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Copyright and the Distribution of Income
From Sale of Works for Hire

Responsible Office: Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships

Policy Type: Research Foundation

Policy Number: 750

Last Date Revised: 2/26/16

THIS MANAGEMENT PROCEDURE AND POLICIES AND PROCEDURES OUTLINED BELOW DO NOT APPLY TO COMPUTER SOFTWARE.

The full copyright policy and an explanation are provided at: http://www.suny.edu/sunypp/documents.cfm?doc_id=88. Generally the members of the staff of the University shall retain all rights to copyrightable works produced by them. However, in cases where persons are employed or directed within the scope of their employment to produce specific work subject to copyright, the University shall have ownership of such work and has the right to publish such work without copyright or to copyright it in its own name. The Copyright Act of 1976 provides that copyrights associated with works prepared by employees "within the scope of their employment" belong to the employer, who is considered the author - unless both the employer and the employee have signed a written instrument agreeing otherwise.

Copyrights associated with University works created by non-faculty personnel specifically employed by the University to prepare such works:

1. may be released to the authors;
2. may be retained by the University; or
3. may be placed in the public domain,

with the concurrence of the Vice President for Research or the Senior Vice Provost for Strategic Planning and Financial Affairs.

Sponsored works: Copyrights of work created by authors with support from an outside sponsor will be governed by the sponsorship copyright provisions, if there are any. In the absence of provisions covering copyrights, the copyrights in sponsored works by University faculty shall be treated as personal works unless a written Copyright Agreement has been executed prior to their completion, or the works are instructional materials, which shall be treated as University works, and may be released to the author at the discretion of the Vice President for Research or the Senior Vice Provost for Strategic Planning and Financial Affairs when requested in writing through a Copyright Agreement. The Research Foundation of SUNY holds copyright on behalf of the State University of New York for copyrightable works created under sponsored projects.

PREPARATION AND USE OF COPYRIGHT AGREEMENT FORMS

Copyright Agreements are executed in those situations where the University or Research Foundation would normally hold the copyright under the policies described herein. Standard agreements are of three types:

1. Agreements in which the University acquires an interest in the copyright: These agreements are executed by the State University of New York, through the Assistant Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships or Director of IP Management and Licensing, with the review and approval of the Vice President for Research or the Senior Vice Provost for Strategic Planning and Financial Affairs, and the authors. Examples of situations necessitating agreements of this type include:

  • authors who are professional staff SUNY employees who prepare works within the scope of their University duties.
  • authors who are provided special assistance or University resources in developing the works.

2. Agreements in which the Research Foundation of SUNY on behalf of Binghamton University acquires an interest in the copyright of an identified work, in most instances developed in conjunction with a specified sponsored project, or through the author's contribution of the work to the Research Foundation on behalf of the campus. These agreements are executed by the Research Foundation Operations Manager or Assistant Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships or Director of IP Management and Licensing, with the review and approval of the Vice President for Research and the authors. Agreements of this type may also include provisions providing the sponsor with a license with respect to associated copyright depending on sponsor's policy. Examples of situations necessitating agreements of this type include:

  • authors who develop a copyrightable work under a sponsored project administered through the Research Foundation.
  • authors who wish to contribute copyright associated with a personal work to the Research Foundation on behalf of the campus and the author will share in the generated royalties.
  • authors who wish to contribute copyright associated with a personal work to the Research Foundation on behalf of the campus wihtout sharing in generated royalties.

3. Agreements in which the University or Research Foundation authorizes release of Copyright covering works, which would normally belong to the University or Research Foundation to the faculty/staff author. The University or Research Foundation may maintain some or no further interest in the copyrights associated with these works. These arrangements are executed by the authors and the appropriate University or Research Foundation officials. Such officials for the University are Assistant Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships or Director of IP Management and Licensing, with the review and approval of the Vice President for Research or Senior Vice Provost for Strategic Planning and Financial Affairs; and for the Research Foundation, Operations Manager or Assistant Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships or Director of IP Management and Licensing, with the review and approval of the Vice President for Research.

The Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships provides standard University/Research Foundation Copyright Agreement forms, links to Copyright Office application forms (http://www.copyright.gov/forms/) and jointly with the Office of Sponsored programs offers advice and assistance to faculty and staff members concerning policies and procedures involving the University and copyrightable works.

DETERMINATION OF ROYALTY DISTRIBUTION

Authors may or may not share in royalties generated through the sale of such works; a determination of royalty sharing will be made on a case by case negotiation involving the author, the author's supervisor, department chair or dean, as appropriate, and the Vice President for Research.  In absence of the written Agreement stating otherwise, total royalty income is distributed institutionally, according to the formula below. Any royalty income accruing to the University will be shared equitably with the departmental or program unit which supplied the support for the creation of the work according to a distribution formula provided below or as recommended by the Vice President for Research.

DISTRIBUTION OF ROYALTY INCOME

The authors' share of royalty income, if any, will be paid as a vendor payment directly to the author as taxable income, according to the terms of the Copyright Agreement. The distribution of the institutional share of the royalty income will be handled through accounts in the name of the department chair (or appropriate program director), Division Director, and the President. For income administered by the Research Foundation, Research Foundation accounts would be established in appropriate administrators' names.

The distribution of the institutional royalty share is as following:

The first $1,000 in royalty income obtained from a single contract during one single fiscal year is distributed in its entirety to Author’s Unit or Center.  Royalty revenue above that amount is distributed in the following manner:

40% Author's Unit or Center
35% Vice President for Research
25% Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Partnerships, to cover technology transfer and general overhead

Exceptions to this distribution formula may be possible under certain conditions; exceptions must be approved in advance by the Vice President for Research.

LIMITATIONS/RESTRICTIONS

An author may not draw personal salary against the allocation made to the author's department or unit.

Where more than one author or more than one department or unit are recipients, the percentages listed above would apply to the combined shares of all recipients. The distribution among them would follow the distribution of effort, which the authors are obliged to present in accordance with the terms of their Copyright Agreement.


APPROVAL PROCESS FOR COPYRIGHT AGREEMENTS

Requests from authors to enter into Copyright Agreement with the University or Research Foundation must be submitted with the attached Request for Approval form and follow the procedures outlined above.
Questions regarding the procedure should be discussed with the Assistant Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships.

Last Updated: 7/27/16