Copyright Registration & Notice
You own the copyright to your original work as soon as it is set down in a tangible form, even if you do not register your copyright or affix copyright notice. But there are reasons you might want to do both of these things.
Registration: This means letting the copyright office know of your copyright by filling out an application and providing a copy of your work. There are fees associated with registration. Registration includes the legal benefit that the copyright holder can bring a lawsuit in the case of infringement. You can register your work at the Copyright Office website.
If you do not wish your work to be distributed freely either because it has monetary value or is of personal or emotional significance to you, then you should register your work.
Notice: This means affixing a notice to your work that it is under copyright. This step communicates to the world that you know you have copyright and that it matters to you. It also indicates who they should contact with requests or questions. Copyright notice includes 3 parts
As the author or creator of a work, you initially hold the copyright in the item. At the time of publication, many authors transfer the some or all of their copyrights to the publisher. Publisher agreements vary from publisher to publisher, and some do allow authors to retain some rights, but many of these agreements transfer the entirety of the copyright away from the author.
Read your publisher agreement or copyright transfer agreement carefully. If you have questions about it, contact a librarian.
If you transfer all copyright to the publisher
Many publishers have changed their agreements to allow authors to post a copy of their work on a personal website or institutional repository. There are several different versions that publishers may allow authors to post:
Read your publisher agreement carefully to understand which version you are allowed to post and where you are allowed to post it. The SHERPA/RoMEO website collects a wide range of publisher agreements that you can consult if you cannot locate your original agreement.
If the publisher agreement that your publisher sent you does not meet your needs, you can negotiate. One way to do this is to add an addenda to the agreement. Science Commons has an addendum generator including all of the following types of addenda:
PSU Intellectual Property Policy
Under copyright law, the copyrights of works made in the course of a person's employment or specifically commissioned are owned by the employer. However, in the case of scholarly work done by faculty, the copyright is usually retained by the faculty. The PSU Intellectual Property Policy is in line with this practice, stating:
"Unless created as a Work Made for Hire, as Sponsor-Supported Intellectual Property, or as assigned in the course and scope of employment, pedagogical, scholarly or artistic works by PSU faculty, staff or students are also included as Creator Owned Intellectual Property (examples books, course materials, compositions, visual arts, dramatic works, and refereed materials). Creator-Owned Intellectual Property also includes works of students created in the course of their education, such as theses, dissertations, papers and journal articles unless otherwise designated in another PSU Policy."
For information about intellectual asset management, visit the PSU Office of Research and Engagement.