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Copyright for lecturers and researchers   Tags: copyright,  pedagogical exception  

Last Updated: Jul 10, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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User and creator: the lecturer-researcher’s dual role

Lecturers and researchers are led to create intellectual work, both as part of their lecturing job and outside of it: They are in effect authors and therefore entitled to copyrights.

Teacher silhouette black and white with desk and blackboard

Teacher silhouette black and white with desk and blackboard - 2010 -CC0 1.0

Although they are public agents, lecturer-researchers are no longer subjected to the specific law on copyright for civil servants; since the DADVSI law from August 1, 2006, they follow a derogatory system.

Their lecturing and researching roles also bring them to use and lean on original works which are by nature copyrighted.


Context: a bit of history

The DADVSI law from August 1, 2006 widely amended the copyright applicable to intellectual works created by civil servants or public agents. While copyright until then had been subjected to the March 11, 1957 law and to articles L.111-1 et seq of the French intellectual property code (CPI), a state council notice from November 21, 1972, referred to as the Ofrateme notice, limited the rights of civil servants on works "created as part of their very service" (Ofrateme notice, CN Nov. 21 1972, n°309721).

This meant that while the lecturer-researcher owned a moral right on their original works created as part of their lecturing job (handouts, exercises but also online courses…), their university automatically owned a property right on these works.

Outside their lecturing role however, the lecturer-researcher would keep their entire copyright, i.e. both the moral right and the property right (e.g. on the publication of these creations by university presses or scientific reviews).

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Séverine Moro
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Centre de Ressources Documentaires
(00 33) 2 98 05 66 20
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Sandrine Portet
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To cite this guide

DUBOIS Anne-Céline, MORO Séverine "Copyright for lecturers and researchers". In UEB (Université Européenne de Bretagne). Form@doct. Rennes: UEB, May 2010 (last updated on July 4, 2013). Available on:


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