USM Bylaws, Policies and Procedures of the Board of Regents
IV-3.10 - POLICY ON COPYRIGHTS
(Approved by the Board of Regents, May 31, 1990)
(This policy remains in effect only for copyrights before
July 1, 2002. For all works copyrighted on or after July 1,
2002, this policy has been replaced by the Policy on
Intellectual Property IV-3.20, approved by the Board of
Regents , February 8, 2002.)
Prior practice of the University of Maryland has been
to ascribe ownership of copyright on the basis of the extent
of the use of facilities and resources. This revision bases
ownership on the characteristics of the work effort, e.g.
the work may be an independent creative act in the course
of employment or it could be a commissioned work produced
Contextual factors such as use of resources etc. will remain
important in determining contract terms and in interpreting the
It is the policy of the University of Maryland System
that copyrights arising from aesthetic, scholarly, or other
work developed through independent efforts and not part of a
directed institutional or University System assignment shall
reside with the originator. Independent effort is defined
as the product of inquiry, investigation, or research to
advance truth, knowledge, or the arts where the specific
choice, content, course, and direction of the effort is
determined by the individual without assignment or
supervision by the institution or System.
All rights in copyright for all other works arising from the
use of institutional or System resources whether directed
or commissioned or contractually determined shall belong to
In conformity with this policy, the Chancellor and chief
executive officers of the System institutions are authorized
to enter into agreements with respect to ownership, licensure,
disposition of royalty income, resolution of disputes, and
other rights related to copyrights under their respective
jurisdictions. They are authorized to register copyrights,
accept copyrights from third parties, and to sell or grant
licenses or assignments in the name of the Regents for any
rights to copyrights under their jurisdiction.
II. OWNERSHIP BY CATEGORY OF WORK
In keeping with traditional academic practice and policy,
ownership of copyrights to scholarly or aesthetic works
that are prepared through independent effort and not
part of a directed assignment, shall reside with the
originator except as otherwise provided in this Policy.
The general obligation of faculty to produce scholarly
works does not constitute such a directed assignment.
The copyright to any work that is prepared outside the
scope of employment and without the use of institutional
or System resources by an employee shall be the property
of the employee.
The Board of Regents asserts its right to copyrightable
works created under sponsorship or contract. Copyright
ownership of sponsored works and contracted works shall
be governed by such agreements or contracts. Any
sponsored work agreement which provides for ownership
by other than the Board of Regents shall also provide
the Board of Regents with a free-of-cost, non-exclusive,
world-wide license to use and reproduce the copyrighted
work for research and education purposes, except where
prohibited by law or government regulation.
When the institution or System commissions the production
of a work, title normally should be with the Board of
Regents. In all cases, copyright ownership shall be
specified in the written contract. Any commissioned
work agreement which provides for ownership by other
than the Board of Regents, shall also provide the Board
of Regents with a free-of-cost, non-exclusive, world-wide
license to use and reproduce the copyrighted work for
research and education purposes, except where prohibited
by law or government regulation.
E. Acquired by Assignment or Will
The Board of Regents may acquire copyrights by assignment or
will pursuant to the terms of the written agreement or
III. REVENUE SHARING FOR NON-CONTRACTED WORK
The Board of Regents may assign or license its copyrights to
others. The University System through its constituent
institutions shall share with the originator(s) revenue
which it receives through copyrights. Specific provisions
of grants or contracts may govern rights and revenue
distribution. Consequently, revenues received from
such copyrights may be exclusive of payments of
royalty shares to donors or contractors. Moreover,
System institutions may contract with outside persons
or organizations for the obtaining, managing and defending
of copyrights, and any royalty share or expenses
contractually committed to such persons or organizations
may be deducted before revenues accrue or before the
originator's share is distributed. The revenues
(net, if applicable per the preceding paragraph)
which are received from a copyright will be applied first
to reimburse the System or constituent institution for any
specific, incremental expenses incurred by it in generating
the copyright and in marketing, licensing and defending the
After provision for such expenses, such revenues shall be
shared as follows:
(1) the first $5,000 will be paid to the originator(s):
(2) thereafter the originator(s) will receive seventy-five
percent of such revenues. Applicable laws, regulations
or provisions of grants or contracts may, however,
require that a lesser share be paid to the originator.
To the extent consistent with State and University System
budget policies any net revenue received on account of a
copyright, after sharing with the originator(s), will be
dedicated to research and to the promotion of original
works. If practicable, eighty-five percent of the
System's or constituent institution's share of new
revenue from each copyright will be designated for
research in the originator's department or analogous
unit up to $100,000 in a fiscal year for a particular
department or analogous unit.
If use of such funds for research within the originator's
department or analogous unit is not practicable, the funds
should usually be designated for research in a related
department or unit. The remaining part of the net
revenues shall be devoted to research and incentive
for creative works as directed by the President or
Director, or designee (or, for the System Office,
the Chancellor or designee).
For purposes of interpretation of this policy, the following
definitions shall apply:
A. Aesthetic Work
A work that is a result of original artistic expression.
B. Commissioned Work
A work produced for the institution or the System by
others pursuant to a contract at the institution's
C. Contracted Work
Work produced by and for others at the others' expense,
using institutional or System facilities pursuant to a
The intangible property right granted by statute
providing the owner the following exclusive rights
over a work: to reproduce, to prepare derivative
works, to distribute, to perform publicly, and to
E. Direct University Assignment
Any written or oral instruction or task assigned to an
A contract in which a copyright owner grants permission
to exercise one or more of the rights under copyright.
Any person who produces a work by his or her own
intellectual effort, including student employees.
A payment made to an owner of a copyright for the
privilege of practicing a right under the copyright.
I. Scholarly Work
Work such as, but not limited to, books, articles,
other such publications, lectures, and computer
software resulting from independent effort.
A work comprising statements or instructions to be
used directly or indirectly in a computer to bring
about a certain result and any associated
documentation containing operational instructions.
(In cases where software is found to be patentable
the Patent Policy will govern.)
K. Sponsored Work
A work produced by or through an institution or the
System pursuant to a contract, grant, or other agreement.
L. University System Resources
All buildings, equipment, services, funds (regardless
of source), and other facilities under the control of the
Board of Regents.
Any copyrightable expression including, but not limited to
writings, lectures, musical or dramatic compositions,
sound recordings, films, videotapes, computer software,
architectural designs, and works of art.
Replacement for: BOR VII-3.00 and BOT XIII