Acceptable use policy and other legal stuff

As much as we know that you are a good and upstanding citizen, there are occasionally times that we all need reminding about what’s acceptable and what’s not.  Anyone who uses Kettering College computer resources accepts full responsibility and liability for their actions, therefore must:

  1. Abide by all local, state, federal, and copyright laws, as well as Kettering College and Kettering Health Network Internet and computer policies. 
  2. Respect the rights, privacy, and property of others.
  3. Not use, download, or post obscene, abusive, offensive, or sexually explicit material.
  4. Avoid public criticism of others; this includes both personal and institutional denunciation.
  5. Not access inappropriate or illegal materials.
  6. Not vandalize or misuse institutional property.
  7. Refrain from activities for personal or commercial financial gain.

Failure to comply may result in the loss of computer privileges or other disciplinary action.

Peer-to-Peer file sharing

Peer-to-peer (P2P) is a way for users to share files.  Instead of going to a website and downloading a file directly, users can collect parts of the desired file from a group of peers who have the file.  P2P technology is not illegal; however, it has made it too easy for people to share content illegally. 

The online file sharing of copyrighted material is against the law and can result in an individual's loss of access to the campus network or other disciplinary action. Be careful not to install or use any file sharing software such as BitTorrent or LimeWire, which execute commands that can place your computer at risk.

In addition, groups protecting the copyrighted works of movie and music artists have been contacting colleges to identify and contact those who download illegal works. If brought through legal channels, these students could face civil or criminal penalties for violating federal copyright laws.

Copyright

Never infringe upon someone else’s copyright. It is a violation of college policy and federal law to participate in copyright infringement.  Copyrighted materials include, but are not limited to, computer software, audio and video recordings, photographs, electronic books, and written material. If you share movies or music that you did not create, you may be infringing on another’s copyright. Consequences of copyright infringement can include disciplinary actions by the college.  In addition, copyright owners or their representatives may sue persons who infringe on another’s copyright in federal courts.

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 can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.

For more information, please see the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov, especially their FAQ's at http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq.

Finding Legal Content

There are numerous legal sources for online movies, music, photographs, books,  software and other intellectual property. Major labels, indie labels, solo artists, movie and TV studios, and many others distribute on the Web. A fairly comprehensive list of legal alternatives can be found at  http://www.educause.edu/legalcontent.

Kettering College does not recommend the use of a particular service, nor does it warrant that a service is compliant with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). You are responsible for reading and understanding service agreements and for complying with the law.