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Who owns copyright?

In general, the author or creator is the first owner of copyright in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work. The main exception is where work is made in the course of employment, in which case the employer owns the copyright. The employer owns copyright unless specialist contractual arrangements have been made. For instance, the University’s academic contract states that scholarly works and teaching aids belong to the individual member of academic staff whereas course materials’ belong to the University.

Scholarly works may be defined as publications, books, book chapters, journal articles etc. Teaching aids are those materials used by academic staff to support course delivery, such as their own personal notes, but which are not published or delivered to the students. Course materials, on the other hand, are directly used for teaching and education and may include presentations, lecture notes, handouts, and materials used for examination and assessment.

The copyright of students’ coursework resides with the student as the creator. Should the University wish to use students’ work for, say, promotional material or examples of good practice, it can only do so with the written permission of students and with due acknowledgement in any published materials.

Copyright in films, sound recordings, broadcasts and published editions belong to the film or record producer, broadcaster or publisher.

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