Re: Science 4 September on Copyright

From: Thomas J. Walker <tjw_at_GNV.IFAS.UFL.EDU>
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 15:28:36 -0400

At 12:31 PM 9/9/98 -0400, you wrote:
>An understandable summary of the provisions of U.S. copyright law can be
>read at with links to sources of
>more detailed information. At that URL, I found:
> 3. Who owns a copyright?
> With three important exceptions, copyrights are owned by the
> writers, poets, musicians, choreographers, composers, artists,
> software designers, sculptors, photographers, movie producers,
> craftspersons and other persons who create them. In the copyright
> world, these people are all called "authors." Now for the
> exceptions:
> If a work is created by an employee in the course of his or her
> employment, the work is called a "work made for hire" and the
> copyright is owned by the employer."
>Apparently, scientists may academia not personally own the copyright
>to their scientific papers, just as they don't often own the patent
>rights, unless their employer (the university or college) signs it
>over to them.

This is discussed at some length in

Shores C. 1996. Ownership of faculty works and university copyright policy.
     ARL, a Bimonthly Newsletter Of Research Library Issues And Actions No.
     (on the Web at

The conclusion is that universities are unlikely to try to claim ownership
of journal articles.

Tom W.

Thomas J. Walker
Department of Entomology & Nematology
University of Florida, PO Box 110620, Gainesville, FL 32611-0620
E-mail: FAX: (352)392-0190
Received on Tue Aug 25 1998 - 19:17:43 BST

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