I’m a teacher in a private school and was asked by the school to develop lesson plans for an existing text book.
Eventually that’s going to be a manual for the teachers to use for that specific text book.

I am paid for my time doing this, however there are more things I was asked to help with during that the time frame I was given, mainly develop more materials for school.

The lessons plans can be used in any school that uses the same text book hence I would like to protect my rights and make sure it’s not going to be used in other different school without my permission.
Can I copyright my materials?

I’m a teacher in a private school and was asked by the school to develop lesson plans for an existing text book.
Eventually that’s going to be a manual for the teachers to use for that specific text book.
I am paid for my time doing this, however there are more things I was asked to help with during that the time frame I was given , mainly develop more materials for school.
The lessons plans can be used in any school that uses the same text book hence I would like to protect my rights and make sure it’s not going to be used in other different school without my permission.
Can I copy right my materials?
Thanks!
Abby.

If this is not the correct forum for this question, or too specific, feel free to close it. I’m more or less from MSE, and this seemed like the place to ask.

There’s this well-known math text called “Characteristic Classes” by Milnor and Stasheff which is regarded as a staple among topology students in the field. It’s a classic, and is highly regarded by everyone. The problem is that it’s old, comparatively speaking. I don’t seem to be able to hunt down a ‘new’ copy in the sense that it’s updated printing, font, etc, and it’s kind of an eyesore to read. For me personally, this writing actually causes headaches, to the point where I can’t read for much longer once it starts. The copyright date inside the text is from 1974.

I don’t know anything about copyright law at all – I’m just a graduate student. Since I have time this summer, I was thinking about trying to transcribe some sections of the book into LaTeX, with modern diagrams and fonts that might be a little easier on the eyes. It would probably involve some headaches along the way, but I can’t be the only one who experiences this, and it might help someone else down the line. Plus this would let me insert in footnotes or endnote comments about things that jumped out at me while reading. It’s a rich text so there are lots of places where this happens.

Obviously if I do this for myself and don’t share it with anyone, there’s no problem. But if I were to do this, it would really be for the benefit of other grad students or mathematicians. If I were to post it on a blog or something, it might violate some kind of copyright law, and obviously I want to avoid that kind of problem. Is this sort of thing legal, and more generally, how do I go about finding out what is or is not legal in the United States?

Do I lose copyright if a journal accepts my paper and publishes it? Can I send my paper to colleagues, or is this technically illegal if they do not have access to the journal via their institution (or haven’t bought it themselves)? (whether people do this anyways is a different question).

In short, is there anything I cannot do or that I would be restricted in doing after having published my paper in an academic journal?

First, imagine the following scenario: A “report” is first archived in arXiv as version one (v1). From that report, a “preprint” manuscript (with the same title as the report, but probably shorter than the report, in order to comply with the number of pages required by the journal) is prepared, archived in arXiv as v2 and later sent to Elsevier. After acceptance, the “postprint” (version improved with the comments suggested by the reviewers) is archived in arXiv as v3.

Here we consider only the case of green open-access (the copyrights are transfered from the authors to Elsevier), and not the case of gold open-access (the copyright still belongs to the authors), since in the later case it is clear that any license that the authors wish can be applied to the report, preprint and postprint.

Said that, the more detailed questions are the following:

  1. Is the “preprint” considered a derivative work of the “report”? Is the “postprint” considered a derivative work of the “preprint”?

  2. Do the authors of the “report” and “preprint” still hold copyright on each of them (despite the copyrights of the postprint have been transfered to Elsevier)? See a sample of the publishing agreement and Elsevier’s sharing policy FAQ (where the issue is not completely clear, at least to me)

Are you asserting copyright over preprints?

No, preprints can be used anytime anywhere by authors. We encourage authors seeking to publish in Cell Press, The Lancet, and some society owned titles to check the author section on the journal homepage for additional information.

  1. In case of yes, does it means that ANY creative commons (CC) license (CC:BY/4.0, CC:BY-SA/4.0 or CC:BY-NC-SA/4.0) can be applied to the “report” and the “preprint”? See Elsevier’s sharing policy (the issue is again not clear to me)

Preprint

  • Authors can share their preprint anywhere at any time.
  • If accepted for publication, we encourage authors to link from the preprint to their formal publication via its Digital Object Identifier (DOI). Millions of researchers have access to the formal publications on ScienceDirect, and so links will help your users to find, access, cite, and use the best available version.
  • Authors can update their preprints on arXiv or RePEc with their accepted manuscript .
  1. In case of no, what open-access license could have been applied to both the “report” and the “preprint”?

It is clear from a previous post that the “postprint” should have a CC:BY-NC-ND license in the .pdf file and uploaded to arXiv under “arXiv’s non-exclusive license” since both are compatible and satisfy the requirements of both Elsevier and arXiv.

Also SHERPA/RoMEO doesn’t mention what kind of license can be applied to the “preprint”.

Thank you for your help