The following policy was approved by vote of the DLESE Steering Committee, July 2, 2002
DLESE is conceived as an information system dedicated to the collection, enhancement, and distribution of materials that facilitate learning about the Earth system at all educational levels. DLESE is a distributed network built as a community effort that provides broad access for the community of users and learners. The DLESE information system is built on an infrastructure that is created by the collaborative but distributed efforts of many institutions and individuals.
A spirit of sharing and cooperation is a fundamental principle of DLESE (DLESE Articles of Federation). DLESE desires to provide access to all DLESE infrastructure intellectual property (IP), whether patented, copyrighted, or not, for unrestricted use by the entire DLESE community for non-commercial purposes. The intent of the DLESE Intellectual Property policy is to support long-term stability and open access to library collections and services by the DLESE community of contributors and users. DLESE will make this policy available to its community.
For the purpose of outlining the expectations of all individuals and institutions associated with DLESE, the following terms have the following meanings within this DLESE Intellectual Property policy.
DLESE Entities. Individuals or institutions, which have a specific mandate through funding (NSF or other agency or institution) to create works to support DLESE infrastructure, services, or collections. These entities will adopt and abide by the DLESE Intellectual Property policy.
DLESE Contributors. Individuals or institutions which choose to contribute to DLESE. By virtue of their contribution they subscribe to the DLESE Intellectual Property policy.
DLESE Infrastructure IP. DLESE Infrastructure IP includes, but is not limited to: computer software, metadata, applications, tools, techniques, processes, systems, system architecture, data, databases, associated documentation, or any other material, such as content or images for webpages, created specifically for or contributed to the DLESE infrastructure. Note that DLESE Infrastructure IP is not meant to include collections or resource materials that are within the digital library itself.
All DLESE Entities and Contributors (or their institution as applicable) agree to grant a nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, royalty-free right to the DLESE community to access and use (including source code, if applicable), copy, modify, enhance, and create derivative works of the DLESE Infrastructure IP, for any purpose associated with DLESE and to make any modifications, enhancements, and derivative works (including source code) available to the DLESE community.
The grant of access and use will be consistent for all DLESE Entities and Contributors, and may be reflected in signed agreements between institutions and individuals (as necessary). However, no grant of use may be more restrictive than set forth above. In turn, a DLESE Entity or Contributor may choose to provide the DLESE Infrastructure IP free and clear for all uses (e.g., public domain).
 The holding and licensing of rights to intellectual property created with federal assistance is stipulated by the Bayh-Dole Act, as amended and codified at 37 CFR 402 Rights to Inventions Made by Nonprofit Organizations and Small Business Firms. In addition, government rights in technical data or computer software are governed by the Rights in Data clause of the Federal Acquisition (FAR) 52.227-14, unless there is a superceding provision in a grant, contract or cooperative agreement with a government agency. In any event, the government regulations allow the university/non-profit institution to retain intellectual property rights in the inventions or data.