IP ‘grab’ at Youngstown State

COVID-19 has upended so many academic norms. Now Youngstown State University may be poised to turn another tradition on its head: faculty ownership of textbooks, articles and other nonpatentable works.

According to documents from the university’s ongoing contract negotiations with its faculty union, Youngstown State wants to fundamentally change how it defines scholarship, copyright, intellectual property, distance education and the legal term “works for hire.” It also wants to introduce the concept of commercialization into the faculty contract.

The current faculty contract, for example, defines works for hire as “university-commissioned projects whereby a faculty member and the university knowingly and voluntarily [enter] into a written agreement to create a specific intellectual property; such efforts are not in fulfillment of the faculty member’s normal duties and responsibilities.”

Under this definition, works for hire, or nonpatentable works created within the scope of employment — think books, textbooks, articles and even lectures and syllabi — are

Original URL: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/08/17/ip-grab-youngstown-state

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