Intellectual Property and Disclosure in Agency Life

When a student works with you on an Agency Life experience, they are like any other employee. Work they they create is like work that any employee creates when they are part of your organisation. How do you deal with the issue of IP with your employees? I guess like most firms, any work that an employee does belongs to you (or your client if your an agency depending on how you configure that relationship). So you manage your students’ work for you in the same way.

Disclosure is another important issue and again we would say that you manage the issue of disclosure as you would with your employees. Do you ask your employees to sign NDAs? If you have clients and you are asked to sign one for them, how do you convey that message to your staff? It’s the same approach with our students and you should treat them like you would any employee. If you are asking our students to sign NDAs, we suggest that you sit down with them and explain what they mean. Its likely to be the first time they will have seen one. Discuss the consequences and the importance of non-disclosure, and why they mustn’t tell people certain things. Our students will be doing a lot of writing at times – some of it may involve blogging or tweeting – so make sure you’re happy with content that they’re producing and aks to see things before they publish them.

As an aside, MMU staff are not permitted to sign NDAs as this puts the University into a position of liability which it may not care to take. The only person who may sign an NDA is the Vice-Chancellor – if one needs signing by a member of University staff, let us know.

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