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Standards and Policies

Copyright Infringement

Any action which violates the rights of a copyright owner may constitute copyright infringement. The digital environment includes a number of media, which are subject to copyright laws, including the Internet, email, and computer software.

The Internet

Copyright infringement via the Internet may occur in a variety of ways, including making unauthorized copies of any copyrighted material and publishing another's copyrighted materials over computer networks.


Like the Internet, email may be used to publish, manipulate, or otherwise attribute original works of authorship. Such action may constitute copyright infringement.

Software Copyright Infringement

Software Copyright Infringement includes receiving and/or using unauthorized copies of software, making unauthorized copies of software for oneself or others, or attempting to modify the computer systems in any unauthorized manner.

a. Software License Agreements. Husson has purchased licenses that permit members of its community to access and use many software packages and files that are protected and regulated by copyright law. Software license agreements are contracts in which the seller agrees to provide the program, provided that the buyer agrees to abide by the rules of the license. Most of the software used at Husson is licensed to Husson through independent software companies.

b. Ethical and Legal Use of Software. Copyrighted software must only be used in accordance with the license and purchase agreement between Husson and independent vendors. Users do not have the right to make copies of licensed software, modify, and/or distribute such copies to anyone. Only authorized copying of files or programs or program utilization is ethical and legal.

Fair Use Doctrine

To determine whether particular uses of a copyrighted work are permissible, the courts often refer to the fair use doctrine, described in U.S.C. Title 17, section 107. The fair use doctrine considers:

1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

2. The nature of the copyrighted work;

3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. Husson's policy is to adhere strictly to the letter and spirit of copyright laws and regulations. Copyright infringement may be subject to disciplinary and/or legal action. For additional discussion, see the Enforcement section of this policy.


The use of Husson's digital environment is a privilege. While student tuition makes possible many of the services available to students, staff and faculty, there are no fees paid by students to directly establish or maintain any information resources. Any user who violates the Husson digital environment or related Husson policies may have his or her access privileges terminated. Additionally, such misconduct may subject the violator to disciplinary action under standard Husson disciplinary rules, personnel processes and, in some cases, criminal prosecution.


Any use of the Husson digital environment that violates applicable copyright laws is subject to appropriate disciplinary action as well as those civil remedies and criminal penalties provided by federal law.

Applicability of Other Policies

Husson's sexual harassment policy and other policies regarding appropriate conduct are applicable to all uses of the Digital environment. This includes communications sent off campus via Husson access to email and the Internet.


Alleged violations of the Digital Environment Policy are subject to investigation. In the event of an investigation, Husson reserves the right to access private information, including the contents of files and mailboxes while making every effort to keep such investigations confidential. Husson may access email accounts to satisfy a legal obligation. Any administrator who believes such actions are necessary must first obtain the approval of an appropriate administrative authority.

Reporting Violations

The department appropriate to the nature of the complaint and/or violation will handle violations of the Digital Environment Policy. For example, violations of Husson harassment or discrimination policies should be directed to Human Resources, Office of Student Services, or the Student Affairs. Violations unique to the Digital Environment Policy should be directed to the Director of the Information Technology Office.


Husson is unable to warrant that its digital environment is virus-free, or that all hardware and/or software used to access the Digital environment will be compatible with the Husson system. Use and/or access to Husson's digital environment does not entitle the user to seek indirect, consequential, special, punitive, peremptory, or like damages from Husson in connection with such use and access.

Acceptable Use Policy

These policies are subject to change without advance notice. All users are responsible for keeping abreast of any changes made to this policy. Any updates will be available on these page.


If you wish to attempt any contact or engage in any behavior with Husson's digital environment and are uncertain as to whether such action violates Husson's Digital Environment Policy, you should consult the Information Technology Office at


Husson thanks the many Colleges and Universities whose policies served as models for our Digital Environment Policy. In particular, we wish to thank Eastern Illinois University, the University of Michigan, Stanford University, & the University of Western Ontario.