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Copyright Basics

Copyright Overview
Exceptions
Fair Use
© Infringement Penalties
US Legal System

For Instructors

Face-to-Face Instruction
Virtual Instruction

For Researchers

Use of © Works
Author Rights
Thesis/ Dissertation

NIH Open Access Policy

Copyright Resources

Campus Resources
Other Resources
Permissions
Plagiarism
UCO Publications
Reporting Alleged © Infringement
© & Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA)

Author Rights

Overview:

Authors retain the copyright to their works until they assign it to someone else. Many times publishers will want authors to assign the copyright to them in exchange for publishing the work. The decision to assign copyright is serious and has many implications.


As an author, you are granted the following exclusive rights under the United States Copyright Law:

  • To reproduce the work
  • To distribute the work
  • To publicly perform or display your work
  • To prepare derivative works

It is up to you as to whether you will assign all of those rights, some of them or none of them to a publisher. You might want to retain your rights so that you can use your works in the following ways:

  • To post your work on your website
  • To distribute copies to colleagues
  • To reuse portions of the work or all of it in future publications
  • To add to your institutional repository

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Copyright Management Options

Managing your copyright effectively will benefit you now and in the future. There are several options that you might want to consider when making your copyright decisions.


1. Research which publishers have the best agreements for your needs.


The copyright policies of many journals and publishers can be found at the Sherpa/Romeo website as well as the EBSCO website. Investigate which policies match your goals as a scholar.


2. Negotiate the terms of the publishing agreement


There are many publishers who are willing to negotiate the publishing agreement. Determine what terms of the agreement are amenable to you and which are not and then negotiate for the terms you will be able to abide by. Always keep in mind the outcomes that you need as a scholar. In the end only you can make the decision as to whether or not to sign the agreement.


3. Attach the CIC author's addendum to the publisher agreement


The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) is a consortium of 12 research universities who collaborate on various initiatives. One such initiative is to provide options to faculty to assist them in management of their copyrights. The CIC developed an addendum that can be attached to publishing agreements. The addendum allows the author to retain the rights to their work for teaching and research purposes. Although the CIC institutions do not require their faculty to use the addendum, it is strongly recommended that they consider doing so.


4. Retain copyright and license specific rights to publisher


Rather than assigning copyright to the publisher, grant them an exclusive or non-exclusive license. An exclusive license is when the copyright holder grants to the publisher sole permission for using the work for a certain period of time. A non-exclusive license is when the copyright holder allows multiple people to use the work. For examples of non-exclusive licenses, check into Creative Commons licenses.

 

 

 

 

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Reversion of Rights

Overview

Many times authors early in their careers transfer their copyrights to publishers in order to have their works published. There are many reason for doing this, but most often in academe, the decision to transfer copyright in exchange for having the work published, revolves around promotion and tenure. Congress recognized that there is unequal bargaining power in such a situation and added a section to the U.S. Copyright law which allows authors under certain conditions to reclaim their copyright from the publisher.

 

Criteria

  • For transfers of copyright that have been made by authors on or after January 1, 1978.
  1. Termination must occur either 35 years from publication or 40 years from the date of assignment of copyright to publisher.
  2. Termination must occur within a 5 year period or the reversion right is forfeited.
  3. Termination notice must be served on copyright holder no later than 2 years before time expires and up to 10 years before beginning of 5 year period. Example: If the work is published in 1978, then the termination window is 2013-2018. The notice must be submitted no later than 2016 and no earlier than 2003.

 

  • For transfers of copyright that have been made by authors prior to January 1, 1978.
  1. Termination must occur between 56-61 years after copyright is secured.
  2. Termination must occur within a 5 year period or the reversion right is forfeited.
  3. Termination notice must be served on copyright holder no later than 2 years before time expires and up to 10 years before beginning of 5 year period. Example: If the copyright is served in 1944, then the termination window is 2009-2014. The notice must be submitted no later than 2012 and no earlier than 1999.

 

 

Process

  1. Review contract
  2. Determine termination timeline
  3. Notify publisher/ copyright holder
  4. Record termination with the United States Copyright Office - $95.00 for one title and $25.00 for each additional title

 

 

 

 

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The mission of the University Copyright Office is to educate the Purdue University community on copyright.
The information contained on the UCO site should not be considered legal advice.
Individuals should consult their own attorneys.

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