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Oklahoma State University
Technology Development Center

A unit in the Division of the Vice President for Research


A copyright is a form of protection provided by federal law to the author(s) of "original works of authorship," including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished. Computer programs are considered literary works.

Copyright is automatically gained when the work exists in tangible form. The creation does not have to be registered in order to be copyrighted, but there are advantages to registration, the most notable of which is the ability to fend off infringement.

Use of the copyright notice is not required, but it is useful because it notifies the public that the work is copyrighted, identifies the owner, and indicates the year of first publication. Example: © 2002 Jill Doe

For works created on or after January 1, 1978, copyright protection begins at the moment of creation in tangible form, continues throughout the creator's life, and extends 70 years past his/her death.

OSU's Intellectual Property ppolicy governing copyright is stated in OSU Policy and Procedures No. 1-0202. For more information concerning this policy, contact the Technology Development Center(744.5361; ). Steps in the OSU copyright and patent process can be found in the Our Process section of this Web site.

Fill out a Disclosure of Copyright Form for submission to our offices.

Complete instructions for submitting a copyright application to the U.S. Copyright Office, as well as other details pertaining to copyrights, can be found at their Web site.