Intellectual Property and the AAUP

By Smith, Mark F. | Academe, September/October 2002 | Go to article overview

Intellectual Property and the AAUP


Smith, Mark F., Academe


Some approaches to intellectual property can conflict with academic freedom. The AAUP's Statement on Copyright address issues of control and ownership of academic work.

The American Association of University Professors was founded in 1915 but did not establish a policy on intellectual property until 1999, when it adopted its Statement on Copyright. Far from suggesting an absence of interest in the issue, the time it took to the questions surrounding intellectual property reflects instead the contradictions inherent in the role of faculty as both creators and users of intellectual property. Ideas are our stock in trade, and the expression of those ideas is at the heart of our identity as educators. We feel the need to retain control of our intellectual property rather than give it up to an employer. At the same home, our purpose in the classroom is to promote the free exchange of ideas and to encourage the widest possible sharing of knowledge.

Intellectual property encompasses copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets, but the AAUP's Statement on Copyright deals only with copyright. The Association took that approach for several reasons. Trademark protection is a major institutional concern, as any Wisconsin Badger, Princeton Tiger, or University of California, Santa Cruz, Banana Slug can tell you. Yet trademarks and trade secrets have much less applicability than copyrights to faculty pursuing academic endeavors. Similarly, patents are important in the scientific and engineering disciplines and, increasingly, in the field of computer software. For many years, however, institutions and faculty members have enjoyed an understanding regarding ownership of patents, which is often also covered by specific statutes. Some state laws, for example, require institutional ownership at public colleges and universities, while federal law-under the Bayh-Dole Act-covers the ownership of patents developed through federally funded research. The act, passed in 1980, provides that the ownership of such patents rests with the institution, but mandates that royalties are to be shared between the individual inventor and the institution.

Copyrights

Historically, control over copyrights has not been as firmly settled as the practices governing trademarks and patents, probably because the monetary rewards for academic work that is copyrightable have been perceived as so small. Many colleges and universities have long had policies asserting institutional ownership over the copyrights to faculty-- created works, but they seldom tried to enforce them until recently. With the advent of digital technology and the growth of distance education, however, the potential rewards seem more promising, and the costs and effort required to capture those rewards more reasonable. As a result, faculty and administrations initiated a sometimes contentious exchange in the 1990s over control of academic work.

Copyright law is grounded in the U.S. Constitution. Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, gives Congress the power to secure "for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries" for the specific purpose of promoting "the Progress of Science and useful Arts." Under the Constitution, copyright law aims to promote useful knowledge, and the public benefit is paramount. The law allows creators to receive private benefits as an incentive, but their private gains must be balanced against those that go to the public. The public benefits not only from access to copies of works entering into the public domain for educational purposes, but also from new creators' deriving new works from older ones. A vibrant public domain is essential to the "progress of science and useful arts."

Prior to revolutions in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, both France and England used copyright-which served as a license required for printing-to enforce censorship. The poet John Milton wrote Areopagitica, a polemic for freedom of the press, as a speech for the "liberty of unlicenc'd printing. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Intellectual Property and the AAUP
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.