Copyrights of Faculty, Staff, & Students

Student Copyrights

As a student, you hold the copyright in your academic works. You may view your copyrights in the Intellectual Property Policy:

Appendix R of the K-State University Handbook

In summary, K-State holds a nonexclusive, royalty free license to:

  • mark on,
  • modify,
  • and retain student academic works

(This means that K-State instructors may grade, make edits, and keep records of your academic works and writings as part of your classes.)

Faculty & Staff Copyrights

Work for Hire

If a work is created as a part of a person's employment, that work is a "work for hire" and the copyright belongs to the employer.

(This is unless the employer explicitly grants rights to the employee in a signed agreement. )

If the creator is hired as a contractor, then the creator (rather than the company/employer) may be the copyright holder.

Please visit Circular 30: Works Made for Hire from the U.S. Copyright Office for more information on "works made for hire."

Work for Hire at K-State

If you are an employee (student, faculty, or staff) at K-State, the ownership of the content you create in the course of your employment is dependent on your work duties.

Generally, full-time staff members at K-State do not hold the copyright to the materials they create in the course of their work duties, especially if the content is specifically related to K-State.

In this case, copyright is held by Kansas State University and the work is considered a "work made for hire" under U.S. copyright law and by K-State's Intellectual Property Policy. Please refer to "Section I: Copyrights" of the policy for more information.

Please see the chart below for more clarification on copyright holders at K-State:

Examples of Copyright Ownership for Students, Faculty, & Staff

What is the origin of this work?

Copyright is Held by:



As part of the normal course of your employment at K-State

e.g. a student worker creating a poster for a K-State event.


You may own copyright if:

there is a specific written agreement stating copyright transfer.

A K-State Employee using substantial institutional resources to create a work.

e.g. a Graduate Teaching Assistant uses software licensed to K-State to create teaching materials.


See Appendix R for the definition of "Substantial use"

K-State will own the rights to the created work, but you still have ownership over the intellectual content in the course.

Scholarly or Artistic Works during your employment

e.g. a Graduate Research Assistant taking photos for a research project under the direction of a faculty member.

The Creator

See Appendix R for the definition of "Scholarly or Artistic Works"

K-State may have copyright if substantial use applies (see above) or if there is a written agreement stating copyright transfer.

As a student as part of a course a K-State The Student

See Appendix R for full details.

K-State stipulates that all student works created in a course remain the rights of the students. Permission must be received by students to display, share, or distribute copies the work in future courseware.