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General Administration

The policies on this webpage have been streamlined and reformatted, and are now available on the University Policies webpage. We ask that you use this new resource, as future changes, additions to or eliminations of these policies will only be made to the University Policies webpage, and policy manuals you may have used in the past will no longer be updated. Note: On March 31, 2018, this resource will no longer be available. Please update your bookmarks to the University Policies webpage.

BPM-104 University Sponsored Educational Material

May 1, 1990

This section is a general statement on copyright regulations of University-sponsored educational materials and does not contain the complete copyright regulations. If this section indicates that a staff member has prepared or developed materials which come under the provisions of the copyright regulations, The University pamphlet, University-Sponsored Educational Materials, approved February 19, 1971, or the University Patents and Licensing Office, should be consulted. It is available from the research administration office on each campus. The research administration offices can also answer questions concerning University-sponsored educational materials and copyright regulations.

University Ownership

Ownership of University-sponsored educational materials is vested in the Curators of the University, subject to conditions set forth below. The University shall copyright the subject materials when it appears copyrighting is possible and in the best interests of the University and the author or producer of the educational materials.

Staff members have personal ownership of books or similar materials which were not commissioned by the University and the preparation of which was not supported or assisted in any substantial way by or through any University agency established to furnish such support or assistance.


Educational materials are "University-sponsored" if:

  • The author or producer has been commissioned in writing by the University or one of its campuses, colleges, schools, departments, or agencies to develop the materials and, if in their production, the author has used some part of the time for which he received compensation from University-administered funds; or
  • The author or producer has employed in developmental work, and without personal charge, substantial University resources, excluding normal secretarial assistance.

The term "employee" includes:

  • Persons receiving compensation from the University for services rendered, regardless of whether they are employed full-time or part-time.
  • Persons receiving compensation from any funds placed in the University's hands for distribution.
  • Students and graduate assistants working with or without monetary compensation on any project which is under the control of the University or which uses University facilities.

This policy is designed to include the following types of educational materials, but is not necessarily limited to:

  • Video and audio recordings
  • Study guides, tests, syllabi, bibliographies and texts
  • Films, film strips, charts, transparencies and other visual aids
  • Programmed instructional materials
  • Live video and audio broadcasts
  • Computer systems
  • Other forms used for communicating information

Rights of Employee

All staff members are subject to these provisions as a condition of their employment contract.

The staff member retains the right to use the contents of the educational materials in forms other than the University-sponsored form, so long as the University's copyright is protected in the supplemental use.

Use of Materials by the University

According to Missouri law, educational materials in which a staff member has a direct or indirect financial interest cannot be used by any campus of the University, unless the staff member assigns, prior to the sale of the materials, either all royalties, or all royalties on those materials sold for use at the University, to a charity of the author's choice, or to the University. If this assignment is made prior to sale of the materials the author has no interest in such sale.

Interpretation of Policy

Questions concerning the interpretation or application of the policy shall be considered first by the appropriate departmental chairperson or immediate administrative supervisor.

Unresolved questions can be referred, through appropriate channels, to the President, or his/her designee, for transmittal to the Patent, Copyright and University-Sponsored Educational Materials Committee for its consideration.

No interpretation or application of the policy statement shall have any effect as a precedent in later cases, unless the interpretation or application has been approved by the President. In making his/her decision in such cases, the President shall first receive a recommendation from the Patent, Copyright and University-Sponsored Educational Materials Committee.