Copyright and Proper Usage Policy

Public Data

The university is encouraging all employees to pay attention to the problem of copyright protection and our responsibilities under the law. In particular, the issue of copyright infringement using electronic data sources is of particular interest to MSB users.

It is important to realize that the tools we use to propagate bulk material electronically, The S: Drive, personal web pages and Blackboard, have significantly different protection and copyright implications. Basically, the S: Drive and personal web pages (W: Drive) are by default open to the public. Unless you have contacted the Tech Center and taken individual steps to make sure documents posted on these drives are secure, the documents you post are open to the public. In many cases this is a clear violation of copyright laws.


Blackboard on the other hand is a protected source. If you have permission from the author/owner of copyrighted material to use it in class, Blackboard is the best site to place this material for electronic distribution.

Georgetown has lately been receiving an increased number of inquiries from companies who have discovered their copyrighted material has been posted electronically to open sites, be they FTP servers like the S: Drive or open web pages. It is very embarrassing to be used by one of these companies as an example of what not to do.

Please do an inventory of any materials you may have posted with an eye to copyright restrictions. If you need assistance protecting a file on the S: Drive or a personal web site, please contact the Tech Center. If you are unfamiliar with Blackboard and the tools it provides for protected distribution, MSBTC offers periodic training and can assist you here also.