Intellectual Property: University-Sponsored Educational Materials

April 1998
Chapter 1

Section: 1:051

Intellectual Property: University-Sponsored Educational Materials

Intellectual Property: University-Sponsored Educational Materials

Ownership of educational materials which were directly commissioned by the University or supported by any substantial University resources shall be vested in the Curators of the University of Missouri.

Educational Materials

The policy on University-sponsored education materials does not affect the traditionally accepted practice that faculty members have personal ownership of books, workbooks, study guides, and similar materials which were not directly commissioned by the University and the preparation of which was not supported by any substantial University resources.

University Sponsorship

Educational materials are University-sponsored if:

  • The author or developer is specifically commissioned in writing by the University to develop the materials and has received extra compensation, released time from regular job responsibilities, or a leave at more than 50 percent of regular salary.
  • The production of the materials is a specific responsibility of the position for which the employee is hired.
  • Substantial University resources have been used in the development of the materials. Limited secretarial support, uses of the library for which special charges are not normally made, and the staff member’s own time, except as covered above, shall not be considered substantial University resources.

Types of Educational Materials

The following list provides an example of some types of University-sponsored educational materials:

  • Video and audio recordings.
  • Study guides, tests, syllabi, bibliographies, and texts.
  • Films, film strips, charts, transparencies, and other visual aids.
  • Programmed instructional materials.
  • Live video and audio broadcasts.
  • Other forms used for communicating information, including the results of creative efforts, to specialized audiences or the general public.


Ownership of University-sponsored educational materials shall be vested in The Curators of the University of Missouri, a public corporation.


Materials determined to be University-sponsored shall display the following symbol and notice:

C Copyright (year) by The Curators of the University of Missouri, a public corporation.

  • If the registration of the copyright is deemed appropriate by the author(s) and department(s), the application for registration with the United States Copyright Office shall be processed through Business Services (882-7254), 311 Jesse Hall.
  • The author may use the contents of the materials in other forms, as long as the University’s copyright is recognized and protected.


Educational Materials and the devices for the display of these materials may also be subject to University Patent Regulations [See: 1:050 Patents].

Interpretation & Administration

Upon the request of the author or developer (or a personal representative of the author or developer), the department chair person or unit administrator is responsible for the initial interpretation and decision regarding the application of this policy. In the event of a dispute over the interpretation of the policy, the following steps are to be taken:

  1. The issue is to be forwarded to the next appropriate administrator(s) for consideration and resolution (e.g., from chairperson to dean, from dean to provost, from provost to chancellor).
  2. If an agreement is not reached between the author or developer and any of the campus administrators, the issue is to be referred to the Committee on the University-sponsored Educational Materials. After considering the issue, the committee is to make a recommendation to the vice president of academic affairs. The vice president will make a recommendation to the president, who will make a final decision in regard to the issue.
NOTE: No interpretation or application of this policy shall be serve as a precedent in later cases, unless it has been approved by the president.

Use of Materials

Approval is required prior to each use of University-sponsored materials by departments, divisions or other units of the University for any use, other than that for which the materials were developed.

Author/Developer’s Approval

As long as the author or developer of University-sponsored materials remains a member of the staff of the University, the author’s approval shall be required for each instance of use of the materials internal to the University other than the use for which the materials were developed.

Licensing or Sale of Materials

Licensing or sale of University-sponsored educational materials for external use shall be preceded by written agreement between the University and author or developer, specifying the conditions of use, and including provisions protecting the right of the author or developer, to revise materials periodically, or to withdraw them from use in the event revision is not made.