Trinity University endeavors to comply with copyright law and encourages all members of the Trinity community to obey the provisions of the copyright law. Trinity understands that copyright law applies to digital resources and that any unauthorized redistribution of music, movies, text, software or other protected media may be a violation of the law. Various policies relevant to specific issues of copyright are referenced in links noted below. Please refer to them for detailed information on Trinity expectations related to conformance to copyright law.
The term “intellectual property rights” refers generally to the ownership rights over a creative work. The most common types of intellectual property are trademarks, patents and copyrights. Copyright is a form of protection of intellectual property provided by the laws of the United States to the authors of original works. Copyright is an issue of particular seriousness because technology now allows the easy copying and transmission of some protected works. All members of the University community are responsible to comply with all legal statutes regarding intellectual property, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The Copyright Policy addresses this responsibility. The Copyright Policy also outlines the ownership of Information Technology intellectual property which will be generated within the University.
The Copyright Policy applies to anyone using Trinity University’s computer systems, networks, and data systems. This includes faculty and staff members, students, external vendors, guests and other members of the University community.
The University's designated agent for notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is Jason Hardin (Library). For more information on copyright and intellectual property, please refer to the Library's resource - http://libguides.trinity.edu/policies_copyright.
Federal copyright laws also protect the software available for use on computers at the Trinity University. The software provided through the University for use by faculty, staff, and students may be used only on computing equipment as specified in the various software licenses.
Faculty, staff, or students must not copy or reproduce any licensed software or intellectual property found on University computing equipment, except as expressly permitted by the software license, author, or granting authority. Faculty, staff, and students may not use unauthorized copies of licensed software on University-owned computers.
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA)
United States copyright law is based in the U.S. Constitution, giving Congress the authority "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." (Article I, sec. 8) Those exclusive rights to one's own intellectual property include literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, works in any medium (printed, digital, other recording media) as well as software.
Copyrighted works include the following broad categories:
Copyright law has been modified from time to time to address issues related to new publishing and distribution technologies. The DMCA of 1998 deals with transmission and use of digital works. The DMCA recognizes that digital transmission of works adds complexity to copyright law.
The federal government requires colleges and universities to establish policies and plans to "combat unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials by users of the institution's network without unduly interfering with the educational and research use of the network." The DMCA does provide non-profit educational institutions with some protections if individual members of the community violate the law. However, for Trinity University maintain this protection, the University must immediately respond to complaints from copyright holders when someone in the University community has infringed on their copyright by using material without permission.
It is the responsibility of all students, faculty, and staff at Trinity University to understand and comply with US Copyright Law, in particular the Copyright Act of 1976 and DMCA. Additional information on U.S. copyright law is found on the United States Copyright Office Internet site. Members of the University community should familiarize themselves with the sanctions for violations of the DMCA. The DMCA prohibits downloading or distribution of copyrighted works without the owner's permission for use as required or recommended reading for any course taught at or in connection with Trinity University. DMCA does not shield Trinity University from vicarious liability for this type of copyright infringement.
Examples of copyright infringement found in a university setting:
The University Library can assist the Trinity University community in accessing sites which provide legal options for content use.
Ownership of Work
Information technology intellectual property may be generated as the result of work undertaken by outside vendors but sponsored by the University, work sponsored internally by the University, work generated by University employees in the scope of employment, and by students at the University. The creator of any intellectual property that is or might be owned by the University under this policy is required to make reasonably prompt written disclosure of the work to the University's provost, and to execute any document deemed necessary to perfect legal rights in the university and enable the university to file patent applications and applications for copyright registration when appropriate. This disclosure to the provost should be made at the time when legal protection for the creation is contemplated, and it must be made before the intellectual property is sold, used for profit, or disclosed to the public. Whenever legal protection for intellectual property is anticipated all persons engaged in such creative activity are encouraged to keep regular notebooks and records. The following governs ownership of intellectual property created at the University:
These definitions apply to terms as they are used in this policy.
Creator- Any person or persons who create an item of intellectual property.
Intellectual Property - Includes any patentable invention, any copyrightable subject matter, or trade secret. It also includes works of art, and inventions or creations that might normally be developed on a proprietary basis. In this policy, intellectual property is limited to the information technology.
Net proceeds to the university - All proceeds received by the university on intellectual property that it assigns, sells or licenses, minus any application, litigation, interference, or marketing costs directly attributable to the intellectual property being licensed. Deducted costs shall be reasonable and fair, and shall be properly disclosed; the sources and amounts of compensation shall also be properly disclosed.
Net proceeds to the creator - All proceeds received by the creator from intellectual property owned by him that he sells, assigns or licenses, less the costs of application, legal protection, or litigation, interference, travel and other marketing costs directly attributable to the intellectual property being exploited. Such net proceeds do not include compensation legitimately received by the creator for consulting services or interest or other return on invested labor or capital. Deducted costs shall be reasonable and fair, and shall be properly disclosed; the sources and amounts of compensation shall also be properly disclosed.
Substantial use of university facilities- The extensive unreimbursed use of major University laboratory, studio or computational facilities, or human resources. The use of these facilities must be important to the creation of the intellectual property; merely incidental use of a facility does not constitute substantial use, nor does extensive use of a facility commonly available to all faculty or professional staff (such as libraries and offices), nor does extensive use of a specialized facility for routine tasks. Use will be considered "extensive" and facilities will be considered "major" if similar use of similar facilities would cost the creator more than $5000 (five thousand dollars) in constant 1984 dollars if purchased or leased in the public market. Creators wishing to directly reimburse the University for the use of its facilities must make arrangements to do so before the level of facilities usage for a particular intellectual property becomes substantial. (This provision is not intended to override any other department or university policy concerning reimbursement for facilities usage.)
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) - A 1998 US law intended to update copyright law for electronic commerce and electronic content providers. It criminalizes the circumvention of electronic and digital copyright protection systems.
To insure adherence to the Copyright Policy, Trinity University reserves the right as described above to monitor the University community use of copyright materials.
Any behavior in violation of this policy is cause for disciplinary action. Violations will be adjudicated, as appropriate, by the CIO, the Office of the Dean of Students, the Office of Housing and Residential Life, and/or the Office of Human Resources. Sanctions as a result of violations of this policy may result in, but are not limited to, any or all of the following:
Agent for Notification of Claims of Infringement
To notify the Trinity University administration of a claim of infringement of copyright, please contact our Agent for Notification of Claims of Infringement:
Elizabeth Huth Coates Library
One Trinity Place
San Antonio, TX 78212
The following are the only Trinity University web pages in addition to this page which contain the official University policy statements on copyright: