Intellectual property

The Savannah College of Art and Design, Inc. is committed to providing an environment that supports the creative and teaching activities of its faculty, students and staff. While the primary focus of these activities is on the advancement of the university, works produced by such activities often have benefits beyond their academic intentions. This policy is intended to assist the university's faculty, staff, employees and students in identifying, protecting and administering intellectual property matters. 


  1. The term "author" generally means the creator(s) of the work. When the work(s) falls under the work-for-hire provisions of a contract, or the university is deemed to be the owner of the work under any provision of this policy, then the university is the author of the work for copyright purposes.
  2. The term "classroom" means the traditional face-to-face student/teacher interaction for educational or instructional purposes whether on or off campus and the nontraditional student/teacher interaction via the Internet, instructional videos or other means of transmitting or communicating educational or instructional information for educational purposes as part of a course created, offered or sponsored by the university.
  3. The term "university" means the Savannah College of Art and Design, Inc., and its owned and/or controlled affiliates providing educational services.
  4. The term "university resources" means university funds from any source; facilities, classrooms, equipment, whether owned or leased; grants; contracts; awards; faculty; staff; employees and students or other university-owned equipment or university personnel.
  5. The term "contributor" means any creator(s) designated, pursuant to a written agreement, to receive a percentage of royalties for a particular project.
  6. The term "copyright" is used as it is defined by 17 U.S.C. § 101 et. seq. (1994) as amended and means that only the author of a work is authorized to reproduce the work, create derivative works, distribute the work, perform the work or display the work.
  7. The term "creator" means any person(s), who originally produces, makes, transforms, authors or in any other way makes copyrightable material.
  8. The term "employee" is defined as any person hired by the university, on either a full- or part-time basis, including, but not limited to, faculty and staff, to perform duties as assigned while under the scope of his/her employment.
  9. The term "faculty" means any person hired by the university to conduct classroom teaching or distance learning activities, whether on a full- or part-time basis.
  10. The term "policy" is defined as the written regulations of the university as described in the university's printed materials, including, but not limited to, this copyright policy, the student handbook, the university catalog, the faculty handbook and the staff handbook. Such policy may be added to, modified or changed by the university at any time.
  11. The term "project" or "work" means an original, creative object that is copyrightable under § 102 of Title 17 of the United States Code.
  12. The term "scope of employment" means those acts which are so closely connected with what the employee is employed to do, and so fairly and reasonably incidental to it, that they may be regarded as methods of carrying out the objectives of the employment. In determining whether an employee is within his/her scope of employment, the following factors shall be used: (1) whether the work done by the employee is the kind of work the person is employed to perform; or (2) whether the work occurs substantially within the time required by the employer to perform the acts which the employee is employed to do.
  13. The term "shall" is used in the imperative sense; the term "may" is used in the permissive sense.
  14. The term "sponsor" means a business or person that finances a specific project, pursuant to a contract between the university and that business or person.
  15. The term "staff" includes any person employed by the university who performs assigned administrative or professional duties on either a full- or part-time basis.
  16. The term "student" includes any person taking one or more courses for credit at the university on either a full- or part-time basis.
  17. The term "substantial use" means when all or a material part of a project entails the use of university facilities, classrooms, class time, equipment, whether leased or owned, personnel, funds, or other university-owned resources, whether during or after customary university business hours. The following examples of substantial use are provided for guidance: (a) the use of university funds to support the work's creation; (b) the use of faculty or staff in the creation of the work in lieu of their regular assignments and duties to the university; (c) the use of funding from gifts to Savannah College of Art and Design the university to support creation of the works involved; (d) the production of works under specific terms of a sponsored research grant or contract; and (e) the use of specifically designated university funds to support the creation of the work involved. In cases where the work is created specifically with university-designated funds, the creator(s) and the involved administrators shall establish a written agreement regarding ultimate management and financial considerations of the project.
  18. The term "volunteer" means one who assists an employee, without remuneration, in performance of the employer's business.

Material subject to copyright

Copyright is the ownership and control of the intellectual property in original works of authorship, which is subject to copyright law. Copyright protection may extend to all original works of authorship in a fixed tangible form. The types of material that may be subject to copyright protection include, but are not limited to, books; articles; illustrations; photographs (including the negatives); texts; lectures; syllabi; course notes or outlines; musical or dramatic compositions; unpublished scripts, films, videos, and recordings whether audio or video and whether electronic, digital, mechanical or otherwise; programmed instructional materials and computer software; and pictorial, graphic and sculptural works.

Copyright ownership

Copyright ownership of all work by the university faculty, staff, employees and students shall vest in the creator, except under the following circumstances:

  1. Subordination to Other Agreements: Copyright ownership of all material that is developed in the course of or pursuant to a university-sponsored project or agreement with the university shall be determined in accordance with the terms of the sponsored project or agreement with the university. In the absence of terms specifically assigning ownership, the copyright shall become the property of the university if ownership is conferred upon the university by operation of another provision of this policy.
  2. Work-For-Hire
    1. Employees: The copyright of any material that is created by an employee of the university within the scope of his/her employment shall be the property of the university, whether or not a contract has been executed with regard to the material created. This includes any materials, lectures, texts, any other works created by any employee in the course of their employment for the university for use in teaching and/or works created as part of any classroom activity. Any employee of the university who creates works that are derivative of university work and/or developed with the use of university property grants to the university a perpetual, non-exclusive, Savannah College of Art and Design transferable, worldwide royalty-free license for use of that property (in any form) for the promotion of and/or to advance the interest of the university, including the right to reproduce and distribute copies of their work.
    2. Independent Contractors: The copyright of any material that is created by an independent contractor shall be the property of the university if the university has specifically ordered or commissioned the work and a written work-for-hire agreement has been executed. Employees shall be considered independent contractors if the work completed was not within their scope of employment.
  3. Use of University Resources: Copyright ownership of works that are developed with "substantial use" of university resources, funds, space or facilities shall reside with the university.
  4. Students: Works created by students shall be subject to the following additional rules:
    1. The university shall have copyright ownership of works created by students: (1) within the scope of their employment relationship with the university; (2) during the course of the student assisting an employee of the university performing services within the scope of the employee's relationship with the university.
    2. Students contributing to a project governed by a contract or agreement with the university shall be informed of the contract or agreement and bound by the terms of that contract or agreement, regardless of whether the student was acting as an employee or a volunteer.
    3. Students who are hired by the university to perform specific tasks that contribute to a copyrightable work have no rights to ownership of that work, regardless of the source of funds from which they are paid.
    4. Students who create copyrightable work with the use of university resources and in furtherance of class projects while enrolled at the university grant to the university a royalty-free, non-exclusive, worldwide, transferrable and perpetual license to use the work (whether in its entirety or samples thereof), together with photographs and/or videos of students, for the promotion of and/or to advance the interest of the university, including the right to reproduce and distribute copies of the work, photographs and/or videos.


Except as otherwise provided herein or in an agreement relating to specific copyrighted work, a copyright owner shall be entitled to the revenue, if any, it realizes from licensing the copyrighted work.

Use of outside consultants and independent contractors

Absent a written agreement to the contrary, ownership of works created by outside consultants and independent contractors reside with the creator and not with the university. Therefore, the university, when hiring outside consultants and independent contractors, shall execute a work-for-hire agreement before the start of the project. The university's preference is to obtain ownership for any work created as a result of a sponsored project, or, in the alternative, obtain a perpetual, royalty-free license to the work. Assistance in drafting such agreements should be obtained from legal counsel.

Assignment of creator

In cases where the university has copyright ownership under this policy, the university may, upon request and for good cause shown, assign copyright ownership to the creator subject to a perpetual, royalty-free license to the university to use the work for its own purposes. Such requests should be submitted to the university. The university may also accept property that is voluntarily assigned and/or required by contract provision to be assigned to the university. The university, at its sole and absolute discretion, shall determine whether to accept or reject any and all assignments of any copyrightable work.

Preferential consideration of sponsors of research

All works and the rights therein, which are conceived, created or produced by university employees or students as part of the sponsored project, shall be governed by the agreement between the sponsor and the university. Generally, it is the university's desire that the agreement provides that the university shall have the right to use, display, perform, distribute and copy the work for educational purposes, and that the students who created the work shall have the right to display, copy, distribute and perform the work as part of the students' portfolios.

Copyright notices

The following notice shall be placed on all university-owned materials:
"©[year] The Savannah College of Art and Design"

Responsbility of parties

It is the responsibility of the university and all members of the university community to ensure adherence to this policy.

Employees, faculty, staff, students and other creators governed by this policy shall have the obligation to:

  1. Make themselves aware of and adhere to restrictions on rights in copyrightable material deriving from agreements between the university and contracting or granting agencies or other interested third parties, or deriving from any university interest pursuant to this policy;
  2. Inform the university of any and all material that should be copyrighted in the name of the university pursuant to the provisions of this policy, and to cooperate with the university to obtain such copyright protection;
  3. Obtain written permission from the university to publish, in journals or other media, or distribute any materials to which the university owns the copyright pursuant to this policy; and
  4. Ensure that students or contractors working collaboratively or under faculty or staff direction on projects (whether or not for pay),which may result in copyrightable material have executed the appropriate agreements concerning the assignment of copyright to the university.

Any and all requests by any person for a clarification, explanation or determination of any of the rights and/or obligations under this policy shall be made in writing to the university.

Severance/choice of law

Any provision of this copyright policy which is prohibited by law, or unlawful or unenforceable under applicable law, shall be ineffective only to the extent of such prohibition, without invalidating the remaining provisions of this policy. Where the terms of this policy are inconsistent with applicable law, and where applicable law controls, this policy shall be deemed to be amended to comply with applicable law. This policy shall be construed and interpreted according to the laws of the state of Georgia.