Internet and Campus Network Acceptable Use Policy

Acceptable Use Policy

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College provides campus network and computing facilities including Internet access for the use of faculty, staff, students, and other authorized individuals in support of the research, educational, and administrative purposes of the College.

The College has extensive information technology resources and systems available for both instruction and administrative applications. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to become familiar with College technology resources and systems and to use them on a regular basis. Users are expected to exercise responsible, ethical behavior when using these resources and to adhere to the following guidelines:

The information available on the Internet is not generated or selected by the College. Therefore, the College assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or quality of the information obtained through or stored on the campus network.

While the College respects First Amendment rights with regard to the Internet, the creation, display, and transmittal of illegal, malicious, or obscene materials or fighting words are prohibited.

The College is not liable for the actions of anyone connecting to the Internet through College facilities. All users assume liability for their own actions.

The user is responsible for complying with laws protecting software or other accessed information. Downloading programs and files may violate the United States copyright laws that protect information and software. All files downloaded from a source external to the College must be scanned for viruses. All users of the Internet by way of College facilities must comply with all relevant policies and procedures of the College.

Because of the insecure nature of transmitting files electronically, no right to privacy exists with regard to e-mail, Internet sessions, or electronic file storage and transmission.

Anonymous e-mails or postings are expressly prohibited.

Users should be aware that usage statistics in archived log files, used for monitoring system performance and usage patterns, are maintained by the College concerning computer and telephone facilities.

College employees may make reasonable use of the College network, e-mail, and the Internet as long as the direct measurable cost to the public is negligible, and there is no negative impact on the employee’s performance of duties.

All users of the Internet by way of College facilities must comply with all relevant policies and procedures of the Board of Trustees.

Use of the campus network, including e-mail and the Internet, for personal gain, is prohibited.

Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this procedure will result in disciplinary action as provided for under the disciplinary policies and procedures for both students and employees.

The College provides access to the Internet by way of the North Carolina Integrated Information Network. All users are subject to the governing policies established by the North Carolina Information Resource Management Commission (IRMC), in addition to this College policy. The current IRMC policy governing the use of the North Carolina Integrated Information Network and the Internet can be reviewed on the Website at State IT Policies.


Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

Federal legislation holds any postsecondary institution receiving Title IV financial aid legally responsible for use of peer-to-peer file-sharing on the institution’s network which is in violation of copyright protections. The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 specifically requires the institution’s policies and sanctions related to copyright infringement to include the following:

an annual disclosure that explicitly informs students that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject students to civil and criminal liabilities;

a summary of the penalties for violation of Federal copyright laws; and

a description of the institution’s policies with respect to unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, including disciplinary actions that are taken against students who engage in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the institution’s information technology system.

Pursuant to these requirements, a Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing Statement that included this information will be contained in the College’s Policies and Procedures Manual, in the annual Student Handbook, and communicated on an annual basis to all College employees.

The College is expected to take measures to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including through the use of a variety of technology-based deterrents. These measures may include but are not limited to, electronic countermeasures such as network monitoring, port blocking, or bandwidth filtering. The College will, to the extent practicable, offer alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property.

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. Violation of these protections may result in disciplinary measures against employees or students as outlined in the institution’s Code of Student Conduct up to and including suspension or expulsion. Violations may also result in criminal and civil liabilities.

US copyright laws provide for civil penalties of up to $150,000 per violation (Chapter 5: Copyright Infringement and Remedies - 504. Remedies for infringement: Damages and profits ) as well as criminal penalties of up to $250,000 and up to five years in prison for the first conviction (U.S. Copyright Office: No Electronic Theft (NET) Act of 1997 ).


Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is a creative work that merits protection by copyright, trademark, or patent. In the pursuit of academic studies, a student or faculty member may produce such creative work. A-B Tech supports the development and production of
intellectual property.

The College publishes an Intellectual Property policy and procedure, the purpose of which is to protect the College and the creators, including students, as they attempt to transfer inventions or creative works to the marketplace. This policy supports the sharing of property rights between the College and the originator as specified in the procedures.

Unless otherwise specified in a rights agreement, the College owns all rights to intellectual property created by an employee inside the normal scope of work or
using College resources. If the property was created outside the normal scope of work or without College resources, then the property belongs to the creator. Typically, students retain rights to original works
created within the course of their studies, unless otherwise specified in a rights agreement.

For a complete copy of the Intellectual Property policy and procedure, see the Vice President for Instructional Services.