An author or creator of a work automatically owns copyright in that work once it exists in a fixed form.
Virginia Tech faculty and students own copyright in the works they have created as described in VT Policy 13000, http://www.policies.vt.edu/13000.pdf. According to this policy, for “the traditional results of academic scholarship, i.e., textbooks, literary works, artistic creations and artifacts” -- that is, the kinds of works most commonly deposited in VTechWorks -- “the IP rights remain with the author(s) and the University rights are limited to free (no cost) use in teaching, research, extension, etc. in perpetuity."
Practice, however, indicates that if authors transfer or relinquish their copyrights to third parties (e.g., publishers), those authors may no longer have the right to deposit their own published works.
In order for VTechWorks to distribute, reproduce, or translate your submission, you must agree to the following terms.
NON-EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTION LICENSE
By signing and submitting this license, you (the author(s) or copyright owner) grant to Virginia Tech's University Libraries (VTUL) permission to store and provide access to your submission (including the abstract).
You agree that VTUL may, without changing the content, translate the submission to any medium or format for the purpose of preservation.
You also agree that VTUL may keep more than one copy of this submission for purposes of security, backup and preservation.
You represent that the submission is your original work, and that you have the right to grant the rights contained in this license. You also represent that your submission does not, to the best of your knowledge, infringe upon anyone's copyright.
If the submission contains material for which you do not hold copyright, you represent that you have obtained the unrestricted permission of the copyright owner to grant VTUL the rights required by this license, and that such third-party owned material is clearly identified and acknowledged within the text or content of the submission.
If the submission is based upon work that has been sponsored or supported by an agency or organization other than Virginia Tech, you represent that you have fulfilled any right of review or other obligations required by such contract or agreement.
VTUL will clearly identify your name(s) as the author(s) or owner(s) of the submission, and will not make any alteration, other than as allowed by this license, to your submission.
Copyright owners and their delegates may elect to add a Creative Commons license to their works so that members of the public who find the work online will know if they have been given explicit permission to copy, modify, distribute or perform the work under certain conditions.