Cornell University, as both a major producer and a major consumer of intellectual property, seeks to promote respect for intellectual property throughout the University community. Cornell expects compliance with copyright laws of all members of that community. 

Copyright infringement can constitute a violation of several University policies including: the Campus Code of Conduct, the Code of Academic Integrity, and the Policy on Responsible Use of Electronic Communications. Copyright ownership is addressed in the University's Copyright Policy.

if you have questions about any of the following policies and guidance, please contact the Office of General Counsel.

Cornell Policies

Practical Procedures

Although Cornell's policies spell out the rights and responsibilities of content creators on campus, here is a very brief cheat sheet with quick answers to frequent requests:

Thesis/Dissertation: The copyright for a Cornell thesis or dissertation remains with the author, though as a requirement for matriculation a copy must be given to the graduate school, it must be freely circulated by the library and indexed by ProQuest. Rights and permission for using images or other work in a thesis or dissertation are the same as in any other publication.

Course Packs: Cornell University Library subscribes to a wide variety of journals, and includes electronic course reserve as an access point. You can work with library Course Reserves staff to make many articles available without further charge to students (

Besides the library's course reserve options, commercial course packs are put together by the Cornell Store, who uses an outside vendor to acquire permissions. Their website is available here:

Departmental Publications: For practical purposes, the copyright for a department, school or center publication rests with Cornell university, and not the individual unit. The unit head (ex. Dean of College) is the arbiter of rights for publications created within their purview, in consultation with the Office of General Counsel if applicable. For these reasons, and others, it is important to list Cornell University as the copyright holder on any Cornell publications.

Information contained on this website is educational in nature and is not to be construed as legal advice.

If you seek legal advice, please contact the Office of General Counsel.

Creative Commons License
Cornell University Library's Copyright Services LibGuide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please attribute Cornell University in any reuse.