Annual Copyright Policy Notification


Clarkson University is committed to the protection of intellectual property and copyright. Actions that deliberately infringe copyright and other intellectual property rights are inconsistent with the Clarkson Values and a violation of the Clarkson University Information Systems Acceptable Use Policy. Such actions will not be tolerated.


Users who violate the Clarkson University Information Systems Acceptable Use Policy may be subject to a $100 fine, loss of network privileges, and referral to the Dean of Students or Human Resources for disciplinary action. Violators may also be subject to additional legal and financial actions, with potential fines exceeding $150,000 per infringing work.


Unless a work explicitly states otherwise, assume all material is subject to full copyright protection. If you use online services for media, verify the service is legal and has proper authority to distribute copyrighted work. If you are unsure, you may open an IT support request by contacting the IT HelpDesk at you have used software on your computer to download illegal content prior to attaching to the Clarkson network, be sure to fully uninstall the software and remove illegal content, or you may be identified by copyright enforcement companies. This is the most common cause of copyright infringement penalties incurred by students. OIT has a no-questions-asked policy to help students remove illegal content and software from student computers. If you need assistance to remove software, please open an IT support request by contacting the IT HelpDesk at


Clarkson University takes the protection of intellectual property and copyright seriously. Actions that deliberately infringe copyright and other intellectual property rights are inconsistent with the Clarkson value of integrity and are a violation of the Clarkson Information Systems Acceptable Use Policy (Student Regulations, IX-G).Because the University is an internet service provider, it is protected from liability for copyright infringement by network users if it satisfies one of the safe harbor provisions established in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), 17 USC §512. To qualify for those safe harbors, the University must and will expeditiously disable access to material stored on its systems or transmitted through its network when the University knows or is made aware of the presence of infringing content. Under the University’s Student Code of Conduct, students who violate the Information Systems Acceptable Use Policy by illegally sharing copyrighted material may be fined $100, have their network access removed, and may be referred to the Dean of Students for further disciplinary action.The University is committed to fully comply with the Copyright Act and other laws that protect intellectual property rights. All users of the Clarkson network should be aware that illegally sharing copyrighted material online (or otherwise) may have significant legal and financial consequences. Penalties for copyright infringement may include fines of up to $150,000 per infringing act. Specific penalties are outlined in 17 USC §504.

Clarkson University has taken the following steps to respond to the issues surrounding copyright and intellectual property infringement:

  • The Chief Information Officer sends an annual announcement to all University computer users explaining the potential consequences of violating the laws regarding copyright protected material.
  • By connecting to the network, each network user agrees to abide by the Clarkson University Information Systems Acceptable Use Policy. This policy prohibits copyright infringement and recognizes the importance of intellectual property.
  • The Office of Information Technology responds to network use that is excessive and addresses suspected violations of the Information Systems Acceptable Use Policy.
  • We provide students information on legal alternatives for music and video entertainment.
  • We comply with takedown notices from copyright holders issued under the DMCA.


Users should also note that there are specific situations, referred to as “Fair Use,” in which copyrighted material can be used without the copyright holders permission. Section 107 of the copyright law contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

  • The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  • The nature of the copyrighted work
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

The safest course is to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material. If you have further questions in reference to Fair Use, please contact the University Libraries at

This email serves as the official communication of the University Copyright Policy for compliance with the HEOA of 2010.