Definition and Identification of Intellectual Property
TVCC Board Policies CT (LOCAL) and CT (LEGAL), in accordance with Texas Education Code Chapter 51, Subchapter A, defines and identifies intellectual property as copyrightable, patentable, and trademarked works. Copyright extends to original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.
Ownership of Intellectual Property
TVCC Board Policy CT (LOCAL) stipulates that, “All copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights shall remain with the College District at all times.” As an agent of the College District, an employee, including a student employee, shall not have rights to work he or she creates on College District time or using College District technology resources.
The College District shall own any work or work product created by a College employee in the course and scope of his or her employment, including the right to obtain copyrights. A College District employee shall own any work or work product produced on his or her own time, away from his or her job and with personal equipment and materials, including the right to obtain patents or copyrights. Students shall retain all rights to work created as part of instruction or using College District technology resources.
In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work 17 U.S.C. 102.
Policies Governing Intellectual Property
Policies governing intellectual property are clearly established and are detailed below:
TVCC Board Policy CT (LOCAL) defines intellectual property and establishes all rights of ownership for TVCC supported work, specially commissioned work, and student created work. Work and work products created by a College employee in the course and scope of his or her employment, including the right to obtain copyrights. If the employee obtains a patent for such work, the employee shall grant a non-exclusive, non-transferable, perpetual, royalty-free, College District-wide license to the College for use of the patented work. College employees may apply to the President or designee to use College District materials and equipment in his or her creative projects, provided the employee agrees either to grant to the College a non-exclusive, non-transferable, perpetual, royalty-free, College District-wide license to the College to use the work, or permits the College District to be listed as co-author or co-inventor if the College District contribution to the work is substantial.
CT (LEGAL) outlines copyright protection and specifies that, “Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with United States Copyright Law, 17 U.S.C. 101–1401, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Works of authorship include the following categories:
In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.
Exceptions to the exclusive rights of copyright owners are established through the doctrine of fair use. CT (LEGALl) identifies the following factors in determining fair use:
CT (LEGAL) further outlines the circumvention of technological measures stating, with the exception of persons described by 17 U.S.C. 1201(d)–(j) and persons who engage in noninfringing uses of the classes of copyrighted works described by 37 C.F.R. 201.40, no person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under U.S.C. Title 17. “Circumvent a technological measure” means to descramble a scrambled work, to decrypt an encrypted work, or otherwise to avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate, or impair a technological measure, without the authority of the copyright owner. A technological measure “effectively controls access to a work” if the measure, in the ordinary course of its operation, requires the application of information, or a process or a treatment, with the authority of the copyright owner, to gain access to the work. 17 U.S.C. 1201; 37 C.F.R. 201.40
TVCC’s Board Policy CR (LOCAL) “Technology Resources,” states that information technology equipment or services by an employee, student, or guest shall follow all federal, state, and local laws and policies governing the use of technology resources and strictly prohibits software piracy and the illegal use or attainment of copyrighted materials, or the distribution of copyrighted materials or software. In addition,The Compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) and Peer-To-Peer File Sharing Requirements provide students’ responsibilities in regards to unauthorized duplication of copyrighted works, College’s Acceptable Use Policy [CR (LOCAL)], and unauthorized duplication, use or distribution of copyrighted materials, including but not limited to music, and video files. The college considers the unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing of copyrighted music and video to be inappropriate use of its network resources. Furthermore, such activity is illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and exposes users to serious civil and criminal penalties.
TVCC Board Policy FLB (LOCAL); Student Rights and Responsibilities: Student Conduct expressly prohibits students from inappropriate use of information technology, including copyright infringement as defined under TVCC Board Policy CR (LOCAL) Technology Resources.