To qualify for a CISC/COGS 499 project you and your supervisor must sign a contract clarifying your responsibilities and everyone’s intellectual property rights in the work you do. You will submit a signed contract at the same time as you submit your project proposal.

Queen’s current policy is that intellectual property belongs to its creators; the contract clarifies what rights students and supervisors have in the results of the project. In particular, supervisors’ investment of time and energy is predicated on their being able to continue to use the results of the project in their future work.

There are three forms of contract you might be asked to sign.

  • The Open Source version permits anyone to copy and modify the results of the project under conditions controlled by the open source license named in the contract. This is needed under several circumstances, such as if the project involves modifying existing open-source intellectual property, or if the supervisor(s) are beginning a project that they need to share widely with other researchers not named in the contract.
  • The Commercial version is needed by Canadian law if students wish to preserve their right to commercially exploit the results of their project.
  • If neither of these is suitable, such as if the intellectual property is part of a research contract with an external organization, your supervisor will need to work out some other form of CISC/COGS 499 contract.

The supervisor is entitled to make the signing of an open source (or other) contract a condition of supervising the project. See the Wikipedia article summarizing the many available licenses.

If there are more than three students for a project, please contact the CISC 499 coordinator to obtain a version with additional space for signatures, or use multiple copies of the standard form. Instructions on how to submit contracts will be posted in early Fall.