Copyright: Who Owns What?

Type of Work UC or Author?

Commissioned work
Produced for University purposes by individuals not employed at the University or by University employees outside their regular University employment.

Contracted facilities work
Produced by non-University personnel or University personnel acting outside the course and scope of their employment, using designated University facilities pursuant to a written agreement.


Institutional work (staff)
Works made by University employees in the course and scope of their employment.
Personal work
Prepared outside the course and scope of University employment (except for permissible non-University consulting activities) without the use of University Resources.
Scholarly/aesthetic works created by faculty
Scholarly/aesthetic work is a work originated by a designated academic appointee resulting from independent academic effort. Examples: articles, books, certain course materials, software, works of art, literary works, music.

Sponsored work
Work first produced by or through the University in the performance of a written agreement between the University and a sponsor.

Examples of sponsored works include technical reports, software, and other works created in the performance of an agreement.


Student work
Produced by a registered student without the use of University funds (other than Student Financial Aid), that is produced outside any University employment.

Includes all coursework, term papers, theses and other work, as long as the student is not employed as a participant in a sponsored project where research results may be obligated to a third party.

Work acquired by assignment or will
The University may acquire copyrights by assignment or will pursuant to the terms of a written agreement or testament.


*Source for text: “UC Policy on Copyright Ownership” at