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Determine who owns student work
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Absent a written agreement indicating otherwise, student journalists own the copyright to the works they create. Each media outlet should ensure it has clear policies in place for staff members and the publication that spell out ownership and the right of the publication to use student work

Deciding who owns content of student media should be an important decision for all platforms and programs. Contained within that decision are implications for the forum concept, how content can be used and by whom, and how staffs handle takedown demands.

 

Guidelines: Absent a written agreement indicating otherwise, student journalists own the copyright to the works they create. Each media outlet should ensure it has clear policies in place for staff members and the publication that spell out ownership and the right of the publication to use student work.

Question: Who owns the content of student media and why should this be a concern?

Stance: Advisers have asked questions about who should own the content of student media, what the possible options are and what steps are involved in the decision-making process.

Deciding who owns content of student media should be an important decision for all platforms and programs. Contained within that decision are implications for the forum concept, how content can be used and by whom, and how staffs handle takedown demands.

Reasoning/suggestions: Students, with input from advisers, should pick a solution that best fits their situation. The choices are students own rights to content with granting access to student media for its use or student media owns the content with access rights to students.

For multiple reasons, it is not a good idea to have the school own student media content.

Student media staffs should use suggested guidelines from the Journalism Education Association Scholastic Press Rights Committee and the Student Press Law Center to craft an ownership statement suitable for their program.

ResourcesWho owns student-produced content? Scholastic Press Rights Committee

Ownership of student content

Back to School: Who Owns What?, Student Press Law Center

Contribution to Collective Work, U.S. Copyright Office

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