Copyright Ownership Policy draft public comment from GEU

RE: Proposed PSU Copyright Ownership Policy draft, released 2017-05-09


Today, PSU released a new draft policy on copyright ( that will affect GEU members, so we submitted a public comment (below).  Feel free to do the same here:


GEU’s comment:

As far as we can tell, Graduate Employees, including those who develop course materials and publish scholarly works, are not “academically ranked”, so we fall under the definition of Staff in Article IV.  Is this the case?  If so, V.1.5 reserves the University’s Work for Hire right to copyright ownership for students who are Staff:


“Each student holds the copyright to Copyright Materials that the student authors or creates, unless the creation/authorship of such Copyright Materials was performed by the student under a Sponsored Project, under a Separate Agreement, or in a student’s capacity as Staff.“


and thus requires a GA to assign copyright ownership rights to PSU for any works produced “within the scope of his or her employment”.


As members of PSU’s academic community who participate in the peer-review process and create course materials and other Copyright Materials, we are concerned that we are not afforded the same rights, in this proposed policy, as the faculty.


Further, we’d like to clarify whether e.g. a GRA publishing a journal article, would be covered by the language in V.1.3 (Scholarly Work Exemption) that waives the University’s right to copyright ownership.  If not, why?  If so, we also have an interest in extending “The University will endeavor in all cases to preserve the publishing rights of Faculty members when entering Sponsored Project agreements” to also include GAs.


Similarly, because GAs produce e.g. software tools, we believe that V.2.1 should apply to us equally, and because GAs develop course materials, we believe that V.2.2-4 should apply to us equally.  For similar reasons, we also believe that V.3 and V.5 should apply to GAs, and GAs should be represented on the Copyright Advisory Committees described in VI.1.