Intellectual Property Rights Statement
Berea College is committed to providing an environment that supports the learning, teaching, scholarship, and creative activity of its faculty, students, and staff. Within that context, this Intellectual Property Rights Statement, the accompanying Copyright Policy and Patent Policy (collectively, the “Policies”) are intended to:
- Encourage excellence and innovation in teaching, scholarship, and creative activities;
- Identify and protect the intellectual property rights of faculty, staff, students, the College, and others whose work is used by members of the College community;
- Encourage the notion that creative, pedagogical, and scholarly works produced at Berea College should advance the state of knowledge and contribute to the public good;
- Acknowledge and preserve the traditional property rights of scholars with respect to products of their intellectual endeavors; and
- Help members of our College community conform to copyright law by identifying resources that serve to inform decisions about the fair use of work created and owned by others.
The Copyright Policy and Patent Policy address intellectual property interests protected by copyright and patent laws. Trade secrets, service marks and trademarks are the subject of other state and federal laws.
Berea College expects all faculty, staff and students to respect and comply with copyright and patent laws in their use of others’ copyrighted materials and patented inventions. The College expects that all members of the campus community also will respect and comply with the legal rights of owners of trademarks, service marks and trade secrets.
The College affirms its commitment to the academic tradition that, except as otherwise provided by these Policies, student, faculty, and staff authors/creators remain the owners of their scholarly, pedagogical, and creative works and retain the associated intellectual property rights.
In general, U.S. copyright law affords protection to original works of authorship, certain derivative works and compilations (collectively, “Works of Authorship”) fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Original works of authorship include, inter alia, the following categories:
- literary works;
- musical works, including any accompanying words;
- dramatic works, including any accompanying music;
- pantomimes and choreographic works;
- pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works;
- motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
- sound recordings;
- architectural works;
- teaching materials; and
- computer programs and software.
It is not the intent of these Policies to change the relationship between author/creator and the College that has existed through the years in relation to copyright ownership of scholarly, pedagogical, or creative works. However, authors/creators are encouraged to consider how to best disseminate their work to serve the greatest public good, including avenues such as traditional publication, release into the public domain, and open source licensing.
A patent is a specific type of intellectual property right that is granted by the US government to an inventor of any new and non-obvious solution to a technological problem. Under US patent law, inventions are owned by the inventor rather than by the employer unless the inventor agrees to assign rights in an invention to the employer or the invention constitutes a “work for hire".
Berea College is committed to academic integrity and compliance with copyright law, including “fair use” exceptions to the exclusive rights of copyright owners. The College provides resources to educate faculty, staff and students and help them make appropriate decisions about the use of copyrighted materials and requires that faculty, staff, and students educate themselves regarding the limits of “fair use” identified in Section 107 of the Copyright Act before relying on the fair use exception.
The College will disable access on its network or servers to any material that is determined to infringe upon a copyright, patent, trademark, service mark or trade secret. In addition, any member of the College community who disregards or infringes upon another’s copyright, patent, trademark, service mark or trade secret may be subject to disciplinary action.
For more information and resources concerning intellectual property rights issues, please contact the Office of Academic Affairs.
Berea College Copyright Policy
This policy applies to the ownership of copyrights in works of authorship created by Berea College students, staff, and faculty in the context of their relationship with the College.
In general, U.S. copyright law affords protection to original works of authorship, certain derivative works and compilations (collectively, “Works”) fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.
Berea College waives any copyright interest it may legally have to Works created by faculty. Examples include, without limitation, class notes and syllabi, pedagogical materials, books and articles, works of fiction and nonfiction, poems and dramatic works, musical and choreographic works, pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works, computer programs and educational software.
Berea College also waives any copyright interest it may legally have to Works created by students outside of their assigned campus labor. Examples include, without limitation, materials produced for a class assignment, an internship, student-led community service project or honors theses.
This policy, shared by many other colleges and universities, recognizes a long-standing tradition of encouraging scholarship and innovation in academic endeavors. Although technological advances have changed the media in which ideas may be fixed, Berea’s fundamental policy with regard to such Works remains one in which copyright ownership shall be held by the faculty or students who create the Work in academic and research activities subject to the provisions of Section II.
Institutional Works (or Works Made For Hire) - The College shall own the copyright interest in institutional Works, such as those produced in support of the College’s non-academic operations, external programs and student labor program. This includes Works created by non-faculty employees (either staff or student employees) within the scope of their employment. However, this does not include Works created by non-faculty employees under the supervision of a faculty member in academic projects. In such cases, the faculty member would usually retain copyright ownership, unless the College can claim ownership rights under an exception provided by this Policy. The College shall also own the copyright interest in Works created by faculty members made pursuant to an assigned administrative task or specific undertaking by agreement with the Office of Academic Affairs.
College-Sponsored Works - Berea shall own the copyright interest when it provides extraordinary financial support or institutional resources for a project. The following conditions provide a useful guide:
- Ordinary Support for Faculty – Support that is available generally to faculty will not generate College claims of copyright ownership. An academic Work will not be treated as “made for hire” merely because it is created with College resources, facilities, or materials of the sort traditionally and commonly made available to faculty members. Examples of ordinary support include office or laboratory space, secretarial services, and access to generally available computer facilities and support. Ordinary support also includes sabbatical leaves, professional development funds, and other regular, recurring institutional grants.
- Ordinary Support for Students – Support that is available generally to students will not generate College claims of copyright ownership. Examples of ordinary support include student laboratory space and access to generally available computer facilities and support.
- Extraordinary Support - Berea will share ownership of the copyright with author(s) when the College funds specific projects with extraordinary support involving substantial grants of money or provision of resources other than those listed above. Prior to the project commencing, there should be an agreement signed by the participating parties describing the project, the support being provided by the College and how the copyright is to be shared.
External Grants and Third-Party Agreements - Works created with external grant support in agreement with or under the sponsorship of a third party will be governed by the agreement with the third party. The Provost and the Dean of Faculty, along with the Vice President for Finance, must approve any agreement with a third party that involves use of College resources.
Berea College Patent Policy
This policy applies to the ownership of patents in works invented or created by Berea students, staff, and faculty in the context of their relationship with the College.
Inventions conceived or first reduced to practice using College facilities or developed under a sponsored research agreement shall be promptly disclosed by the inventor, in writing, to the Provost and the Dean of Faculty.
Ownership of all patentable inventions conceived or first reduced to practice by faculty, staff or students shall belong to the inventor.
Extraordinary Financial Support or Use of Institutional Resources. Inventions created with the use of extraordinary (i) financial support or (ii) institutional resources of the College shall belong to the inventor and the College according to terms negotiated and reduced to written agreement by the parties. In such cases, the College shall be responsible to advance the costs of applying for and securing the patent or cede its interest to the inventor.
External Grants and Third-Party Agreements - Inventions created with external grant support in agreement with or under the sponsorship of a third party will be governed by agreement with the third party. The Provost and the Dean of Faculty, along with the Vice President for Finance, must approve any agreement with a third party or under an external grant that requires use of Berea College resources.
Royalty distribution for patents covered under this Policy shall be as follows: All administrative and legal expenses incurred in connection with the patent will be deducted from the gross royalty income. After these deductions, the royalty income is divided not less than 50% to the inventor and not more than 50% to the College, as negotiated per written agreement of the parties.
As approved by the Administrative Committee, October 25, 2016
As approved by the General Faculty Assembly, December 6, 2016
As approved by the Board of Trustees, January 21, 2017
Revised titles July 2019