Copyright for lecturers and researchers: Introduction
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.
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).
To cite this guide
DUBOIS Anne-Céline, MORO Séverine "Copyright for lecturers and researchers". In UBL (Université Européenne de Bretagne). Formadoct. Rennes: UBL, May 2010 (last updated on July 4, 2013). Available on: