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Office of General Counsel | Resources

Copyright School

American University is committed to complying with all applicable laws regarding copyright. When using the university’s network, students, faculty, and staff are expected to abide by the Computer Use and Copyright Policy. Copying or sharing music, movies or computer software, without the copyright owner’s permission or a copyright exception, is not only a violation of the university's policies, it is illegal. Users who have been found to infringe copyrighted materials on the university’s network are subject to disciplinary proceedings under the Computer Use Policy, Faculty Manual, Student Code of Conduct, and Staff Manual of Personnel Policies.

To educate the AU community about the basics of copyright law, the Office of General Counsel developed an educational program entitled Copyright School. It is our hope that Copyright School creates a greater campus awareness of the basic concepts of copyright law.

Below are links to components of Copyright School. However, the information presented here is intended for informational purposes only, and nothing on this webpage should be construed or relied upon as legal advice.


U.S. Const., Art. I, Sec. 8
17 USC 102 (Subject matter of copyright: In general)
17 USC 106 (Exclusive rights in copyrighted works)
17 USC 107 (Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair Use)
17 USC 302 (Duration of copyright: Works created on or after January 1, 1978)
17 USC 504 (Remedies for infringement: Damages and profits)
17 USC 505 (Remedies for infringement: Costs and attorney’s fees)
17 USC 506 (Criminal Offenses)


Computer Use and Copyright Policy


Copyright Basics, U.S. Copyright Office, Circular 1.
The U.S. Copyright Office published a wonderful overview of the basic concepts of copyright law.

Copyright School – Presentation
The Office of General Counsel created an oral presentation for classes and campus organizations. If you are interested in having someone speak to your class or campus organization, please contact Justin Perillo (x3285) at the Office of General Counsel.


Copyright Quiz
Do you know the basics? Take the Copyright Quiz challenge.

Copyright Quiz Answer Sheet
Have you mastered the basics?


Copyright Assignment
As a result of a violation of the University’s Student Conduct Code or of a referral from the Dean of Students Office, a student is required to complete the attached copyright assignments.