Return to accessibility navigation at the top of the page.

Pima County Community College District Regulation

Regulation Title:  Copyright Ownership
Regulation Number:  RG-2702/A
Effective Date: 1/14/91
Approval Date:  1/14/91
Review Date(s):  6/16/97, 3/20/09
Revision Date(s): 6/16/97, 3/20/09
Schedule for Review & Update:    Annually
Unit Responsible for Review & Update:    Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration
Sponsoring Unit/Department:  Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration
Policy Title(s) & No(s).: Copyright, BP-2701
Legal Reference:    Copyright Revision Act of 1976, P.O. 94-553, 17 U.S.C.
Cross Reference:    


The Pima County Community College District's Copyright Ownership Policy (the 'Policy') is implemented and promoted by the following regulation


Copyright is the intangible property right granted by federal statute in “an original Work fixed in a tangible form.”  17 U.S.C. Sec. 101 et seq., (hereafter referred to as the Copyright Act). A copyright provides the owner with the following exclusive rights in a Work: to reproduce the Work, to prepare derivative Works, to distribute the Work by sale or otherwise, to perform the Work publicly, and to publicly display the Work.

An employee of the College includes faculty, staff, student employees and any other employee.

Joint Work
The Copyright Act provides that a Work will be jointly owned by each contributor of a Work if, at the time the Work was created, all of the contributors expected their contributions to be merged into a unified whole.

Any copyrightable original expression, including literary Work (original written lectures, course outlines, tests, online and distance learning materials, and other original course materials); musical Work including any accompanying words; dramatic Work, including any accompanying music; pantomimes and choreographic Work; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural Work; motion pictures and other audiovisual Work; sound recordings; and computer software. 


1.    Works Created by Employee in the Course and Scope of Employment.

Under the Copyright Act, a Work created by an employee in the course and scope of his or her employment belongs to the employer unless the employer and employee agree to a different ownership arrangement. This concept is called the “Works for Hire” rule. Subject to the limitations set forth in this Regulation, the College disclaims ownership and releases to an employee the ownership of any Work created by the employee within the course and scope of his or her employment.  Notwithstanding the above, the College retains the right to an irrevocable, royalty-free, non-exclusive license to reproduce and use in perpetuity any Work created by an employee within the course and scope of his or her employment.  Any such Work may be used by the College for its educational and other purposes and by other employees working within the scope of their employment for the College including but not limited to the following: (a) making copies, (b) creating derivative Works, including translations, modifications, adaptations, reformatting, fictionalizations, dramatizations, versions of a Work in a different medium, abridgements, condensations, any new Work that is based upon or that incorporates large parts of a preexisting Work, (c) distributing the Work in physical or electronic copies within the College and outside of the College to fulfill the College's non-profit, educational mission, except that the College will not sell or sublicense the Work for profit; (d) displaying and/or performing the Work publicly; and, (e) performing sound recordings by means of a digital audio transmission. Employees who jointly own a Work covered by this paragraph shall be responsible for making arrangements among themselves as to their respective ownership in such Works, and the College shall have no responsibility to make such arrangements.

2.    Works Contracted from Non-Employees or Employees Outside the Scope and Course of Their Employment with the College.

Under the Copyright Act, Works of non-employees, such as consultants and independent contractors, belong to the creator unless there is a written agreement to the contrary. Also, from time to time the College may contract for a College employee to create a Work that would be outside the scope and course of the employee’s employment with the College. It is the College’s policy that the College shall retain ownership of the Works described in this paragraph, and prior to any such Work being created, the College shall enter into a written agreement with the creator of the Work assigning any such Work to the College.

3.    Works Produced Pursuant to Externally Funded Projects.

Copyright ownership of all Works developed by a College employee in the course and scope of his or her employment with the College pursuant to an external funded research, contract or grant between the College and the sponsoring agency, foundation, or corporation, shall be determined in accordance with the terms of the agreement, contract or grant. In the absence of such terms, copyright ownership shall be determined according to paragraph 1 or 2 above, whichever is applicable. In any event, faculty may publish the results of their Work under such sponsored projects, without permission from the College, subject to the agreement of the sponsor.

4.    Works Prepared by Students.

The College will not claim ownership of any papers or other Works that are prepared solely by students and that do not fall within any of the categories of Works described above. If the Work falls within one of the above categories or if it is a joint Work and one or more of the authors' contributions falls within one of the above categories, the College will treat the Work as described above in the appropriate category.


The following notice should be placed on College-owned materials in order to protect the copyright:

Copyright © [year] Pima County Community College District. All Rights Reserved.

No other institutional or departmental name is to be used in the copyright notice, although the name and address of the department to which readers can direct inquiries may be listed below the copyright notice.


Employees who have an ownership interest in a Work may have a conflict of interest with the College. Employees with an ownership interest in a Work should be familiar with and abide by the College’s Conflict of Interest policies and SPG-4201/CA.


Members of the College community are cautioned to observe the rights of other copyright owners.


Policy Administration
The Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration shall administer all copyrights owned by the College under the Policy and this Regulation. This office shall be charged with securing copyright protection for Works in which the College owns the copyright and for administering the policy and related regulations and procedures.

Copyright Committee
The College Copyright Standing Committee shall serve as an advisory body to the Chancellor with respect to the administration of copyright policies, procedures and SPGs.

Determination of Ownership in Unclear Cases
Questions of ownership or other matters pertaining to materials covered by the Policy and this Regulation shall be resolved by the Chancellor’s Office.

Condition of Employment

The Policy, these regulations, and any other regulations and procedures issued in accordance with the Policy, shall constitute a condition of employment for all College employees.