Copyright protection is automatic for any "original work of authorship" created and "fixed in any tangible medium of expression." As the author of a copyrighted work, you are generally the copyright owner. But in many circumstances, an employer is considered to be the author.
In higher education, copyright ownership is typically addressed through institutional policy or written agreements. The BYU-Idaho Intellectual Property Policy clarifies who owns the copyright to original works created at BYU-Idaho and how the rights of ownership are allocated between the authors and the University. It also provides for a process where the University may choose to transfer some or all rights to the creators when such requests are made in advance and in accordance with the process outlined in the policy. Because the full policy is binding on all University personnel, all university employees are encouraged to carefully review the policy and become familiar with it.
"The University owns and controls any Intellectual Property created by University Personnel: i) within the course and scope of employment, or ii) as a work for hire, or iii) with substantial use of University Resources. The University generally claims no ownership rights in other works created by University Personnel in full compliance with this and all other applicable University policies and procedures."
Under the BYU-Idaho policy, works created by University personnel with substantial use of University resources or within the scope of their employment are considered works made for hire. When a work qualifies as a work made for hire, the employer or commissioning party is considered its author.
Course and Scope of Employment and Personal Work(s)
While no precise standard exists to define “Scope of Employment”, it would be reasonable to consider works that are created by University Personnel without direction or supervision, without substantial University Resources, and with a purpose outside of administration or course, development to be Personal Works. – things like publishing, presenting, and other creative works that are done under these circumstances.
Students generally own the copyrights of their creative works unless part of a sponsored activity governed by another agreement. Student-created works that are produced while employed by the university, are owned by the University. When student works are created under the supervision and direction of a faculty member in connection with a program or activity or with substantial use of resources, the University retains a non-exclusive license to such works (shop rights)* – unless there is an agreement that states otherwise.
*“Shop Rights” means a non-exclusive, non-transferable, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, or make derivative works of the copyrighted work, for educational or research purposes only.