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Copyright Infringement Policies and Sanctions

Institutions must annually make available to current and prospective students the institution's policies and sanctions related to copyright infringement, including

  • a statement that explicitly informs students that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the students to civil and criminal liabilities;
  • a summary of the penalties for violation of federal copyright laws * ; and
  • the institution's policies with respect to unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary actions taken against students who engage in illegal downloading or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the institution's information technology system.

Summary of the Intellectual Property Rights Policy


The following summary of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy is designed to assist students in understanding the key points of the policy. Note: the summary is not the full IPR Policy. A copy of the full IPR Policy is available for your use at the following offices: Student Development Office, Library, Media Services Office, Communication Arts Department, Music Department, Academics Office, College of Arts & Professions, College of Bible & Church Ministries, School of Graduate Studies and Office of the Administrative Dean of the College at SAGU AIC.

Purpose and Key Points

This policy is based on SAGU’s recognition and encouragement of the development of a wide variety of creative works to which the originator and/or the University has exclusive or shared rights and privileges as provided under copyright law. SAGU further recognizes that this is an increasingly complex issue in higher education. Below is a summary of the key items included in the IPR policy:

  • Provides formal definitions, descriptions and examples of and/or for intellectual Property, copyright notice, copyrightable materials, fair use, work made for hire.
  • Describes the establishment, membership and function of The University Committee on Intellectual Property (UCIP) to assist the University in understanding and recommending IPR policy and resolution of disputes involving Intellectual Property Rights.
  • Assigns applicability of the IPR Policy to employees and students of the university and conditions of applicability. The basic points are as follows:
    • The University has non-exclusive royalty-free rights to use, mark or modify original works and/creations if the work in question was created as a part of employment at the University or in fulfillment of academic requirements or was made possible through University resources as long as the use is in keeping with the purpose of the University.
    • Employees and students retain intellectual property rights to original works and enjoy the privilege of making the work available outside of the confines of the University. This and the point above describe joint ownership of intellectual property.
    • Should the University seek to distribute original works as a “pay for distribution” item the work must be properly copyrighted to the owner and a formal agreement must be established between the owner and the University dictating the terms of usage and compensation for usage.
  • Defines “nominal or customary use” in creation of an original work and explains that in such cases the originator retains all rights to the intellectual property (i.e., the rights are not jointly owned by the University and the originator).
  • Defines “substantial use” and “work-made-for-hire” in the creation of original works and identifies that most of the original works which are created are done so as a part of employment responsibilities and making use of University resources beyond those typically assigned to the responsibilities of employment and thus the University has rights to the created work. The following would fall in to this category:
    • The copyright of online courses including all electronic materials residing within the course.
    • The right to control the distribution of all intellectual property which SAGU holds the copyright and named ownership.
  • Provides guidance on notification of leadership when projects or ventures falling into the category of substantial use become apparent so that clarification and understanding of ownership can be determined as early as possible (see 4.5.2 ff).
  • Explains that connection to the University as an employee or student does not provide ownership to the University of Intellectual Property beyond the scope of employment such as pursuing a hobby.
  • Describes the process and criteria to “take exception” to the polices on nominal use, substantial use and/or work-for-hire.
  • Explains standard policies on use by non-owners, reporting or disclosures, ownership of intellectual property, dispute resolution and rights of appeal.
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