Faculty Rights Tip: Intellectual Property Rights and Online Course Materials

With campuses taking emergency steps in response to COVID-19, many faculty members are being asked to make plans for teaching online, “virtually,” or though self-directed study. Taking on this work may not always be possible, but when it is, some faculty are concerned about their Intellectual Property rights as they share their work electronically and in online, electronic platforms. 

Article 39 of our Collective Bargaining Agreement covers faculty intellectual property rights. The article assures that faculty retain the rights to materials they create, as long as there is no “extraordinary University support” in creating those materials.

Article 39.3 further stipulates that:

“… Unless there is a separate agreement to the contrary, consistent with this Article, neither the CSU nor third party providers are entitled to grant licenses or make assignments with respect to such materials to publishers and publishing agents, or any third party.”

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP), with which CFA is affiliated, is challenging the privatization of online higher education through its Faculty Anti-Privatization Network. If you’d like to learn more about how to maintain quality online higher education by challenging the creep of privatization into our modes of teaching, you can read more about successful campaigns at universities across the country and make use of the AAUP tools provided here.

We urge you to be in touch with your faculty rights chairs and CFA field staff representatives if you have any questions or concerns about your rights under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, especially as events are unfolding quickly in our communities and on our campuses.

Want to learn more? Become active with your local CFA chapter Faculty Rights team. Find your representative here