3.0 The Components of a Policy

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Policies contain elements or components that address specific issues. Standard elements are those determined by tradition and practice to be necessary for conveying the policy's purpose and authority. These elements are found in all policies, regardless of topic.

There also are a host of optional elements whose relevance varies by policy area and institutional need. Gender bias statements, for example, are usually a component of employment policies, but are not relevant in other policy arenas. A natural history museum may include policy statements that address patents, while another museum will find such statements irrelevant. In the end, each institution must "pick and choose" the components they will include in their policy (as determined by the careful analyses outlined in Chapter 2 and identify their position or stance vis-à-vis each element.

This chapter examines the most common standard and optional elements found in museum IP policies. Whenever possible, examples are drawn from museum and other nonprofit organizations' policies to illustrate how the element may be expressed in an actual policy, and how this expression can vary from one institution to another. Readers are cautioned that the coverage of policy elements in this chapter is not exhaustive: your institution may well identify an element critical for its policy which is not addressed below.

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