Home Forums Business and Legal Who owns the rights to college coursework? Reply To: Who owns the rights to college coursework?


I have advised two Irish colleges on this matter, both in relation to the terms and conditions applicable to students embarking on postgrads, as it happens. In one case while the college believed that it owned the IP of work created by students it transpired that the terms and conditions (which looked like a bad cut and paste job) were defective. In another case, while the ts & cs were a little better, it turned out that the student never saw the ts &cs before enrolling thus making it very difficult to support the college’s contention that it owned the students’ IP and that the students had signed up to this as a condition of participating in the course.

So the lesson is (a) read the fine print before enrolling in a class; (b) if the rights mean something to you it may pay to use a lawyer to investigate whether you did, in fact, assign your rights – as the colleges do not always get things right and may claim to own something that they do not in fact own and (c) very often colleges will agree to give you a written waiver or will transfer the rights back to you even if they do own the rights, often for a nominal amount – but you should ask for this before you start making money!