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Copyrights Article 2: Who owns the copyright?

At the University of Illinois, the University owns any intellectual property created by any employee or student directly using University-owned facilities, equipment, or funds. The University has defined a category of creator-owned copyrighted works, which may be owned by the employees or students.  For a deeper understanding of “copyrightable works” as defined by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees General Rules Concerning University Organization and Procedure, (General Rules) please see

For creator-owned copyrighted works, the General Rules allow the University to retain some rights such as the right to use the copyrighted work in the University’s programs of teaching, research, and public service. Under the General Rules, the copyrighted works may be used without having to inform or compensate the original owners.

U.S. copyright laws automatically protect copyrighted material without a formal registration process. A formal process exists to register copyright in the Library of Congress. However, there are few instances in which UIC OTM may consider registering copyrights.

In order to provide notice of copyright, the following is an example of how material owned by the University would bear the copyright notice: © 20XX The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. All rights reserved.

An individual’s copyright protection extends through the lifetime of the individual creator plus 70 years after their death.  A corporate owner/employer has copyright protection for 95 years after publication or 120 years from creation, whichever comes first.