Copyright protection covers the expression of an idea, not the idea itself. Papers, journal articles, course outlines and notes, software, databases, video and other audiovisual work, artwork, graphics, etc. all qualify for copyright protection. It is not necessary to register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office in order to claim copyright protection. It is advisable, however, to mark your work with a copyright notice as follows:

Copyright (year of publication)
Georgia Tech Research Corporation (or other author, as appropriate)
All rights reserved.

If you post your work to the World Wide Web, it is particularly important to place a copyright notice on your work to put users on notice of your copyright.

Pursuant to the Georgia Tech Intellectual Property (IP) policy, Legal Affairs no longer reviews agreements for the publication of your work in scholarly journals or other publications. Under the new IP policy, scholarly and creative works, such as textbooks, similar course material, books, journal articles, etc., you create are owned by you, provided that such works are not deliverables or are not specifically written pursuant to a sponsored research agreement or other specific Institute assignment. The general obligation to produce scholarly and creative works does not constitute a specific assignment for this purpose. Please make sure that you carefully read the terms and conditions of any agreement involving publication of your work before releasing any rights you may have to such works.

The Georgia Tech Library's scholarly communication program is a resource for faculty members with questions regarding managing their personal copyrights. For example, if you have questions when working with publishers about reserving the rights to archive your research articles on your personal website or in a digital repository, send an email to If you have questions about retaining rights to comply with the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy, please see: for more information.

The Library also manages Georgia Tech's institutional repository SMARTech , an archive for GT-produced scholarly materials and research. Authors depositing their materials in SMARTech retain copyright to their research materials, and grant Georgia Tech a non-exclusive license to distribute and preserve the materials for educational purposes.

If you plan or expect to produce scholarly or creative works pursuant to a sponsored research agreement or other specific Institute assignment, please contact the Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) in GTRC so that they may approve the release of the work and make certain there are no contractual or other restrictions regarding the work. You may also contact OTL for assistance in determining ownership of IP rights in any work.

When you use copyrighted material developed by others, including materials downloaded from the web -- whether to develop a course pack or post material on a web page for use in your class -- such use, in most instances will require you to obtain permission from the copyright owner. However, in some instances, your use may qualify as fair use under copyright law. For help in determining when a use is fair, see USG Copyright Policy, or call us. The Printing and Copying Services in the Office of Information Technology can help you with copying and determining the applicable license fees.

For software or other copyrightable materials that you have developed and are interested in licensing, you should contact OTL.


Synching Your Teeth Into Copyright Law:  Legal and Practical Considerations for Public Considerations for Public Performances of Video and Photos Synchronized to Copyrighted Music (NACUANOTES:  Vol. 15, No. 8 - May 8, 2017)