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This guide is informational and in no way constitutes legal advice.


Instructor and staff IP

Works created by Federal government employees as part of their official duties are considered a “work of the United States Government” and are governed by U.S. Code: Title 17 – Copyrights § 105:

Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government, but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise.


As such, any works produced by Joint Special Operations University instructors and staff within the scope of their employment, including but not limited to courseware and pedagogical materials, are considered government works and are not eligible for copyright. U.S. Government works are in the public domain and may be published and disseminated at the U.S. Government’s discretion.


Employees retain the rights to any personal works created outside the scope of their official duties, on their own time, and without the use of U.S. government resources, property, or funds.


This does not preclude the copyright protections held by authors for any copyrighted materials utilized as part of a U.S. Government work. Use of copyrighted materials still requires reproduction permission from the copyright holder.



The rights of contractors are determined by the contract provisions and if a question arises regarding the work of a contractor, contact either the Contracting Officer or Contracting Officer's Representative.



Any curriculum related works created by U.S. military and federal government employee students attending the Joint Special Operations University as part of their official duties, are considered U.S. government works and are not subject to copyright protection.

While international copyright laws may pertain outside the United States, international students attending a JSOU course under official orders, utilizing U.S. Government resources are also governed by U.S. copyright law. However, outside of the U.S., the copyright laws of a student's home country may apply.


Public release

U.S. Government works are in the public domain, however, there is no requirement that they be publicly released outside the institution or without restriction. Instructor, staff, or student works selected for publication are subject to an official 4-step review process by legal, public affairs, security, and FOIA.

U.S. Government works should include a copyright and permissions notice.


Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17)‚Äč,

Permissions - Government-Prepared and Non-federal Authored Works: Best Practices for U.S. Government Agencies,

Clearance of DoD Information for Public Release,

World Intellectual Property Organization,