproduce the work for education and research purposes. The release of rights must be secured by an assignment agreement.

  4. Licensing and Royalties (Revenue Sharing)

    In all cases of joint ownership or contracted work, agreements regarding income distribution shall be specified in a written agreement. See Appendix F (PDF) for a simple revenue distribution model.

  5. Use of Copyrighted Materials

    Norwich University complies with the US Copyright Law. It requires its employees and students to make only proper and fair use of copyrighted works as guided by federal law.

    Norwich University recognizes its responsibility under the TEACH Act to provide informational materials that accurately describe and promote compliance with copyright law. It is the responsibility of faculty, staff and students to familiarize themselves with copyright law, and to understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. The following resources are gathered here to guide faculty, staff and student use of copyrighted works.

    For Faculty and Staff

    Faculty and staff use of copyrighted works for educational purposes is guided by the US Copyright Law. Pertinent sections of the law for faculty and staff are included below.

    • Section 102 defines the works covered by the Copyright Law.
    • Section 106 defines the rights of the copyright owner.
    • Section 107 defines the rights of the user of copyrighted works, known as Fair Use.
    • Section 110 commonly known as the TEACH Act, extends the rights of the instructor in the online environment.


    Sections 107 and 110 guide the use of copyrighted works in the academic setting. Several associations, scholars and universities have developed guidelines to aid the instructor in taking full advantage of his/her Fair Use rights and TEACH Act rights. Following are links to guidelines from the University of Indiana, the University of Massachusetts, the American Library Association, and Kenneth Crews, professor of law and information science at the University of Indiana.

    For Students

    Acts of academic dishonesty, including intentional plagiarism, are offenses against established standards of the academic community and the University’s honor code. All suspected acts of academic dishonesty and intentional plagiarism are initially subject to review by the Academic Integrity Committee.

    Norwich University Procedural Standards

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