Intellectual Property Policy

Rhode Island School of Design
Policy on Ownership and Use of Intellectual Property Rights

adopted March 7, 2003

Mission
The mission of this policy is to promote continued art and design excellence and enterprise by clearly defining the terms and conditions under which such work takes place here at RISD. RISD has always enjoyed a spirit of innovation and artistic freedom among its students and faculty. This policy celebrates that spirit by allowing the basic intellectual property rights to remain with the creators of their work in most cases. This policy’s goal is to define and preserve our current practices, while supporting them in a fair and consistent manner across all disciplines and at every level of the College.

Policy Overview
This policy governs the intellectual property rights of faculty, students, staff, and the College in the work product created at or in connection with the College. This policy does so by delineating those works into categories and providing a general default rule for both ownership and usage rights for each of those categories. This policy also provides a set of conditions under which those default rules may be changed, by agreement of the relevant parties, and a set of procedures for its implementation and interpretation.

Definitions
Intellectual Property Rights: All legally protectable intellectual property rights in Works, including copyright, patent, trademark, service mark, and trade secret rights.

Works: All works of authorship, artistic works, inventions, and other such work products to which Intellectual Property Rights may attach, including:

Scholarly and Artistic Works: Works created by faculty or students in the course of their individual scholarly, academic, and artistic pursuits and in the scope of their respective employment or student status at the College, including instructional materials produced by faculty for use in the course of classroom and studio activities, works of art or scholarship produced by faculty or students in the course of classroom and studio activities, and the like.

Sponsored Works: Works created by faculty or students with the sponsorship or other special support of the College or an external entity, including works created in collaboration studios sponsored by external entities, works created in the course of activities sponsored by the College’s Research Foundation or with similar special College support provided at the request of faculty or students, and the like.

College-Commissioned Works: Works created by faculty or students at the specific request of the College and not in the course of their individual scholarly, academic, and artistic pursuits, including materials created for use in or as special College publications and promotional materials, logos, graphic or other designs, commemorative items, and the like.

Administrative and Other Works: Works created by faculty in the course and scope of their employment other than Scholarly and Artistic, Sponsored, and College-Commissioned Works, including evaluations of student work, correspondence and memos, materials prepared in connection with work on College committees, materials created for use in routine College bulletins, brochures, and catalogs, and the like; and Works created by staff (including student employees) in the course and scope of their employment.

Use Rights: The non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, and irrevocable rights of a specified party to make specified uses of specified Works, with appropriate attribution, in those cases in which the specified party does not hold the Intellectual Property Rights to those Works, including:

Faculty Use Rights: Use Rights of faculty to make, distribute, display, perform, and otherwise use reproductions of, and make derivative works based on, their own Works for noncommercial educational and scholarly purposes, as examples of their own work, and for purposes of exhibition; and to make photographic or similar representational reproductions of their students’ Works, and to distribute, display, perform, and otherwise use those reproductions, for noncommercial educational and scholarly purposes and as examples of their students’ work.

Student Use Rights: Use Rights of students to make, distribute, display, perform, and otherwise use reproductions of, and make derivative works based on, their own Works for noncommercial educational and scholarly purposes, as examples of their own work, and for purposes of exhibition.

College Use Rights: Use Rights of the College to make photographic or similar representational reproductions of faculty and student Works located at or made available to the College, and to distribute, display, perform, and otherwise use those reproductions, for the noncommercial purposes of education and scholarship, exhibition, accreditation, development, alumni relations, promotion, and the like; as examples of faculty and student work; and for inclusion in its permanent collection and/or archives.

General Rules on Ownership and Usage of Intellectual Property
Faculty own the Intellectual Property Rights in their own Scholarly and Artistic Works, subject only to the College Use Rights. Students own the Intellectual Property Rights in their own Scholarly and Artistic Works, subject only to the College and applicable Faculty Use Rights.

Faculty own the Intellectual Property Rights in their own Sponsored Works, subject only to the College Use Rights, in the absence of an express agreement providing otherwise. Students own the Intellectual Property Rights in their own Sponsored Works, subject only to the College and applicable Faculty Use Rights, in the absence of an express agreement providing otherwise.

The College owns the Intellectual Property Rights in all College-Commissioned Works, subject only to the applicable Faculty or Student Use Rights, in the absence of an express agreement providing otherwise.

The College owns the Intellectual Property Rights in all Administrative and Other Works, subject only to the applicable Faculty or Student Use Rights.

Modification of the General Rules by Agreement With Respect to Particular Works
It is anticipated that the relevant parties may on occasion wish to modify the allocation of ownership and usage rights provided by the general rules with respect to specific Works, particularly in cases involving Sponsored and College-Commissioned Works. The relevant parties may do so if the party whose normal rights under the applicable general rule would be restricted agrees to the desired modification. The burden of seeking and obtaining such an agreement will rest with the party seeking the modification; if the relevant parties are unable to reach agreement, the allocation of ownership and usage rights provided by the relevant general rule will remain in effect.

Procedures
This policy will be administered by the Office of Academic Affairs. The Office of Academic Affairs will establish reasonable procedures to be adopted by the College to ensure compliance with this policy, including a procedure for considering in a timely manner any questions, objections, complaints, or other challenges arising from or relating to this policy. The Office of Academic Affairs will also create and maintain a set of “Frequently Asked Questions” providing additional information about specific applications of this policy and about intellectual property law and rights generally.

This policy is complete and effective as of the date set out above, and may be amended from time to time by the Provost in consultation with faculty and the Senior Staff, and with the approval of the President. This policy and all amendments will be published by and made available through the Office of Academic Affairs. Amendments will be effective as of their date of publication.

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