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Copyright Reminder

Copyright and intellectual property issues are a part of the fabric of research and scholarly communications, and thus all Stanford faculty, students and staff need a working understanding of copyright law as it impacts their daily lives. The Copyright Reminder, which highlights common campus copyright concerns and outlines fundamental elements of US copyright law, is distributed annually to ensure that the Stanford community remains aware of those issues.

Key issues for 2016

This section calls out issues that have been of particular concern or areas where recommended practices have been revised since the last Copyright Reminder.

Protection of Stanford course material

Recently, third party websites have posted Stanford course content without permission.  Faculty and TAs are advised to place (c) [copyright symbol] Stanford University 201_ on all course assignments, syllabi, exams and other materials developed for a course.  Students are reminded that the University owns the course content and enrolled students have a license to use the material for class.  Students may not distribute the content to others without the permission of the course instructor.

Creator's Guide to Copyrighting Commercial Work

Stanford’s Office of Technology Licensing is responsible for managing the intellectual property assets of the University.  While they are known for their licensing work related to patents, they also support students and faculty in commercializing copyrighted material where it is appropriate.  In 2015, they published a guide to assist creators in understanding the commercialization and distribution issues they will face in this effort  (

Data management plans & data sets

Funding agencies are emphasizing and expanding their requirements for the inclusion of data management plans as part of grant proposals, and grants may be denied where researchers fail to provide for the long-term maintenance of their research data.  Copyright concerns are one of the significant issues that researchers must address in developing these plans.  The Stanford Libraries offers tools and support for creating data management plans (, and can also assist with the in-licensing of data in ways that are compliant with data sharing mandates (see Data Sets, below).