Internet Code of Ethics

All users of Internet via Hardin-Simmons University’s agreement with our Internet Service Provider (ISP) must agree to observe and follow the policies listed below. FAILURE TO FOLLOW THESE POLICIES COULD RESULT IN THE LOSS OF ACCESS PRIVILEGES WITH NO REFUND.

The following guidelines and policies do not cover all possible situations and problems; they have, however, been developed in an attempt to prevent problems. Please, for your sake, the protection of your access rights, the protection of HSU, and the protection/continued access via our ISP, ask about any questionable situations which are not covered by these guidelines and policies before acting.


To enhance educational opportunities for HSU students, faculty, and staff with access to the Internet for educational purposes only.

Access Codes/Passwords

Access is based on per user system, meaning that your password and access are for you only. Allowing others to use your access may result in your losing access privileges.

Posting Information/Messages on the Internet

Your access may also be revoked if you:

  1. Post any pornographic messages, images, etc. (It is a FEDERAL OFFENSE)
  2. Post or send threatening, harassing, sexually explicit, or intentionally embarrassing messages.
  3. Use email for business purposes, i.e., “for profit” ventures.
  4. Initiate or participate in chain letters or pyramid schemes.

Ownership of Email

Hardin-Simmons University owns any messages sent or received through access provided by HSU. While mail sent via the U.S. postal system is considered private and confidential, the same is not currently true of email. According to federal law, if you post email messages on a service provided by someone else, they can and do hold the right to inspect, alter, or otherwise control such messages. Please understand that it is not the intent of HSU to “snoop” in your email messages, censor you, or resort to other such repressive measures. Please remember that HSU could be ultimately held responsible for the messages you may send or receive.

Hacking or Interference with other Computer Systems

Automatic and immediate suspension of your access will occur if it is determined that you (or anyone using your access) have attempted or succeeded in changing other programs, have gained unauthorized access to other data or databases, or have changed any information in any database or format for which you are not authorized (keep any written authorizations for your protection).


Automatic and immediate suspension of your access will occur if it is determined that you (or anyone using your access) have attempted or succeeded in creating, participating, or intentionally promulgating any virus or other destructive or interfering programs, files, or commands.

Illegal Activity

Use of access for any illegal activity may result in the loss of access and in criminal prosecution.

Copying Files and/or Programs

Do not copy other authors’ work, files, or programs without written consent (unless public copying rights are indicated). You must maintain the written consent for your protection. Burden of proof of permission to copy rests with the person copying.

Types of Unacceptable Uses/Messages

  1. Messages that delay or interfere with others’ work, education, or way or life.
  2. Messages or efforts designed to market or sell products, services, etc. (no advertising).
  3. Purchases made over the Internet for which HSU could be held responsible.
  4. “Flaming” messages, i.e., messages which intentionally create high levels of network activity.
  5. Downloading files which are so lengthy as to require more than a few minutes of online time.


Use of Internet for research may need prior approval. Students should receive approval from their professor in advance. Faculty should be aware of professional ethics and behavior related to research, especially if using human subjects. Studies using human subjects may need prior review by the Institutional Review Board.

Revocation of Access

  1. If your access is suspended, you may appeal if you think your access has been unjustly terminated.
  2. The first line of appeal should be to the Associate V.P. for Technology Services
  3. If you are still not satisfied, you may appeal to the Vice President of Finance.
  4. If other disciplinary measures are taken by the Office of Student Life, appeals of those decisions must be made via the published process in the student handbook.
  5. In any case, no refunds will be offered or given for loss of access.

Intellectual Property and Fair Use Guidelines

Hardin-Simmons University Copyright Policy

It is the policy of Hardin-Simmons University that faculty, staff, administrators, and students shall strive to obey Intellectual Property laws and licenses. The University is aware that the rights extended to our community by Fair Use are not delineated in Copyright Law. The Richardson Library’s brochure “Intellectual Property and Fair Use Guidelines” provides guidelines that may be used to assist in staying within the boundaries of fair use.

Since individuals are at risk if they violate the Copyright Law and licenses of Federal law as noted in the US Code Title 17 section 504(c), each community member is responsible for evaluating his own risk. The act allows a judge to award statutory damages for copyright infringement of $750 - $30,000 per incident, $150,000 for willful violations.

Ownership of Copyrights

Except as qualified below, a member of the university is entitled to ownership of copyright and royalties or other income derived from their works, including books, films, cassettes, software, works of art, or other materials.

Copyright shall be owned by the university, unless other arrangements are contracted, if production of the work:

  1. Used substantial university financial, staff, or other assistance
  2. Made extensive use of special or rare university holdings, such as rare book collections
  3. Made significant use of voice or image of students or staff in a product,
  4. Used substantial creative contribution by staff or students to the preparation of the product
  5. Used the name or insignia of the university or any of its units (other than for purposes of identification of individual faculty members) to identify or to promote the distribution of a product, or other identification or promotion that implies the approval or endorsement by the university or one of its units.

Whenever a copyrightable work is created by a member of the non-teaching staff as part of the individual’s university responsibilities, the work shall be treated as a work-for-hire under the terms of the Copyright Act of 1976.

Student will own the copyrights to their theses, however, a student must, as a condition to a degree award, grant royalty-free permission to the university to reproduce and publicly distribute copies of his/her theses.

Fair Use Guidelines

There are four factors that determine Fair Use; (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit 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. This document was drafted with the assumption that the nature of usage is for supporting university curriculum. The guidelines below are designed to help identify the remaining requirements. Those wishing to use copyrighted materials for uses other than for supporting university curriculum should identify the applicable restrictions and abide by them.

For more information please see: