UC Copyright Ownership Policy Working Group


(Revised 4/17/13)

It has come to the attention of SLASIAC (the Systemwide Library and Scholarly Advisory Committee) and its Standing Subcommittee on Copyright Policy that UC’s 1992 Copyright Ownership Policy (also available at: http://copyright.universityofcalifornia.edu/resources/copyright-ownership.html) is causing confusion on the campuses.  The Working Group is charged with helping to clarify the issues and ensuring that the UC’s policy is aligned with the current needs of the campuses (and UC as a whole). One of the main issues concerns the copyright status of software created by faculty, which depends on whether the software was developed as part of a grant or through independent effort. Another question has arisen about the term “designated academic appointee,” which is defined in the Policy, but causes confusion.

The Copyright Subcommittee asks the Working Group to develop principles involved in University ownership and/or maintenance of software developed by faculty, and to make concrete suggestions for changes in the policy.

The Working Group may wish to review copyright ownership policies from other institutions, talk to technology transfer personnel on campuses, and solicit opinions from faculty (senate and non-senate) as part of its first stage of information-gathering.  The UC Patent Policy should also be considered. The Working Group will complete its analysis in time for reporting to the fall, 2013, SLASIAC meeting.

Estimated timeline:

  • April: Establish schedule with group
  • May – July: Fact-gathering. Research campus issues, faculty opinions, copyright policies of other institutions (especially from the last 10 years)
  • July – Sept: Analyze findings and develop recommendations.
  • September/October: Bring results to fall SLASIAC meeting.


  • Jan Carmikle, Senior Intellectual Property Officer, Technology Transfer Services, UC Davis
  • Sherylle Mills Englander, Director, Office of Technology & Industry Alliances, UCSB (chair)
  • Kat Fibiger, Copyright Licensing Officer, UCLA
  • Brian Kolner, Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, UC Davis
  • Eugene Volokh, Law Professor, UCLA
  • Jim Whitehead, Computer Science Professor, UCSC


  • Martha Winnacker, Executive Director, Systemwide Academic Senate, UCOP


  • Joanne Miller, Systemwide Library Planning, UCOP
  • Katie Fortney, Copyright Management Officer, California Digital Library (UCOP)


Meeting Notes: