Works Created at Gettysburg College

The U.S. Copyright Office states that "though the general rule is that the person who creates a work is the author of that work, there is an exception to that principle: the copyright law defines a category of works called “works made for hire.” Most such works arise in the employment context, where a work is considered a work made for hire if created during the course of and within the scope of an employee's job. In this situation, the employer, and not the employee, is considered the author and owner of the copyright. The employer may be a firm, an organization, or an individual." (See Works Made for Hire under the 1976 Copyright Act.) There are also a number of specific categories of works specially ordered or commissioned that may be considered works made for hire, as long as a suitable written agreement is in place. See the definition of "work made for hire" in Section 101 of the U.S. Copyright Law, 17 U.S.C.§ 101.

That said, many academic institutions grant an exception to work made for hire rules, allowing faculty members (and perhaps others) to retain their individual copyrights in most traditional circumstances.

Student Organizations

Copyright is held by the registered student organization.


Content in this page was used or adapted with permission from one or more institutions. Please see acknowledgements.