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necromancer_df

University wants to take my intellectual property

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necromancer_df    313
ok its not entirely about unix but its a free software/open source related question. possibly belongs in the lounge but it would just end up as a flamewar about something. i have to do a project next year as part of my degree course and my university basically says that i have to give them intellectual property of what ever i make. i''m not entirely pleased with this because i would want to release my work as free software (well GPL derived license) to let other people learn from it but my money grabbing university would probably sue me for it or something. so i was wondering if anyone knew of any laws regarding this, like are they just allowed to demand that i give them rights to my work? and if i were to let them have it would i be legally allowed to say, use the experience i learned from it to just write it again (or least tell them that and just copy it). i don''t even know what i''m gonna do yet but it''s the principle of the thing, i do loads of work, and pay them my tuition fees for the privilege and then they get to exploit my hard work for their gain. sure they''ll give me a share (25%) but i just don''t want to be filling their greedy pockets.

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zfod    122
Heh,

If you don''t write it on university-owned machines you should be able to apply whatever license you want to the project you''re working on.

I don''t want to get into a flameware, but applying a BSD license to your work would give the university the intellectual property and it would allow you to give it to anyone you want.

There are other licenses similar to this, just do your homework on software licenses and you should be in the clear for fulfilling the general requirement of giving them the IP, but also making it free to use.


Just a thought,

.zfod

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CheeseGrater    122
quote:
Original post by zfod
If you don''t write it on university-owned machines you should be able to apply whatever license you want to the project you''re working on.



Not always true. Some univerisites have their policies set up this way, but many do not. You have to consult your student handbook (or whereever they wrote down their policy) and follow it. You agreed to the contract at some point when you became a student, so if you signed away your rights then it could be legal for them to take IP over your work.


quote:

I don''t want to get into a flameware, but applying a BSD license to your work would give the university the intellectual property and it would allow you to give it to anyone you want.



No, it wouldn''t. If you aren''t the IP holder you don''t have the standing to distribute the code under any license. that''s up to the university.


necromancer_df, if the university policy says they own the IP, I''m afraid that you''re probably out of luck. You should be able to re-write the code (with -no- cut and pasting) when you aren''t under the contract without any problems. You may need to wait until after graduation to do this.

I''ve found a lot of universities will tend to assign the IP back to you for most things if you ask for it, though. These kinds of clauses are mostly meant for patent-worthy ideas, not for the copyright on random bits of source code.

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zfod    122
Hmm,

Strange indeed.

Thanks for the info on possible university policy.

I''m sure there are ways getting around the university policies if push came to shove.


.zfod

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