Skip to main content My Account Off-Campus Access Give 24/7 Chat Meet with a Librarian Directory Library Services Technical Support Submit a Digital Sign Give Newsletters Social Media

Author Rights and Copyright

Who Owns the Copyright to your Work?

UC Davis follows a long tradition of respecting faculty and student ownership of the copyrights to most original works. As the author of a copyrighted work, you are generally the copyright owner.

  • Scholarly Publishing: In scholarly publishing agreements, it is common for authors to assign their copyright to the publisher. In such cases, the publisher becomes the copyright owner. For open access publications, the author(s) usually retain(s) the copyright.
  • Course Material: Copyright ownership resides with the Designated Instruction Appointee — university employees who serve as Instructors of Record and have a general obligation to produce course materials.
  • Student Works: At UC, students generally own the copyright to their creative works, including theses and dissertations. Under the UC Copyright Ownership Policy, when student employees create works in the course and scope of their employment with UC, copyright is owned by the University.
  • University Staff: Employees who create works within the scope of their employment generally do not own the copyright to the work. The copyright owner is The Regents of the University of California.

Using Copyrighted Material in Your Publications

Much of what is said about the use of copyrighted material in teaching also applies to publishing.

Incorporating open access works, or using portions of copyrighted works under the Fair Use doctrine, may not require permission by the copyright holder.

However, be prepared that publishers may ask you to provide written permission for the use of copyrighted work. See our page on Copyright and Teaching for ways to request permission to use copyrighted material. Publishers may also help to obtain such permissions.

Copyright Claims Board (CCB)

The Copyright Claims Board (CCB) is a new tribunal established in 2022 by the Copyright Office at the direction of Congress. The CCB hears “small claims” copyright disputes involving not more than $30,000 in damages. If you receive a valid CCB notice, it generally means that someone is asserting you have infringed their copyright and has filed a claim at the CCB seeking redress.

You have the right to opt out of having that claim heard by the CCB, but if you wish to do so, you must opt out on a timely basis. Please, do not ignore a CCB notice. Contact campus counsel or UC’s Office of General Counsel promptly if you receive a CCB notice related to your work at UC.

More about CCB implications for UC affiliates