It is the goal of Carleton College to “liberate individuals from the constraints imposed by ignorance or complacency and prepare them broadly to lead rewarding, creative, and useful lives.” (Academic Catalog, Purpose of the College). To achieve this goal, the free and open exchange of ideas is vital. In this spirit, the College’s copyright policy is intended to encourage all members of the Carleton community to publish their papers, books, and other works in order to share their knowledge openly with colleagues and the public. The College adheres to the long-standing academic tradition that creators of works own the copyrights in works resulting from their scholarly, pedagogical, and creative activities. This principle is the foundation for the College’s policies on copyright ownership.
This principle also underlies the College’s commitment to fostering an environment of respect for and responsible use of the intellectual property of others. The College is committed to helping members of the Carleton community comply with copyright laws by providing resources to help individuals make informed, careful, and situation-sensitive decisions about the lawful and fair use of work created by others.
This policy applies to all faculty (including those on temporary appointments), staff, and students.
III. Copyright Ownership
A. Creator Owns the Copyright
Individuals engaged in scholarly, pedagogical or creative efforts produce a great variety of copyrightable materials they may want to protect from unauthorized use. These include, for example, books, articles, monographs, bibliographies, lecture notes and handouts, musical compositions and recordings, artwork, photographs, films, audio visual works, and computer programs.
When a member of the faculty or staff or a student authors a copyrightable work, that individual will own the copyright in the work (and may voluntarily cede it to a publisher or distributor), unless the circumstances of IIIB, IIIC or IIID apply. Even though the College may provide some support in the way of facilities, materials, equipment, or personnel, individual ownership of the copyright in such works is appropriate.
It is understood, however, that the individual will allow the College to use without charge any copyrighted work that originally was designed for the express purpose of making such work available to individuals other than, or in addition to the creator for use in teaching, administration, or other College activities. Examples of such work include a computer program designed to improve an office procedure and developed by a faculty or staff member (not under the circumstances of IIIB, IIIC or IIID), or curricular materials created by a faculty member (not under the circumstances of IIIB, IIIC or IIID) to use in sections of a course that is taught by several department faculty. Such materials will be available to the College free of charge, even if the individual who wrote the program or curricular materials has left the College.
B. Rights Are Determined by Contract
1. Ownership of the copyrights in works created in the course of projects or programs funded by an external agency, for example, under a grant or similar arrangement, will be determined in accordance with the terms of agreement with the external party and applicable law. An agreement regarding copyright ownership must be signed by the College, the external agency, and the appropriate individuals before acceptance of outside funding.
2. Generally, students own the copyright in the works they create, including their contributions to collaborative projects, unless the circumstances of IIIC or IIID apply or the student has signed a written agreement regarding copyright. Accordingly, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to obtain a written agreement from each student before involving students in scholarly research or other projects that may result in works the faculty or staff would want to use or publish. In addition, if there is any question whether IIIC or IIID will apply to works created by a student, a written agreement should be signed before the student begins work.
3. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to engage in collaborative research and other collaborative projects. Because of the misunderstandings that may result when different individuals own rights in the results of a collaborative effort, a written agreement regarding copyright should be signed before beginning work.
C. College Owns the Copyright in Directed and Commissioned Works.
The College will retain ownership of the copyright in works that are specifically directed or commissioned by the College or produced by an individual (or group of individuals) as a specific job requirement. Examples of works in this category are articles for the alumni magazine or other College publications written by Communications Office personnel; computer software developed by technical staff; and the output of a faculty member on special assignment to write a history of the College while receiving full salary.
This category does not include materials created by faculty in connection with their teaching, research, or other scholarly activities, even though faculty are expected to teach and engage in scholarly activities as part of their job, unless the works are specifically directed or commissioned by the College, as in the example of a faculty member on special assignment to write a history of the College while receiving a full salary. This category also does not include materials created by the staff outside the scope of their employment.
On occasion, the College may grant its copyright to one or more individuals or may agree to joint ownership of the copyright. If an individual wishes to own the copyright in a work that falls into this category, he or she should raise the issue in writing before undertaking the work. The arrangement on which the individual and the College agree must be documented in writing. If no such writing exists, the general rule of this section IIIC will be deemed to apply.
D. College Owns Copyright in Administrative Works
The College will retain ownership of the copyright in works created in the course of an administrative assignment of the College, such as, internal policies and procedures, internal studies and plans, or a report for a university committee.
On occasion, the College may grant its copyright in an administrative work to one or more individuals or may agree to joint ownership of the copyright. If an individual wishes to own the copyright in a work that falls into this category, he or she should raise the issue in writing before undertaking the work. The arrangement on which the individual and the College agree must be documented in writing. If no such writing exists, the general rule of this section IIID will be deemed to apply.
IV. Distribution of Income from Royalties
A. Copyright Belongs to an Individual or Group of Individuals
If one or more individuals own the copyright, those individuals are entitled to 100% of the royalties, unless IIIB, IIIC or IIID applies. If the copyright is owned jointly by one or more individuals, a written agreement on division of royalties should be signed.
B. Copyright Belongs to the College or to the College and Others, Jointly
If the College owns the copyright, all royalties will be paid to the College, unless a special agreement to the contrary has been made in advance. If the copyright is owned jointly by the College and one or more individuals, a written agreement on division of royalties should be signed. If no written agreement is signed, all royalties will be divided equally among the copyright owners.
C. Work Resulting From Outside Funding
If the work will result from a project funded by an outside agency, an agreement on division of royalties must be signed before acceptance of outside funding.
V. Further Assurances
The College, the faculty, the staff, and students will execute such written instruments or agreements as may be required to give effect to this policy.
VI. Use and “Fair Use” of Copyrighted Works
A. Compliance with Copyright Laws
Carleton College expects all faculty, staff and students to make a reasonable effort in good faith to comply with copyright laws in their use of copyrighted materials.
B. Fair Use of Copyrighted Works
The College encourages its faculty, staff and students to take full advantage of the “fair use” exception to the exclusive rights of copyright owners. The College requires, however, that before relying on the fair use exception, faculty, staff, and students will educate themselves regarding the limits of fair use and will, in each instance, perform a careful, good faith fair use analysis based on the four factors identified in Section 107 of the federal Copyright Act. Faculty, staff and students are strongly encouraged to document their fair use analyses as a defense against claims of copyright infringement.
C. Assistance with Copyright Compliance
Because of the complexity of copyright law and, in particular, the fair use exception, the College will provide resources to educate faculty, staff and students and help them make informed, careful and situation-sensitive decisions about the lawful and fair use of works created by others.
Upon obtaining knowledge that material residing on College systems or networks is infringing or that College systems or networks are being used for infringing activities (or upon becoming aware of circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent), the College will act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the infringing materials and may deny the individuals responsible further access to College systems or networks. In addition, members of faculty or staff or students or other persons employed by the College who willfully disregard or violate copyright law may be subject to disciplinary action by the College in accordance with applicable disciplinary policies and procedures.
VII. Administration of Copyright Policy
A. Copyright Ownership and Distribution of Royalties.
The Vice President and Treasurer will adopt policies and procedures to implement Sections III, IV, and V of this policy. The Dean of the College will adjudicate in the case of disputes regarding copyright ownership and royalties.
B. Use and “Fair Use” of Copyrighted Works
The Dean of the College will adopt policies and procedures to implement Section VI of this policy.
The College may amend this policy from time to time as it deems necessary or desirable, subject to applicable statutory and contractual restraints.
For additional information, please see Copyright at Carleton.
Last Revised: October 21, 2006
Adopted by the Board of Trustees on October 21, 2006.
Last Reviewed: October 1, 2020
Maintained by: Office of the Provost
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