Copyright for Contributions to IEEE Standards Development

General Principles of the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) Copyright Policy

  • Enhancing the accessibility, distribution and use of information is a major objective of IEEE and IEEE SA, limited only by the requirements of viability and professional propriety.
  • In exercising its rights under copyright, IEEE SA recognizes that it is acting in part to serve and protect the interests of its standards participants and participating entities.
  • Fees for the reuse of IEEE standards material are appropriate for contributing to the cost of standards development oversight and original publication, especially where the reuse involves a license to copy, or allows resale, or is of a magnitude that would tend to reduce subscription or other sales income.

For information about referencing, reprinting, adopting, translating, and requesting permission to use IEEE standards, please visit the Copyright and Permissions page.

To immediately request permission please fill out this form.

Contributions to IEEE Standards

All Contributions to IEEE standards development (whether for an individual or entity standard) shall meet the requirements outlined in the IEEE SA Copyright Policy.

There are two types of Contributions to IEEE standards development, Contributions from previously Published sources and Contributions that have not been previously Published.

Contributions from Previously Published Sources

Any participant who submits Contributions from previously published sources shall comply with 7.2.1 of the IEEE SA Standards Board Bylaws.

IEEE Permission Form Letters (ZIP) to request and grant permission to use material unchanged or modified are available online. If the Working Group would like to request permission for review of material without any further use, contact IEEE SA Intellectual Property Rights for a customized permission form. Additional requirements must be met for these materials (e.g., watermarking and cover sheets).

Contributions Not Previously Published

Any participant who submits Contributions that have not been previously Published conveys the rights to the IEEE that are outlined in 7.2.2 of the IEEE SA Standards Board Bylaws.

Use by IEEE of Contributions

Use of any Contribution in connection with the standards project for which the Contribution was made is defined as granting IEEE the unrestricted right to

  • Display, distribute, and provide access to the Contribution worldwide, to participants in the standards project or to any interested party in the development of the standards project,
    • Using any method and in any form, including, but not limited to, providing access in print and electronically on a server or in a searchable database
    • Accessing the Contribution at no cost or for a fee, and with or without requirement for IEEE or IEEE SA membership
  • Modify and incorporate the Contribution into the proposed draft IEEE standard that is a Work Product of the standards project

Upon approval of the standard, the material from the Contribution that is incorporated into the approved IEEE Standard is part of the Work Product copyrighted by IEEE and falls under item b) in Clause 7.2.2 of the IEEE SA Standards Board Bylaws. IEEE has full exploitation rights to the material in the approved standard (e.g., it can use, license, or distribute the material in the approved standard in any way it wishes).

With respect to the original Contribution (except for the material in the approved standard), IEEE does not have the right to

  • Submit the Contribution to any other proposed draft IEEE standard without agreement by the original submitter
  • Grant permission for another entity to use material from the Contribution in another work or derivative work

IEEE will comply with legal requirements to provide the Contribution, including but not limited to, assisting in the administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of a national or international government entity.

Contributions to IEEE Standards-Related Products

Authors who develop standards-related products have separate author agreements that address copyright ownership for those products. If an author submits material containing excerpted content from previously Published sources, the author is responsible for obtaining permission for use of that material from the copyright owner, or from a person with the authority or right to grant copyright permission. Requests by authors for copyright permission shall be coordinated with the IEEE SA Intellectual Property Rights.

IEEE SA Copyright Policy

This course provides guidance and tools to navigate the copyright challenges posed by participating in SA activities. This is a great course for standards working groups and volunteers who have to explain the policy to volunteers or police copyright in some way. Better knowledge of copyright in general and SA’s policy in particular helps ensure that we are protecting SA Intellectual Property (IP), the IP of our volunteers and contributors, and following the law when we borrow materials from others.

Learn More About the IEEE SA Copyright Policy Course

Related Links

IEEE Resources

Reduce misuse of IEEE Content

  • Report misuse of IEEE intellectual property including unauthorized posting of conference & journal papers, reselling of standards, or unauthorized use of the IEEE name or logo.
  • Access the web form
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