RGME Intellectual Property Statement & Agreements

RGME Intellectual Property
Statement & Agreements

Version 1.3 (28 April 2024)

(Posted on 29 April 2024)

Wien, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (ÖNB), Cod. 1224. Cutbercht Gospels. Salzburg circa 790. Portrait of the Evangelist Matthew pausing at the work of writing his text. Image via Image Public Domain via http://data.onb.ac.at/dtl/7365239.


1. Purpose
2. Definitions
3. Scope
4. Ownership of Copyright
5. Recordings of Presentations
6. Work for the RGME
7. Sample Forms

1. Purpose

This document sets out how the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence (RGME), a New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation (EIN 22-3687863), handles the Intellectual Property (IP) of the Corporation and its Officers, Associates, Volunteers, and Contributors (its “members and associates”).

Note that the RGME, as a nonprofit organization “without members” does not have “Members” as such, but volunteers by other names.  (See RGME Officers, Associates, and Volunteers.)

2. Definitions

Publishing: According to the U.S. Copyright Office, “Publication is the distribution
of copies or phonorecords of a work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership,
or by rental, lease, or lending. The offering to distribute copies or phonorecords to a group of
persons for purposes of further distribution, public performance, or public display constitutes
publication. A public performance or display of a work does not of itself constitute publication.”
Generally, publication occurs on the date on which copies of the work are first made available
to the public.

Author: “Under the copyright law, the creator of the original expression in a work
is its author. The author is also the owner of copyright unless there is a written agreement
by which the author assigns the copyright to another person or entity, such as a publisher.”

Copyright Definitions

3. Scope

This document applies to all members and associates.

4. Ownership of Copyright

The RGME makes no claim to any interest or copyright for scholarly works produced by its members and associates, except in instances in which the member or associate has signed a transfer of copyright to the RGME.

In the case where the RGME publishes the work of members or associates, the RGME will ask the author(s) to assign the copyright to RGME; in these cases, it will be agreed that the author will retain the right to republish their own works in venues that do not conflict with RGME interests, such on an author’s personal website, academia.edu page, faculty page, and/or in scholarly books or collections published or edited by the author(s).

5. Recordings of Presentations

The RGME routinely records sessions presented by its members or associates, along with responses by audience members. The RGME does and will claim copyright on these edited recordings as anthologies.  Each presenter at such a recorded session retains the copyright to the material in their own individual presentation unless explicitly agreed otherwise.

6. Work for the RGME

Members and associates often perform work directly for, or on behalf of, the RGME. Since this work is performed on a volunteer basis, members and associates will be asked to agree that any such work performed directly for or on behalf of the RGME (e.g. work for the RGME website, on other documentations, on newsletters, and other publications) is considered a donation of that intellectual property, for which RGME will then retain the copyright.

The RGME will make it clear to members and associates prior to their undertaking any such work that the RGME will retain rights to their output; the RGME will retain records of the signed forms which document the member’s or associate’s agreement that copyright for their volunteer contributions shall reside with the RGME.

7. Sample Forms

We have prepared Sample Forms for these Agreements.  They may be available upon request.