Acceptable use policy
St. Clair County Community College provides computer, Internet and email services to support research and education to fulfill the mission of the college. These unique resources enrich the learning and instructional process and foster opportunities for collaborative work among college students and staff.
Privileges: Access to the college’s computer services, including the Internet, is a privilege granted to students, faculty, staff and the public. Individual users, including public patrons, are to act responsibly, respect the rights of other users, and respect the integrity of the systems and related physical resources. The college reserves the right to limit, restrict or extend computing privileges and access to its information resources. Users and providers inherit privileges and obligations defined by several authorities:
- Law (such as international copyright law, the U.S. Constitution, federal communications regulations, federal educational regulations and Michigan laws)
- College policies (such as policies on plagiarism and harassment)
- Service-provider requirements (typically specifying addresses, protocols, quotas and other technical standards)
- Contracts (including licenses, warranties, service level agreements, memoranda of understanding and agreements with telecommunications services)
Inappropriate use will result in denial or cancellation of that privilege. St. Clair County Community College reserves the right to monitor Internet use and determine if specific uses are consistent with the acceptable use practices. The college further reserves the right to deny access to prevent unauthorized or unacceptable activity, and could involve disciplinary action.
Uses: Faculty, staff and students may use the college’s computing resources only for purposes related to their studies, their responsibilities for providing instruction, the discharge of their duties as employees, their official business with the college, and other college-sanctioned or authorized activities. Public users are expected to use the computers for research and educational pursuits.
Restrictions: Use of the college’s computer technologies for viewing, sending or retrieving any of the following are prohibited:
- Pornographic material or inappropriate text files in violation of Michigan criminal laws, including, but not limited to, Michigan obscenity laws MCLA 752.361-752.374 and other Michigan statutes and cases concerning obscenity
- Libel or slander
- Deliberately wasting or overloading computing resources, such as printing too many copies of a document
- Fraud or misrepresentation
- Commercial or for-profit purposes
- Games or gambling
- Personal and private enterprise
- Personal advertisement or political lobbying
- The modification or misrepresentation of files, data and/or passwords belonging to others
- Use of the college’s trademarks, logos, insignia or copyrights without prior approval
- Development or use of unapproved mailing lists
- Academic dishonesty, including plagiarism
- Violation of software license agreements
- Actions that would destroy, modify or abuse hardware and software
- Infiltration of a computer or computing system for any reason
- Forged electronic mail to make it appear as though it originated from a different person
- Electronic mail that is abusive, threatening, or for sexual, ethnic, religious, minority or other forms of harassment
- Material that is posted or sent that is contrary to the mission or values of the college
- Electronic mail that menaces or harasses an individual or individuals
Such actions include, but are not limited to:
- Sending or forwarding chain letters or email that uses a pyramid scheme to distribute communications to an exponentially growing collection of recipients
- Deliberately flooding a user’s mailbox with automatically generated mail
- Sending mail that is deliberately designed to interfere with proper mail delivery or access
- Other acts forbidden by federal or state law
- Attempting, successfully or not, to gain access to another person’s email files
- Intentional distribution of computer viruses
- Anything contrary to the college’s board policy
All users are to abide by the 1976 United States Copyright Law and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act when using the Internet. Users must respect the legal protection applied to programs, data, photographs, music, written documents and other material as provided by copyright, trademark, patent, licensure and other proprietary rights mechanisms.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing applications allow network users to download and share audio, video and picture files with each other for legitimate academic endeavors. Use of P2P file sharing applications for the unauthorized acquisition or distribution of copyrighted or licensed material by SC4 network users is prohibited on any SC4 college computer or the college’s network and may subject a student to civil and criminal liabilities.
Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.
Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.
Willful copyright infringement also can result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense. There are a number of legal alternatives to illegal downloading or otherwise acquiring copyrighted material.
The college recognizes that electronic communications and computer resources are no different than any other form of communication or resource available at the college. Users of this medium are bound by but not limited to:
- Federal, state and local laws
- Compliance with all college policies regarding sexual, racial and other forms of harassment
- Contractual obligations
- All policies of the Board of Trustees
Alleged violations will be processed according to college policies and procedures.
Misuse of computing, networking or information resources may result in the loss of computing and/or network access. Additionally, misuse can be prosecuted under applicable statutes. Users may be held accountable for their conduct under any applicable college policies, procedures or employee contracts. Illegal production of software and other intellectual property protected by U.S. copyright law is subject to civil damages and criminal punishment including fines and imprisonment.
The college disclaims liability due to losses due to technology failures, due to intruders (viruses, worms, hackers, etc.) or due to freaks of nature.
Users should use all available methods to protect their files, including the frequent changing of their passwords, encryption of data and use of available campus network storage.
The college makes every attempt to maximize security of its computer systems. In the event that data have been corrupted as a result of intrusion, the college’s Office of Information Technology should be notified immediately. Every reasonable attempt will be made to restore files to their status prior to intrusion; however, the Office of Information Technology cannot guarantee full restoration.