Acceptable Use Policy

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Campus Computers, Network and Internet Access Student Acceptable Use Policy

The purpose of the WSCC computer network and Internet connection (including all computer hardware, software, and peripherals) is primarily educational, consistent with the College’s vision, mission, and core values. The West Shore Community College computer network, Internet connection, and all information contained therein is College property. Access to the WSCC computer network and internet by students and other community members is a privilege that carries with it certain shared rights and responsibilities.

Use of the WSCC computer network and internet connection is subject to applicable federal and state laws, as well as applicable College policies and procedures, including but not limited to, the discrimination/harassment policy.  Although usage of the WSCC computer network requires password access, users are advised that they should not expect privacy while using the WSCC computer network or Internet connection, because the College reserves the right to monitor all usage of its computer network and Internet connection to ensure compliance with this policy and has sole discretion to determine whether an individual has violated this policy. Individuals who violate this policy may be subject to adverse action, including but not limited to, expulsion or criminal prosecution.

User Responsibilities

Use of the computer network and related equipment is a privilege that carries with it obligations relative to conduct.  Students and other community users are responsible for abiding by the laws governing the college and are expected to observe standards of conduct set by the college. In addition, users should:

1. Protect the security of the network by not disclosing passwords or allowing others account access, other than for legitimate college purposes;

2. Avoid the use of offensive or inappropriate language;

3. Respect the privacy of others;

4. Support the College’s legitimate need to investigate alleged violations of this policy when there is reasonable cause

Acceptable Use

The following guidelines will be applied to determine whether or not a particular use of the WSCC network is appropriate:

1. Users must respect the privacy of others; for example, users shall not intentionally seek information on, obtain copies of, or modify files, other data, or passwords belonging to others, or represent themselves as another user unless explicitly authorized to do so by that user.

2. Users must respect the legal protection provided by copyright and license to programs and data.

3. Users must respect the integrity of computing and network systems; for example, users shall not intentionally develop or use programs that harass other users or infiltrate a computer, computing system or network and/or damage or alter the software components of a computer, computing system or network.

4. Users should be consistent with guiding ethical statements and accepted community standards. Malicious use is not acceptable.

5. The WSCC network may not be used in ways that violate applicable laws or regulations. Peer to peer file sharing is not allowed.

6. The use of the WSCC network and any attached network in a manner that precludes or significantly hampers its use by others is not allowed.

7. Connections which create routing patterns that are inconsistent with the effective and shared use of the network may not be established.

8. Commercial use is not acceptable.

9. Repeated and unwanted communication of an intrusive nature is not acceptable. Sending of unsolicited email messages, including but not limited to, commercial advertising and solicitations of any kind are considered spam and are prohibited.

10. All non-college computers, peripherals or other devices may only connect to the campus wireless network. Mass email distribution must be preapproved by the Director of College Relations.

The intent if this policy is to make clear certain uses which are and are not appropriate, not to exhaustively enumerate all such possible uses. Using the guidelines given above the College may at any time make determinations that particular uses are or are not appropriate.

WSCC will not monitor the content of information transmitted over the network but will investigate complaints of possible inappropriate use. In the course of investigating complaints, the College will safeguard the privacy of all parties and will themselves follow the guidelines given in this policy.

WSCC labs and departments may have their own computing and network use policies. Nothing in this policy shall preclude separate “conditions of use” from being implemented by units of WSCC or by WSCC with respect to portions to portions of its electronic technology resources. Such conditions of use shall be deemed to supplement, rather than replace, this policy. When using these computing resources, users are responsible for obeying both the policies set forth in this acceptable use document and the policies of the individual lab or department.

Users of West Shore’s e-mail services must remember that e-mail is subject to the same legal restrictions and liabilities as other forms of written communication (e.g., e-mail may be subpoenaed and is subject to the Freedom of Information Act).

Copyright Infringement and Peer-to-Peer Sharing Policies and Sanctions


The purpose of the Copyright Infringement Policy is to comply with copyright law for the use of copyrighted material on West Shore Community College’s computers and network. In addition, this policy seeks to make all users aware of the seriousness, as well as possible consequences, for unauthorized use of copyrighted material. It is illegal.

For example, the copying/downloading/uploading of copyrighted materials (i.e. music) to other media (i.e., CD’s, storage media and networks) from peer-to-peer networks, such as KaZaA, Morpheus or Gnutella, is against the law. If users do not own the copyright, distribution of such copyrighted works should not occur.


It is the policy of WSCC to comply with all copyright laws. All faculty, staff, students and community are expected to be aware of and follow these requirements. Any member of the campus community practicing unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material will be subject to adverse action, including but not limited to, expulsion or criminal prosecution.

Please see below for various definitions, examples of copyright violations and sanctions associated with those violations:

What is Copyright?


“Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works.



Following are some examples of copyright infringement that may be found in a college setting:

• Downloading and sharing MP3 files of music, videos, and games without permission of the copyright owner

• Using corporate logos without permission

• Placing an electronic copy of a standardized test on a department's web site without permission of the copyright owner

• Enhancing a departmental web site with music that is downloaded or artwork that is scanned from a book, all without attribution or permission of the copyright owners

• Scanning a photograph that has been published and using it without permission or attribution

• Placing a number of full-text articles on a course web page that is not password protected and allowing the web page to be accessible to anyone who can access the Internet

• Downloading licensed software from non-authorized sites without the permission of the copyright or license holder

● Making a movie file or a large segment of a movie available on a web site without permission of the copyright owner



 WSCC does monitor network and other computer usage. In the process of doing that work, College staff may become aware of violations of the law or College policy. If violations are discovered or suspected, College personnel may report infringement to appropriate authorities or take other action, including, but not limited to: warning the user, removing the material, or terminating access to the material. Any member of the campus community practicing unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material will be subject to sanctions.  Individuals would also be subject to Federal criminal offenses for copyright law violations.  Please see WSCC’s Campus Computers, Network and Internet Access Student Acceptable Use Policy.


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 for attorneys’ fees.  For details, see Title 17, United States Cod, 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 f the U.S. Copyright Office at, especially their FAQ’s at