[Editor’s note: this post is kept as an archive, but since the policy is no longer under review, some of the links go to pages that do not exist. For current UC policies, visit policy.ucop.edu.]

The University of California’s Copyright Ownership Policy was last revised in 1992. A new draft policy is currently under systemwide review. All members of the UC community are encouraged to read the policy and accompanying information on the Academic Personnel and Programs site and submit any comments by December 15.

As described in the cover letter from Provost Michael Brown, the proposed policy revisions aim to reduce areas of ambiguity and streamline the language of the 1992 policy. Specifically, Provost Brown explains, the draft policy:

  • Expands eligibility to own copyrights. The definition of ‘Academic Authors’ in the revised policy expands the pool of those eligible to own copyright. The revised policy’s definition is simplified. Among other things, it eliminates references to Academic Personnel Manual titles.”
  • “Expands and clarifies the pool of works eligible for copyright ownership. The policy provides a definition of ‘Scholarly & Aesthetic Works’ – a definition that does not exist in the existing policy. It also clarifies that software is a work for which eligible employees may own the copyright.”
  • “Creates a definition for ‘Significant University Resources’ as a limitation on the University’s ownership. The current policy has a broad definition of ‘University Resources,’ which directs, in some instances, that the University asserts copyright ownership when the University’s resources contributed to the development of the copyright work. The revised policy now includes a key limitation such that the level of University resources must be ‘significant’ and beyond the support provided to similarly-situated authors.”
  • “Clarifies graduate student copyright ownership. The revised policy provides clarity regarding copyright ownership by graduate students of their theses, dissertations, and other copyrightable works.”

You can read the rest of the cover letter, as well as the proposed revisions themselves and a set of frequently asked questions, at the Policies Under Review section of the Academic Personnel and Planning website

Comments and feedback on the draft policy should be sent to Vice Provost for Academic Personnel and Programs, Susan Carlson, ADVVPCARLSON-SA@ucop.edu by December 15, 2019 so they can be considered alongside other comments received from the university community during the systemwide review period. 

If you have any questions you would like to ask about the policy revisions before submitting your comments, please contact Katie Fortney, Copyright Policy & Education Officer, California Digital Library, at katie.fortney@ucop.edu.