“The University has nonexclusive rights,” committee member Jean DeSaix said. “There needs to be somewhere to have an explanation of what that really means.”
DeSaix said some faculty members are unclear about what the University could do to redistribute their materials.
“If I make videos of myself, it’s OK for the University to use that anywhere and anytime they want to,” DeSaix said.
“People don’t necessarily understand that when they go into creating those types of materials.”
To dispel any confusion about the policy, the committee plans to release a more succinct and specific document about it, although there is no set timeline for the release.
“The committee decided that faculty members needed more information in a more convenient location,” said Sarah Michalak, committee chairwoman and University librarian.
DeSaix said clarifying the policy will reduce the likelihood of backlash from faculty members if their material is used by the University.
The copyright committee was reinstated two years ago per the request of the faculty executive committee, Michalak said.
Before the committee’s reinstatement, it had been on a hiatus for several years, as there did not seem to be as many copyright issues at the University, she added.
However, after a situation in which UNC continued to use course material created by an adjunct professor who was no longer employed by the University, the faculty executive committee asked the copyright committee to reconvene and explore the issue.
“When faculty move on to another job, the University can use material they created to continue to teach a course here,” committee member Jon Finson said.
The committee has not yet determined the specific way in which it will release the clarifying information, and several possibilities are in discussion.
“We may put an informational article in the University Gazette or on the library website explaining the policy,” Michalak said.
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