Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Statement on Copyright Ownership of Online Teaching Materials

The Yale University Copyright Policy affirms the principle under U.S. copyright law that copyright in a work created by a person acting within the scope of his or her employment belongs to the employer rather than the originating author. However, as is customary within the academic traditions of Yale and peer institutions, the University traditionally cedes ownership of “scholarly writings” to the faculty authors, except as otherwise specified by policy or written agreement.

The purpose of this statement is to clarify that “scholarly writings” under the Yale University Copyright Policy include instructional content and materials originally authored by individual instructors that are shared in the course of their online teaching. The University will continue to cede copyright ownership in such instructional content and materials, even in cases where digital versions are created using Yale-supported technological resources ordinarily provided to all faculty.

Please see the frequently asked questions available here for further detail.