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of Northwest Florida State College


Copyright Policy (Board policy #6Hx17-9.03) - [Link to Policy | Link to All Policies]

The college copyright policy is that all personnel and students shall comply with U.S. Copyright Law which is displayed on photocopiers at all locations. Employees and students may use, perform, or reproduce copyrighted works when authorized by licenses or written permission from the copyright owner, the fair-use guidelines, the principle of fair use, and/or specific documented exemptions in the copyright law. Copyright items include print, video, electronic data, performances, music, and computer software. Employees and students who willfully disregard the college copyright policy are subject to state and federal penalties as well as college disciplinary action. The college will refuse to grant a request to copy material if fulfillment of the request might lead to a violation of the copyright law. The College Copyright Committee implements the copyright policy, conducts training programs, and answers questions about the copyright law.

  1. The college president shall appoint a Copyright Committee consisting of the Director of the Learning Resources Center (LRC), the LRC Media Services Manager, the Information Technology Computer/Telephone Technician. The committee will
    1. implement the copyright policy,
    2. prepare and distribute a Faculty Copyright Manual with suggestions for faculty communication with student in their classes,
    3. conduct training programs to assure that employees are aware of the copyright law,
    4. answer questions about the copyright law,
    5. maintain appropriate records of permissions, agreements, and licenses,
    6. place appropriate copyright warning notices on or near copying equipment, and,
    7. perform other related duties, as needed.
  2. If the Copyright Committee is aware of copyright infringements by an employee and/or student, it will inform the individual of the infringement. If the employee and/or student continues to infringe the copyright law, the Copyright Committee shall inform the college President of the continuing infringements. The college President may take appropriate steps to stop the illegal actions.
  3. The college reserves the right to refuse to fulfill a request to copy material if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the request would lead to violation of the copyright law.

Electronic Communication and Access to Information

Northwest Florida State College’s internal networks and online connections provide a wide range of facilities for worldwide communication between individuals and for disseminating information and ideas. Electronic communication and information resources will be increasingly important to college faculty, staff, and students. The college supports and encourages open access to electronic communication and information, such as

Since the resources at Northwest Florida State College are not unlimited, the college may give priority for resources to certain uses or certain groups of users in support of its mission. Consistent with the college’s policy on equity and access, the use of information resources should not be denied or abridged because of race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or physical disability.

User Guidelines and Responsibilities

Northwest Florida State College provides a wide variety of computing and network resources for college students, faculty, and staff.  Those resources are intended for the legitimate business of the college.  Appropriate use of information resources includes instruction; research; and the official work of the offices, departments, recognized student and campus organizations, and other agencies of the college.  Members of the college community should use information resources responsibly and considerately.

The following guidelines apply for all computers and networks at Northwest Florida State College.

The computing and network resources of the college may not be used to impersonate another person or misrepresent authorization on behalf of others or the college. All messages transmitted from college computers should correctly identify the sender; users may not alter the attribution of origin in electronic mail messages or postings and may not send anonymous messages.

The computing and network resources of the college may not be used to harass another person. Users should not transmit to others or display images, sounds, or messages that might be perceived by a reasonable person as harassing. See the college policies on sexual harassment.

College computers and networks may not be used to invade the privacy of others or make unauthorized use of their work. Users should not attempt to read or copy files belonging to others or decrypt or translate encrypted material, unless the files have deliberately been made accessible by the owners or authorization has been obtained to do so.

Electronic forums such as mail distribution lists and USENET newsgroups all have expectations regarding subject area and appropriate etiquette for postings. Members of the college community should be considerate of the expectations and sensitivities of others on the network when posting material for electronic distribution.

Theft or other abuses of computer time are prohibited, including but not limited to the following:

  1. unauthorized entry into a file to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose
  2. unauthorized transfer of a file
  3. unauthorized use of another individual's identification and password
  4. use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, or college official
  5. use of computing facilities to send obscene or abusive messages
  6. use of computing facilities to interfere with normal operation of the college computing system

Other Use Responsibilities

Computer users must observe and comply with Federal, State, and local laws governing computer and information technology, as well as all college rules and Board of Trustees regulations.

The computing and network resources of the college must be used in a manner consistent with Chapter 815, Florida Statutes Computer Crimes Act and Title 18, United States Code, Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986. Unauthorized or fraudulent use of the college's computing resources may result in felony prosecution and punishment as provided for in Florida Statutes, Chapter 775, Florida Criminal Code.

The computing and network resources of the college may not be used for personal financial gain or commercial purposes.

Owners of computer accounts are responsible for all use of the accounts. They should follow guidelines to prevent unauthorized use by others and report intrusions to the system administrators.

Individuals must not attempt to undermine the security or the integrity of computing systems or networks and must not attempt to gain unauthorized access. Users may not use any computer program or device to intercept or decode passwords or similar access control information. If security breeches are observed, they should be reported to the appropriate system administrators.

Individuals must not intentionally damage or disable equipment or software.

Copying or using software, except as explicitly permitted under licensing agreements, is a violation of the federal Copyright Act of 1976 as amended (Title 17 U.S. Code).  Computer users should be able to prove ownership of software in their possession.

To help maintain the proper functioning of computer and networking hardware and software, the college will take reasonable steps to ensure its computing resources are free of deliberately destructive software, such as viruses. Individuals must share responsibility for protecting college computers, and should ensure the integrity of any electronic media they introduce.

Individuals should avoid using college computers and networks for frivolous purposes, make excessive demands on network or computing resources, or incur additional costs for the college.

Unauthorized use of the college's computing facilities or systems for personal use beyond coursework assignments or work-related activities is prohibited.


The college supports each individual's right to private communication and will take reasonable steps to ensure security of the network. However, messages on college computing resources are potentially accessible to others through normal system administration activities and to the public through public records laws. Hence, the college cannot guarantee absolute privacy of electronic communication.

The college supports each individual's right to privacy of personal files. However, in the normal course of system administration, the administrator may have to examine user files to gather information to diagnose and correct problems. Additionally, with reasonable cause for suspicion and appropriate administrative authority, files may be examined by system personnel to determine if a user is acting in violation of the policies set forth in this document.

The college cannot guarantee that, in all instances, copies of critical data will be retained on college systems. It is ultimately the responsibility of computer users to obtain secure backup copies of essential files for disaster recovery.


Violations of computer and network policy as outlined in this document can be dealt with in three ways:

  1. Minor violations may be handled informally by system and network administrators or area Directors/Department heads.
  2. More serious violations by students or employees of college rules may be referred to the appropriate Dean, Provost, or Vice President for action.
  3. Suspected student violations of Federal, State, or local laws will be reported to the Dean of Student Services office for action.

Any of the violations described above may result in immediate loss of access privileges.

October 2, 1996
Computer Acceptable Use Policy