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Copyright & IP @ Whitman: Software & Web Content


The terms of a software license will specifically dictate the terms of use, and sharing, of the software.  Fair use DOES NOT apply to software.  Even "freeware" and "shareware" have conditions that are defined in their download agreements or README files.

Software includes applications, computer utilities, fonts, clip art collections, screensavers, operating systems, etc.

  • Unless software has deliberately been placed in the public domain by its creator, all software should be considered protected by copyright law.
  • Making multiple copies of licensed software or exceeding the number of simultaneous users allowable by license terms may be considered as unauthorized uses.  
  • Violations of copyright laws and/or licensing terms can carry substantial financial and criminal penalties.

The Whitman College Acceptable Use Policy addresses use of copyrightable materials, software, and network resources and is administered by Technology Services.  For more information, please contact Dan Terrio, the College's Chief Information Officer.


Materials found online typically have the same copyright protections and restrictions as those found on the printed page or in other media.  Unless a website specifically notes that its content is available to be freely shared, copied, or transformed, re-use of that content should be approached cautiously.  See Understanding Copyright & IP for more information regarding the copyright law and fair use.

While regular, clickable links to other websites are typically allowable, be cautious about linking to illegal downloads, copyrighted music, or other protected content when you create online resources.  

While the use of peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing tools is not itself illegal, what you share and how you share it might be.

File sharing is not anonymous - your Whitman College IP address is easily identifiable.  The Whitman College Copyright & IP Policy states that:  "Upon obtaining knowledge that material residing on its systems or networks is infringing or that its systems or networks are being used for infringing activities (or upon becoming aware of circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent), the College will act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the infringing materials and may deny the individuals responsible further access to its systems or networks.  In addition, members of the faculty or staff, or students, or other employed persons who violate copyright laws may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with established procedures.  These procedures are described: for students, in the Whitman College Student Handbook; for faculty, in the Whitman College Faculty Handbook; for staff, in the Whitman College Staff Handbook."

As mandated by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Whitman College's registered agent is Dan Terrio, Chief Information Officer, who has responsibility for dealing with take-down notices and other claims of infringement.  The process used by the College for responding to such claims is outlined in Response to Claims of Copyright Infringement.

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