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Intellectual Property Policy

Approved January 18, 2002

The purpose of this policy statement is to establish the obligations, and preserve the rights, of the Hand Society and its authors, presenters, and other contributors (collectively, “contributors”) with respect to intellectual property presented during Hand Society programs or other activities.

The ASSH understands the considerable effort required to create quality education products. Due to advances in multimedia technology, it is inevitable that this material will be highly visible and, consequently, subject to greater public scrutiny and possible misuse.  For this reason, among others, it is important for the Hand Society to establish a coherent statement of policy regarding its receipt and use of intellectual property.  Accordingly, this policy statement establishes (i) the process by which the Hand Society will determine the material that will be required for a particular program or activity, how it will be used, and the respective rights of the Hand Society and contributors to that material; (ii) the terms on which the Hand Society will accept material for presentation or publication; and (iii) the steps that the Hand Society will take to preserve its rights in the property, as well as those of its contributors.

Scope of Rights
Prior to inviting contributors to participate in, or otherwise contribute to, an ASSH educational program or other activity, the Hand Society will determine (i) the format(s) in which the program or other activity will be presented, published, or republished (e.g., podium talk, program binder, journal, textbook, audiotape, videotape, CD-ROM, digital course); (ii) the written materials that will be required for the program or activity (e.g., slides, syllabus, manuscript, PowerPoint (or digital) presentation); and (iii) the respective rights (e.g., copyright ownership, exclusive license, right to first publication, right to reprint, acknowledgement) of the Hand Society and the contributor in the contributed
material, as well as in any materials produced by the Hand Society in connection with the program or other activity.

In selecting the appropriate format for presentation of its intellectual property, as well as the intellectual property of its contributors, the Hand Society will take into consideration several factors, including the relative costs, availability, ease of use/convenience and, especially, security features of potential formats.  Because of the heightened risk of piracy of digitally captured and commercially reproduced intellectual property, the Hand Society will exercise discretion in calling for any digital reproduction of materials, especially when contributors will retain rights.  Under all circumstances, the Hand Society will undertake reasonable efforts to maintain the security of the subject materials.

In determining the respective rights of the Hand Society and its contributors in the materials, the Hand Society will take several matters into account, including the intended use of the materials, their anticipated visibility, restrictions imposed by third parties, whether the Hand Society has a need to maintain exclusive control, and contributors’ desire to preserve their own rights of ownership and/or publication.  Where the contributed material will not be recorded, reprinted or otherwise reproduced  the Hand Society ordinarily will seek appropriate rights to the material; in all other circumstances (e.g., podium presentation only), the Hand Society ordinarily will not seek such rights.
Copyright law provides a “bundle” of rights to the creator of an original work, including, for example, the exclusive right to reproduce the work, distribute the reproductions, display and perform the work, prepare derivative works based on the original, and authorize others to any of those things.   Creators of copyrightable works can transfer copyright ownership (and the bundle of rights that go along with it) to others.  With the exception of Journal articles, for example, the Hand Society ordinarily will not seek to own the copyright in works created by others.

Instead, the Hand Society will seek to obtain rights to use the copyrighted material through the use of a license.  Copyright owners may grant licenses covering all or a portion of the bundle of rights described above, on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis.  Where an exclusive license is granted, the licensee has the sole right to exercise that right (e.g., to reproduce the work).  Where rights are granted on a non-exclusive basis, the copyright owner may authorize others to use the same material.  Copyright licenses also can be granted for limited or unlimited time.  Thus, depending on the circumstances, the Hand Society may seek a license for some or all of the rights included in the copyright, on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis, and for a limited time or for the life of the copyright.  Any rights not specifically covered in the license are retained by the creator of the work.

In each instance, the Hand Society will determine the scope of rights in a work which it seeks and will notify potential contributors regarding the above determinations sufficiently in advance of the scheduled program or production to allow the affected parties time to assess their willingness and interest in participating and to allow alternate participants to be chosen, if necessary.  All contributors must agree to abide by ASSH’s policies on intellectual property, including, but not limited to , the terms and conditions of presentation or publication.  Contributors will not be allowed to “opt out” from meeting any or all of those requirements.

Requirements for Participation

Every contributor to a Hand Society educational program or activity is required to represent to the Hand Society that:

The content of his or her materials is accurate to the best of his or her  knowledge;

The materials do not violate any copyright, proprietary rights or personal  rights of others;  

The materials, including photographs, do not identify any patient or others;  or, if they do, the contributor has obtained all necessary consents for the  further use of such materials;  

The article, presentation or other materials will be educational in nature,  will not promote any product of service, and will not contain any false or  misleading statements regarding any products or services or include  materials that are slanderous, libelous or otherwise illegal; and  

The contributor is authorized to make those representations.  

Because the Hand Society is not in a position to conduct an independent investigation into the accuracy or ownership of presentation materials, or whether those materials may violate the rights of third parties, contributors also must indemnify the ASSH against any liability arising from a breach of the foregoing representations.  By requiring contributors to make the above representations, it is the Hand Society’s intent that contributors will determine whether those representations can be made and, as such, will take the steps necessary to protect themselves from possibly violating others’ rights.

Requests to Reproduce
Unless the copyright is transferred or an exclusive license is granted, individual authors do not need the Hand Society’s permission to reproduce their own materials.  Any individual or organization desiring to reproduce intellectual property that the Hand Society owns or is licensed to reproduce must make an application in writing (or on the Web) to the ASSH Central Office. The Central Office is authorized to grant permission for use of this material, as long as the requesting party provides a written statement acknowledging and agreeing: (i) that its primary use will be for educational purposes; (ii) to abide by all ASSH intellectual property policies; and (ii) to prominently acknowledge the contributor as well as the ASSH’s rights to the material.  If the Central Office has any questions regarding the appropriateness of the request, it shall refer the matter to Council.

Policy Implementation

The ASSH Central Office is responsible for the administration of this policy and, as such, shall create and distribute all materials, including, but not limited to, information to prospective contributors, consent forms, licenses, notices, and reprint permissions, in compliance with these policies and procedures.

The initial forms and directives resulting from this policy will be developed in consultation with the ASSH IP Task Force.  Thereafter, the Central Office may develop additional forms and make administrative modifications; however, Council must approve any changes in intellectual property policy.
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