ECU Regulations

ECU enacted its current Copyright Regulation in 2013. This regulation updates and expands the scope of the prior copyright policy from the Faculty Manual. For quick reference, a summary of the regulation follows; you are advised to read the entire regulation rather than rely on the unofficial summary.

  • All students, faculty, and staff must comply with US Copyright Law.
  • The position of Copyright Officer exists to advise the ECU community on complying with Copyright Law. The Office of University Counsel (attorneys) is also available to address more complex copyright compliance questions.
  • A Copyright Committee exists for a variety of purposes — refer to the next column and to the Regulation for details.
  • Works produced at ECU or by ECU employees and students should be evaluated to determine who owns the copyright: the individuals creating them, ECU, and/or outside entities. The Regulation has detailed explanations; the table below attempts to simplify these for the most frequently occurring cases.
  • Works to which ECU owns the copyright or works that are of uncertain status should be reviewed by one’s supervisors and ECU’s Copyright Officer before the work is released for distribution or publication. The Copyright Officer will determine ownership and provide further guidance. If ownership is still in question, the Copyright Committee can be consulted.
  • If the copyright of the work is owned personally (i.e. not by ECU), the creators are free to use and release the work as desired, provided ECU is not used to market the work. The creators, if they so choose, may request that ECU’s Office of Licensing and Commercialization advise and assist them in their attempt to commercialize their work.
  • If ECU owns the copyright, ECU’s Office of Licensing and Commercialization will be informed. If the OLC decides to commercialize the work, a profit sharing scheme determines compensation to the creators, their departments, and the University. The OLC can also decide to assign the University’s copyright to the creators.
  • ECU has the right to retain and use data gathered by ECU employees and students.

ECU Copyright Committee

The ECU Copyright Regulation provides for a Copyright Committee to advise the University on copyright issues, to assist in the promotion of copyright information, and to consider appeals of copyright related decisions whenever such might occur.

Members of the Copyright Committee are appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies from nominations s/he receives.

For more information about the Copyright Committee, visit ECU’s Administrative Committees page.

ECU Copyright Regulation: Who owns your work?

Determining who owns the copyright to work created at ECU can be complex. Generally speaking, all work created by staff members and non-faculty EPA belongs to ECU. The chart below is my attempt to give general examples for faculty and students.

Who Owns?FacultyStudents
Teaching or LearningFaculty own course materials, lecture notes and slides, created handouts, and other such materials.

ECU has a right to retain and use copies when faculty leave.
Students own their classwork, papers, and projects.

Tests and lecture notes and recordings made are for personal use only. Sharing widely is not permitted.
Research, Publications, Presentations, PerformancesFaculty own their research unless extensive ECU resource were used and/or the funding agency claims rights.

Faculty own their publication unless they sign over their rights to the publishers.

Joint publications, if not owned by the publisher, belong to each author.
Research performed as part of a campus job usually belongs to ECU, the supervising faculty member, and/or the granting agency.

Independent research is owned by the student. ECU claims right to use any data.

Publications belong to the student unless signed over or shared as joint authors.
ServicesCommittee work usually belongs to ECU or the agency for which the work was created (e.g. the national association or the journal editors or publisher).ECU committee work belongs to ECU.

Student club material belong to each student involved in creating it.

Other service work needs clarifying.