Policies, such as the U.T. System Intellectual Property Policy also change the ownership rules.
Ownership can be complicated. Some categories of works that used to be distinct and about which there were few issues of ownership may now be merged into a single work.
Other issues arise because of collaboration. Complications can arise in the following circumstances:
These and other similar situations usually involve:
In order to be joint authors of a work, each person must:
The best way to sort out joint ownership is through discussion and agreement at the start of a project. For example, a blog and its commentary present potential joint contributors with opportunities to create collaborative works. One way the blog owner(s) could address ownership and use issue would be to indicate from the start that all contributions are individually owned, no joint work is intended, but all contributions will be publicly licensed under a Creative Commons license that permits the creation of derivative works. This would allow all contributors to use their own and others' contributions in other works. This license could be further refined as commercial or non-commercial.
Finally, some issues arise because institutional resources are scarce and must be allocated wisely and recovered when possible. So, even if an institution is not an owner of a work under the work-for-hire rules, it may have an interest in acquiring rights or recovering its investment in a work created with significant amounts or kinds of institutional resources. If such a work is commercialized, the institution may even wish to share in the royalties. All of these rights should be addressed in a contract.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License.