- Terrace level, Carnegie Hall
The Technology Usage Policy promotes the efficient, ethical, and lawful use of the University of Lynchburg computer and network resources. The Technology Usage Policy includes information about:
- Guidelines for responsible use
- Privacy, enforcement, and sanctions
- Copyright information
- File sharing
The following sections are excerpted from the full Technology Usage Policy, which is linked to the University’s webpage (lynchburg.edu, search “Technology Usage Policy”).
The University of Lynchburg computing and electronic communication facilities and services are owned by the University and intended for teaching, educational, research, and administrative purposes. Access to these facilities is a privilege granted to the University’s faculty, staff, students, alumni, and guests. Fundamental to the use of these facilities is the respect for the rights and privacy of all users. By using the University’s computing and electronic communications facilities and services, University faculty, staff, students, alumni, and guests agree that they will follow this policy and will cooperate with the University in implementing this policy.
Certain responsibilities and possible liabilities go with this privilege, and understanding them is important for all computer users. This policy strives to balance the user’s ability to benefit from these computing resources and the University’s responsibility to maintain the computing and electronic communications facilities and to assure that its institutional policies are in compliance.
The purpose of the Technology Usage Policy is to promote the efficient, ethical, and lawful use of the University of Lynchburg computer and network resources.
The Technology Usage Policy applies to all users of the University of Lynchburg computing and network resources, whether initiated from a computer and/or network device located on or off campus.
Individuals using computer resources belonging to the University of Lynchburg must act responsibly, in compliance with the law and University policies, and with respect for the rights of others using a shared resource. The right of free expression and academic inquiry is tempered by the rights of others to privacy, freedom from intimidation or harassment, protection of intellectual property, ownership of data, and security of information.
Guidelines for Responsible Use
The specific usage guidelines that follow are not intended to be comprehensive, but rather to establish and clarify the intent of this policy. Situations not enumerated here will arise, and they should be interpreted according to the spirit of this policy.
Some constraints are necessary for the efficient and appropriate use of shared computing resources. Since network capacity is limited, academic and administrative needs must take precedence for use of the network. All users must act responsibly and use the facilities in an ethical, professional, and legal manner. This means that users agree to abide by the following standards of responsible use to ensure the integrity of all systems is respected and not abused:
- Users must recognize that certain data is confidential and must limit access to such data for use in the direct performance of their duties.
- No one — faculty, staff, student, or alumni — shall obtain or provide unauthorized access to their or other users’ accounts and files. Users shall keep their own access ID(s) confidential.
- The use of all accounts for research, instruction, or administrative purposes must be consistent with the University’s mission.
- All users must respect the rights of others to remain free from harassment.
Network registration is required for all devices connecting to the University network in residential facilities, wireless access areas, and public areas with network access. Such registration is necessary to ensure network security. Authentication by the network registration software will be required regularly.
Personal Use and Use by Third Parties
Incidental personal use is an accepted and appropriate benefit of being associated with the University of Lynchburg. Incidental personal use must adhere to all applicable University policies and must not result in any measurable cost to the University. Under no circumstances may incidental personal use involve violations of the law, interfere with the fulfillment of an employee’s work responsibilities, or adversely impact or conflict with activities supporting the mission of the University.
Use of the University of Lynchburg’s computing and network resources for commercial purposes not under the auspices of the University is not permitted.
The use of University of Lynchburg computing and network resources by individuals and organizations that are not part of the University community is not permitted unless approved by the president, provost and vice president for academic affairs, or vice president for business and finance. Such approval will generally be granted only when the use is in connection with:
- A University-sponsored event or activity
- A public service activity for which comparable equipment is not otherwise available to the user
- Use by an alumnus with access to an alumni account
- Use by a University guest for an otherwise appropriate use
- A contractual agreement between the University and a governmental agency, private business, educational institution, or other entity
Plagiarism and Protection of Intellectual Rights
The University of Lynchburg Honor Code regarding plagiarism and other violations of academic integrity applies to coursework completed with the use of University of Lynchburg computing and network resources as it does to other coursework. Also, using, distributing, or posting copyrighted material in violation of license or other legal restrictions or contractual agreements is prohibited.
Violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access, trade secret, and copyright violations may be grounds for disciplinary action.
University of Lynchburg purchases and licenses the use of various computer software for academic and business purposes and does not own the copyright to this software or its related documentation. Users must adhere to the licensing agreements of each application and avoid illegal duplication of software and its related documentation.
Privacy, Enforcement, and Sanctions
Privacy of Users
While not required to do so, the University respects the privacy of the users of its computing and electronic communications facilities. While the University’s intent is to respect privacy, users should not expect complete privacy of electronic files. Users must be aware that the security of electronic files on shared systems is not inviolable. Except when required to do otherwise, private information obtained unintentionally will be treated confidentially.
All University-owned property and the work, correspondence, data, and other material therein, whether stored electronically, on paper, or in any other form, are subject to review for legitimate business reasons. Portions of the IT infrastructure include automatic and manual monitoring and recording systems that are used for reasons that include, but are not limited to, security, performance, backup, and troubleshooting. The University reserves the right at any time to track and access any data, including the contents of any University computer or University communications, for any legitimate business reason.
Users must adhere to all of the University’s policies and procedures when using University equipment. This includes, but is not limited to, the University of Lynchburg’s Code(s) of Conduct as well as University discrimination and harassment policies. This also includes the University of Lynchburg’s Confidentiality and The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) policies. Users may not use University computers or other equipment in a manner that violates another’s rights under FERPA, The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or any other applicable law pertaining to privacy or confidentiality.
Investigation of Violations and Revocation of Access
Monitoring users’ accounts or conducting spot checks of users’ activities is prohibited except as set forth below. Computer programs, email, voicemail, phone logs, network traffic logs, website cache, and electronic files can be accessed by ITR personnel and other University personnel to whom such authority has been delegated to:
- Investigate suspected violations of this policy, or other University policy and rules
- Probe possible disruption to the network or other shared services
- Track the volume of system activity and track workflow
- Restore system integrity in the event of a crash
- Reestablish or protect the security of the system
- Cooperate with law enforcement officials
Except in emergency cases, such access must be authorized by the president of the University.
The officials listed below have the authority, in an emergency and based on the results of an authorized investigation, to immediately revoke or limit any user’s access to University computing and electronic communication facilities and services.
- Provost and vice president for academic affairs (faculty)
- Vice president for business and finance (staff)
- Vice president for student development (students)
- Chief information officer (alumni)
In emergency cases, such as an occurrence of threatened system integrity and when the appropriate administrator is not available, access to systems, as cited above, may be authorized by any of the administrators listed above. If none of those officials are available, designated ITR personnel have the authority to lock and search accounts or log sessions. Any emergency entry will be recorded in writing and forwarded to the appropriate University authority and its appropriateness reviewed after the fact. Where a user’s electronic files or other electronic material listed above is accessed by the University as part of an investigation into a suspected violation of this policy or other University policy or rules, the University will usually notify the individual of this access within five business days. This notice requirement shall not apply where the notice would, in the judgment of the University, interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation.
Other Sanctions for Misuse and Reporting Misuse
If abuse of University computing facilities occurs from campus or external network access, persons responsible for such abuse will be held accountable and may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from employment or the University. Moreover, individuals or groups who take actions that may have legal implications are subject to further sanctions by relevant law enforcement authorities.
Abuses of computer resources are direct violations of the University’s standards of conduct as outlined in faculty, staff, and student handbooks. Alleged violations of this policy will be processed according to the procedures outlined in these handbooks. Also, unauthorized downloading and file-sharing of copyrighted materials, such as music and movies, by students is addressed through a three-tier response system (see “Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws”).
Users are expected to cooperate with authorized investigations of technical problems or use of technology facilities that may be unauthorized, illegal, or in violation of this policy. Except as noted above, an explanation of any revocation of access will be provided to the user, and an appeal may be made in accordance with existing University procedures.
Any user who is the victim of harassment or other abuse involving the University’s computing or electronic communication facilities or any user who becomes aware of a possible violation of this policy should report the harassment or abuse to their supervisor or the appropriate administrator listed above. Anonymous reporting will be accepted through the Campus Conduct Hotline at 866.943.5787.
All students should be aware that it is against the law and a violation of the University of Lynchburg’s Honor and Student Conduct Codes to share copyrighted files like music and movies. Unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials, such as through unauthorized peer-to-peer file-sharing, may result in criminal and civil penalties, as well as campus disciplinary action.
Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws
Copyright infringement occurs when someone takes a copyrighted work and uses it without the copyright owner’s permission under section 106 of the Copyright Act. This can include copying or distributing the work, or even downloading or uploading it without permission.
Civil penalties for copyright infringement may include being ordered to pay damages, which can range from $750-$30,000 per work infringed. Criminal penalties may include jail time and fines. For more information, see Title 17 of the United States Code, Sections 504 and 505 (www.copyright.gov/title17).
The University of Lynchburg does not allow illegal downloading and file-sharing. When the University receives a notification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), or other organizations that a student has violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by sharing of music, movies, or other copyrighted material, University action is:
- Upon the first notification, the student will receive a letter telling them to take down material put up without permission and to stop downloading things illegally. Also, the student must complete an assigned educational task about downloading or pay a $50 fine.
- Upon the second notification, the student’s computer will be blocked from accessing the University’s network until the offending material is removed. The student is required to present their computer for review and prove the task was completed. The student will also have to pay a $75 fine.
- Upon the third notification, the student’s computer will be blocked from the University’s network for the rest of the semester. Also, the student will have to pay a $100 fine.
Fines assessed for copyright violations will be used to defray the cost of software and hardware needed to track the University’s network and identify violators in response to complaints from external entities and the cost of educational efforts promoting compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Students are encouraged to use for-pay services to access music and movies (Apple Music, Netflix, Amazon, and others) and/or websites from which music and movies can be streamed using a web browser.
Additional information about copyright is available on these websites:
- Title 17, United States Code (copyright.gov/title17)
- U.S. Copyright Office (copyright.gov)
- Copyright FAQs (copyright.gov/help/faq)
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act (copyright.gov/dmca)
Many people have shared digital content, such as music, movies, software, and photos, over the internet. File sharing over the University of Lynchburg’s network must be in compliance with University policies and relevant laws.
Some examples of permitted file-sharing actions are:
- Make a backup copy of a CD, a DVD, or software that you purchased.
- Copy music or movies that you purchased to your computer.
- Copy music or movies that you purchased to your personal devices.
- Make a CD for yourself from the music you buy from appropriate sites on the internet.
- Use websites offering legal downloading of copyrighted media, such as Educause (educause.edu, search “Legal Sources of Online Content”).
Some examples of prohibited file-sharing actions are:
- Share — for others to download — music, movies, or software via a network (over the internet).
- Make copies of a CD, DVD, or software to give to a friend or that you borrowed from a friend.
- Distribute for personal gain, music you have purchased or downloaded.
- Download music, movies, or software without purchasing it.