Policy L1
Policy Name: Copyright Ownership in Creative Works
Responsibility for Maintenance: Office of the President


I. Policy Statement  

Generally, employees, including faculty and staff, of Onondaga Community College shall hold the copyright to their creative works; provided, however, that Onondaga Community College shall retain the copyright to such works where (1) persons are employed, or directed within the scope of their employment, to produce specific work subject to copyright; or (2) the work was created with the substantial use of Onondaga Community College resources. In addition, employee ownership of copyright in such creative works by the employee shall also be subject to any contractual arrangements by Onondaga Community College for work in the course of which such creative work was created.

II. Reason for Policy  

In contrast to historical business practice, the tradition of academic institutions is to give faculty members the right to retain ownership of their copyrightable works. This policy protects that tradition, unless the work was created under one of the qualifying conditions listed in the Policy.

III. Applicability of the Policy  

This policy applies to all employees, including faculty and staff, of Onondaga Community College. 

IV. Contacts  


Office Name

Title or Position

Telephone Number



Office of the President

Assistant to the General Counsel

(315) 498-2214

[email protected]  

V. Procedures  

Determining Rights to Copyrightable Works  

The creator of copyrightable intellectual property shall hold the copyright to their works, and Onondaga Community College shall not assert ownership rights to them.

However, Onondaga Community College shall own all rights, including copyright, to copyrightable intellectual property developed by its employees, including faculty and staff, under any of the following circumstances:

  • The work was developed by administrators, staff, or other non-faculty employees in the course of employment, thereby constituting a work made for hire under US law; or
  • The Copyrightable intellectual property was developed with extraordinary or substantially more use of Onondaga Community College resources than would normally be provided for the creator’s employment duties. This might occur as disproportionate use of staff time, systems, networks, equipment, direct funding, or other Onondaga Community College resources; or
  • A faculty member was assigned, directed, or specifically funded by Onondaga Community College to a project that resulted in the development of the work, and Onondaga Community College and the creator of the work have entered into an understanding, arrangement, or written Agreement regarding the work; or
  • Development of the work was funded as part of an externally sponsored research program under an agreement that allocates rights to Onondaga Community College or to a third party. Ownership of works developed pursuant to a written agreement with any sponsor will be governed by the provisions of that agreement. Sponsored research programs funded by private sponsors generally provide for Onondaga Community College to retain title to all intellectual property that arises in the course of the research program, with the sponsor retaining an option to acquire commercialization rights through a separate license agreement. Government and nonprofit sponsors generally allow rights to intellectual property that arise from the research program to vest with Onondaga Community College, subject to certain retained rights held by the federal government.

Special Agreements  

Because the purpose of this Policy is to encourage creativity, Onondaga Community College reserves the right to allow some flexibility in its application of this policy on a case by case basis. In such cases, ownership of materials developed pursuant to a special written agreement between Onondaga Community College and the creator will be governed by the provisions of such agreement.

Disclosure of Copyrightable Intellectual Property  

For works developed under one of the qualifying conditions listed above, the creator of the work is responsible for timely disclosure of the work to Onondaga Community College. Faculty, however, are encouraged to disclose any copyrightable work that has commercial value to the extent that they may wish assistance in obtaining copyright registration and/or marketing the work in exchange for profit sharing with Onondaga Community College. All disclosures should be made to the Office of the President.


Approved by OCC Board of Trustees April 3, 2006