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Running head: OWNERSHIP POLICY CRITIQUE 1

Assignment #2

Ownership Policy Critique

Maryann Andrews

March 4, 2018
OWNERSHIP POLICY CRITIQUE 2

Abstract

The policies related to the use of intellectual property are unique to each institution. Texas State

University’s policies, titled “Intellectual Property: Ownership and Use of Copyrighted Works”,

effective as of January 8, 2018 are a comprehensive listing of guidelines for the use of works in

all formats. The University is part of the Texas State University System (TSUS), governed by the

9-member Board of Regents. The supporting “Rules and Regulations” document was originally

issued in 1980 and amended in 2017. The University’s policies address the ownership of

copyrighted works created by staff, faculty, and students. Additionally, the policies delineate the

guidelines for ongoing use of course materials by instructors and the institution. Policies

regarding the development of online courses are cited, followed by the procedures to resolve

disputes, community education related to the policies, and ensuring compliance. The “Rules and

Regulations” (2017) support and explain the policies related to use of the institution’s logo,

entering into consulting agreements, and addressing conflicts of interest. Texas State

University’s policies are written to protect the rights of both the creators and the institution.

Discussion

Texas State University’s policy regarding course materials created by faculty allows the

copyright of works to be retained by the creator, with certain restrictions. The University

stipulates that copyrights to works created within the parameters of the faculty member’s

employment, in meeting scholarly requirements, will be granted to the creator. Any works that

are created using substantial University resources, which may include the purchase of special

software, the use of design resources for online courses and/or the receipt of monetary awards for

the creation of work, will be considered the property of Texas State. Works created within the
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instructor's personal time and without extensive use of University resources is considered the

property of the creator. The University retains copyright ownership of works created as work for

hire, and faculty members that are concerned over copyright ownership are encouraged to

request specific written agreements for their works.

Texas State University (2018) retains the right to use all course materials, including the

right to copy, share and use the materials regardless of delivery mode, and prohibiting their

destruction or withdrawal “without the prior consent of Texas State.” Creators of works are must

periodically revise materials to maintain academic merit. If creators do not maintain course

materials, the University reserves the right to cease the use of said materials or hire staff to make

revisions at the creator’s expense. In a case such as this, Texas State has the final word on how

and by whom the revised course materials are used. The discontinuation of the use of course

materials will be determined collaboratively by both the University and creator, avoiding a

breach of agreements or licensing terms.

The guidance regarding student works is concise. TSUS policy (2018) indicates that

contributions authored by students, “created in their role as a student”, are considered owned by

the creator. The University defines these works as research papers, performance recordings,

published articles, and theses. The determination to register works, or enforce rights related to

the works, is left up to the student creator. Furthermore, the policy encourages students and

faculty to define rights in a written agreement when collaborating on works that may or not be

copyrightable. Lastly, Texas State requires faculty and students to request the student’s

permission before using their work, except where stated otherwise within the policy.
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Texas State’s policy does not specifically address the copyright ownership of online

materials other than to state that laws are protected regardless of the arrangement of the work, or

its location. Innovation is not necessarily encouraged when creating online courses, but rather

creators are required to ensure that any works shared on the learning management system, Web

2.0, or any social media site follow the University’s policy and copyright laws.

To adhere to the strict guidelines for maintaining compliance with copyright laws and

policies, audits are conducted by the University's IT Business Operations and the Office of

Audits and Analysis, and may be administered to the University wholly, a department or an

individual. The University community is educated on copyright laws by the Copyright Advisory

Committee (CAC), the CAC is comprised of representatives from the University Copyright

Office, to include a selection of University divisions and departments that have an interest in

copyright issues. According to Texas State policy (2018), the CAC addresses training needs

related to copyright issues by identifying and recommending instruction through a “copyright

education program”. Disputes related to copyright are addressed by the University Copyright

Office, if a resolution is not determined, the Copyright Advisory Committee will be consulted,

with the final authority being the vice president for Information Technology, in consultation with

appropriate vice presidents (2018). The University Copyright Office provides students, staff and

faculty access to subject matter experts in the areas of “interpretation of copyright law, best

practices, copyright education, assistance obtaining copyright permissions, and copyright policy

development” (“Policy and Procedure”, 2018).

The intellectual property use policies are supported by Chapter 3 of the Texas State

University System’s (TSUS) “Rules and Regulations” administered by the Board of Regents.

This document outlines the use of University trademarks and logos, with the requirement that the
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tagline or logo must be accompanied by the registered trademark symbol, ® when used on any

University related publications. Texas State staff, faculty and students are obliged to confer with

the appropriate administrators prior to entering any consulting agreement. According to the

“Rules and Regulations” (2017), any agreement must provide for the University's retention of

“patent rights, trade secrets, or the like”, or a specific waiver for their use.

Texas State University’s policies related to the use of intellectual property address the

areas of copyright ownership of materials created by faculty, the use of those materials, and

works created by students of the institution. The policies do not necessarily support or

discourage innovation of online course development but focus on the importance of adhering to

copyright law when sharing content on the LMS, Web 2.0 or social media sites. The University

has a solid system in place to address concerns over copyright usage and student-to-student

copyright disputes. Furthermore, Texas State refers to the TSUS “Rules and Regulations”

publication which provides clear guidance for the use of the logo, tagline, and consulting

agreements. Policies related to online courses would benefit from more specificity and

encouraging ongoing development. Overall, Texas State University’s policies on the use of

intellectual property are comprehensive and protect the rights of both the creators and the

institution.
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References

Texas State University. (19 Jan. 2018) Intellectual property: Ownership and use of copyrighted

works. Policy and Procedure Statements. Retrieved from

http://policies.txstate.edu/university-policies/01-04-27.html#section.01.04

The Texas State University System Rules and Regulations. (2017). III (12.16), 35-44. Retrieved

from http://gato-docs.its.txstate.edu/jcr:d1ed227a-91b6-4e1c-afb6-

a9fde6cfb86b/Rules%20and%20Regulations%20Aug%202017.pdf