3. Copyright Policy

a.    Basic Objectives

       Copyrights are created by the Constitution and the Laws of the United States “to promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to authors ... the exclusive right to their writings.” The basic objectives of Princeton University’s policy as to copyrights include the following:

  1. To maintain the University’s policy of encouraging research and scholarship without regard to potential gain from royalties or other such income.
  2. To maintain the basic right of any individual within the University community to write and publish.
  3. To encourage the dissemination of copyrightable materials developed in the course of University activities.
  4. To recognize each individual’s right to all income resulting from her or his writings except as stated herein.
  5. To disavow any claim of equity on the part of the University in the writings of any individual simply because of the individual’s membership in the University community.
  6. To advance and encourage research and scholarly endeavor within the University with any funds accruing to the University from copyrights.
  7. To recognize the equity of outside sponsors in the endeavors of the University by granting appropriate limited rights to sponsors, consistent with the University’s basic objectives outlined above.

b.    University Research Board, the Dean for Research, and the Office of Technology Licensing

       The University Research Board is responsible for general oversight and administration of the University’s Copyright Policy as regards the University, its faculty, employees, students and outside sponsors.

       The Dean for Research is responsible for the implementation of the Copyright Policy under general oversight of the University Research Board. The Office of Technology Licensing is responsible for the providing management of copyrights and licensing services for the University community.

c.    Relationship Between the University and its Faculty, Employees, and Students

       All faculty members, employees, and students, in consideration of their membership in the academic community and upon the approval of this policy by the Trustees and the Faculty of Princeton University, agree to handle material subject to copyright as follows:

  1. The members of the Faculty of Princeton University strive to make their publications openly accessible to the public. To that end, each Faculty member hereby grants to The Trustees of Princeton University a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to exercise any and all copyrights in his or her scholarly articles published in any medium, whether now known or later invented, provided the articles are not sold by the University for a profit, and to authorize others to do the same. This grant applies to all scholarly articles that any person authors or co-authors while appointed as a member of the Faculty, except for any such articles authored or co-authored before the adoption of this policy or subject to a conflicting agreement formed before the adoption of this policy. Upon the express direction of a Faculty member, the Provost or the Provost’s designate will waive or suspend application of this license for a particular article authored or co-authored by that Faculty member.
           The University hereby authorizes each member of the Faculty to exercise any and all copyrights on his or her scholarly articles that are subject to the terms and conditions of the grant set forth above. This authorization is irrevocable, non-assignable, and may be amended by written agreement in the interest of further protecting and promoting the spirit of open access.
  2. The University shall, except as provided by specific contract between the author and the University, have the right to obtain and own copyright and to retain any income from copyrightable material which is developed by individuals whose specifically assigned duties include the preparation of that material.
  3. The University supports the normal teaching and research efforts of its faculty in a variety of ways. The University considers these allocations appropriate to further the individual scholarly activities of the members of the University community and, except as provided above in paragraph 1, makes no claim to the copyrights from products of these activities. However, under some conditions, this support may include substantial resources specifically designated for the development of intellectual property from which a faculty or staff member may derive personal income from the outside. In such cases, the University considers it has some equity and part of the income received should be used to reimburse the University for use of its resources.
  4. When the University and an outside sponsor enter into an agreement for research or other scholarly endeavor to be conducted with funds or facilities provided by said sponsor, faculty members, employees or students who utilize such funds or facilities shall comply with the conditions pertaining to copyrights contained in said agreement and may be required to agree in writing that they will so comply. Where the University is the recipient of sponsored research funding it will generally retain ownership of copyrights, especially of technical data and patentable computer programs but not generally literary, artistic scholarly, or educational works (even if embodied in computer software or programs). Income realized by the University from such copyrights shall be distributed in accordance with the formulas in 2.d above unless the written agreement requires otherwise.
  5. The University shall not, except as provided by specific contract between the author and the University, claim any equity in or right to the copyrights in material other than that covered by paragraphs 1, 2, 3, and 4 above.
  6. If a dispute should arise between an author and the University with respect to the provision of this Section c., questions shall be referred for decision to the University Research Board.
  7. Ownership of the copyright in computer software shall be in accordance with the provisions laid out above. However, because the analysis underlying the University’s decision as to whether it will assert rights to any software may be more complex than the analysis with respect to other works, software is subject to special disclosure requirements. Specifically, if the faculty member or other creator believes the software has commercial potential or wishes to license or otherwise commercialize the software developed, whether or not the creator believes the University would assert rights to it, he or she must disclose the software to the University for a determination of ownership of the respective intellectual property.

d.    Materials Subject to Copyright

       The types of material that may be subject to copyright include the following:

  • Literary Works, such as books, journal articles, texts, glossaries, bibliographies, periodicals, manuscripts, study guides, laboratory materials, syllabi, and tests.
  • Musical works, including any accompanying words.
  • Dramatic works, including any accompanying music.
  • Pantomimes and choreographic works.
  • Motion pictures and other audio-visual works.
  • Sound recordings.
  • Architectural works.
  • Computer software.

e.    Distribution of Income

       Any income realized by the University from its equity in copyrightable material will be used for the purpose of research or scholarly activity, with preferential consideration being given to the field of activity in which the copyrightable material is generated.