How is copyright taken into consideration?

As with any research, the patent application must be filed before disclosing the invention. When the patent application has been submitted to the relevant authority, an article explaining the invention may be published as open access or otherwise. Also other intellectual property rights such as the trademark and design rights may be registered. Early registration of intellectual property rights is the most recommended option from the viewpoint of commercialisation.

Illustration by Emmi Kyytsönen / Karppi Design

According to the Copyright Act (404/1961), the copyright to a work is invested in the author/authors person who has created a literary or artistic work, unless otherwise agreed. The Finnish Copyright Act 404/1961 does not have a work-for hire clause, so agreements are needed between the researcher and the university to agree on matters involving copyright, including agreements on open access publishing in the university repository. Copyright must be agreed on in the employment contract or in a separate agreement concluded with the university. In case of more than one author, copyrights are vested in all authors, which means that allowing open access to the publication requires permission from all copyright holders.

For example, in France and in the Netherlands, the appropriate copyright acts do not allow the author to competently give up his/her right to publish open access.

The author makes an agreement concerning his/her rights when publishing an article. To allow the publication to be deposited in the university repository as required by universities, the researcher has to ensure he or she has the right to do so. This may be achieved by the author and university agreeing on the right to self-archive before the article is published and making it known to the publisher at the latest when a publishing agreement is made. The needed changes to the publishing agreement may be made with the template provided below.

Addendum to publication agreement (doc)

Addendum to publication agreement (pdf)

If the publisher publishes the article under a licence allowing self-archiving, such as the Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0. license suite, self-archiving in the university repository is possible under the same licence. Gold Open Access usually allows the publication to be deposited in the university repository without delay.

Researchers signing a publishing agreement have to specify whether they are signing in the capacity of a copyright holder or as a university representative, representing the university to which  copyright ownership has been been transferred to.

Universities enter into agreements on the assignment of rights with researchers;
generally, Finnish universities do not require researchers to assign the ownership of copyright of their scientific articles to the university. This means that the standard practice is for researchers to sign the publishing agreement as the copyright holder.

Page content by: maria.rehbinder [at] aalto [dot] fi (Maria Rehbinder) | Last updated: 10.12.2015.