Make the butterflies fly in formation? Management of copyright created by academics in UK universities

Rahmatian, A. (2014) Make the butterflies fly in formation? Management of copyright created by academics in UK universities. Legal Studies, 34(4), pp. 709-735. (doi:10.1111/lest.12040)

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Abstract

Universities have increasingly become aware of the fact that the intellectual property (IP) rights that attach to the work of their academics could become significant and valuable assets to the university as an institution and economic organisation. The study involved analysis of the copyright and intellectual property policies of universities in the UK and the interviewing of specialised representatives of universities in relation to the policies of their respective institutions. The principal question of the study was the way in which university policies deal with the issue of ownership of copyright generated by academic staff, which proved to be a sensitive area. University policies presume that, by default, they own all work that academics create as their employees. There seems to be insufficient appreciation of the differentiated legal interpretation of the employees' copyright rule. At least in relation to core academic work (scholarly books and journal articles in particular), initial copyright ownership by the university, by virtue of the statutory employee-copyright rule, is highly doubtful. As a result of the universities' principal position with regard to ownership, university IP policies have resorted to complicated and artificial assignment and licencing provisions, with questionable enforceability.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Rahmatian, Professor Andreas
Authors: Rahmatian, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Journal Name:Legal Studies
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:0261-3875
ISSN (Online):1748-121X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Society of Legal Scholars
First Published:First published in Legal Studies 34(4):709-735
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher
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