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Offices & Services

Copyright Policy

Work for Hire

While most works belong to their authors, when works are produced as part of one’s contracted work for an employer, those works may belong to the employer. Such works are considered “works made for hire”, or simply “work for hire.” Section 101 of Title 17, definitions, specifies that:

A “work made for hire” is—

  1. a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; or
  2. a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work.

At Washington College, most administrative documents (such as this copyright policy) are considered works for hire. Educational materials, such as course syllabi or Web sites, are not considered to be works for hire, and belong to the faculty who create them. Faculty research works, including, but not limited to, scholarly papers, presentations, and data sets, are also the property of the faculty who create them.