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Copyright and fair use

Statement on Intellectual Property

The management of inventions, patents, and other forms of intellectual property in a university setting warrants special guidance because it bears on so many aspects of the university’s core missions, values, and functions, including academic freedom, scholarship, research, shared governance, and the transmission and use of academic knowledge by the broader society.

Defending the Freedom to Innovate: Faculty Intellectual Property Rights after Stanford v. Roche

Tensions over control of the fruits of faculty scholarship have been slowly building since the 1980s and have intensified over the last three years. There have long been differences of opinion over ownership of patentable inventions, but recently a number of universities have categorically asserted that they own the products of faculty research. And there is increasing institutional interest in declaring ownership of faculty intellectual property subject to copyright—most notably evident in demands that faculty members cede ownership of online courses and other instructional materials to their universities, a trend that began escalating in the 2012–13 academic year.

Academia, Academe, and Intellectual Property

The true function of scholarship, as of society, is not to stake out claims on which others must not trespass but to provide a community of knowledge in which others may share.—F. O. Matthiessen

Once, professors trafficked ideas. Now, we create intellectual property. Intellectual property is what happens to ideas once they have been converted into exclusive, saleable commodities, subject to the same legal and economic principles as any other form of property.—Lawrence Hanley


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