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The University of North Carolina at Charlotte's Copyright Policy was developed in 2001 and initially approved on June 1st of that year. The General Administration of the University of North Carolina system had enacted "The University of North Carolina Copyright Use and Ownership Policy" the previous November, pursuant to a policy recommendation written over a period of several years by a specially convened Intellectual Property Task Force (IPTF). The IPTF was created by then-President Molly Broad to address the perceived problem of inconsistent copyright use and ownership policies among the constituent institutions of the University of North Carolina system. The ITPF was composed of representatives from each institution, met regularly for several years, and ultimately produced a report, and recommendations, including the copyright use and ownership policy.
Each of the constituent institutions was then charged with developing an implementation policy consistent with the overarching system policy. Since the nature of the subject necessitates further definition of some of the more controversial terms, such as what constitutes "extraordinary use of institutional resources", the various policies still differ somewhat in their interpretation and implementation.
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte's Copyright Policy is known as University Policy 315, Copyright Policy. All employees and students are subject to it as a condition of enrollment or a condition of employment. Therefore, you need to know what it says because it will answer the very important and personal question of who owns your work created at UNCC?
Before proceeding with this tutorial or explanation of what our copyright policy says, there is a very significant grant of rights or license, known in the UNC system policy as a "shop right", that all faculty and EPA employees should know about. This "shop right" or grant of rights exists in favor of the University whenever copyright ownership of a work belongs to the faculty, EPA, or students. That is, even when the faculty or EPA is deemed to be the copyright owner of a work, created while here at UNCC, (e.g., a scholarly journal article), the University shall have a perpetual, non-exclusive, non-transferable, royalty-free license to use the work for the University's own non-commercial educational or research use. Conversely, the same license or grant of rights may be given to the faculty or EPA member under certain circumstances when the University is the copyright holder- it can run either way as will be explained further.
This license will travel with the copyright to the work. That means that even if a faculty member transfers his or her copyright to another entity, such as a publisher, the University will still retain this license to use. Faculty or EPA members who sign publication agreements purporting to transfer all rights to another should reveal the presence of this license to the transferee. Otherwise, the faculty member's assertion or warranty in the agreement that he or she is the sole holder of any rights to the work is misleading, at best, if not actually false.
Suggested language, explaining the nature, scope, and rationale for this license, is provided during this tutorial, that affected University employees may find useful in revealing the presence of this pre-existing license to their publisher or other copyright transferee.