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Acceptable Use Policies for CAE Facilities

The policies listed here are compatible with university regulations, and all CAE users must abide by them regarding their file server space, web space, use of software, and computational time.

Introduction

Your access to CAE facilities (space on the file server and web server, use of compute time, etc.) is to further the University's core missions of education, research, and service. Use of the facilities outside these areas must still comply with all applicable laws and University policy, and not impact others' use of the facilities for University purposes. Read the rest of this message for more information on definitions of acceptable and unacceptable use, and remove any unacceptable materials from your CAE account by December 16, 2005. If you are not sure of whether a given item is approved, please contact Joel Seber, x3734 or Mike Renfro, x3601.

Though the vast majority of our users are completely within University policy, we've found a few users who have used their web space for:

  • research-related copyrighted material
  • copyrighted material with no relation to their research
  • large amounts of material of unknown copyright, but with no relation to their research

There are costs for ongoing maintenance and support of the CAE facilities (including administration time, capital costs for hardware upgrades, backup tapes for the file server, paper and toner for printers, etc.) -- time and money spent on non-core activities is effectively subtracted from time and money that can be spent on core activities, and can adversely affect your current and future research.

To help keep CAE facilities available for the University's core missions, we will be regularly inspecting each user's home directory, public web space, and private web space for restricted materials (defined below). If any restricted materials are found, that student's account will be disabled pending a conference with their advisor or department head. Repeated use of CAE facilities for restricted applications will result in the loss of the student's account priveleges for an extended period.

Uses of CAE Facilities (file server, web server, compute time)

Any use of CAE facilities can be classified under one of three categories:

  1. Core applications, those clearly associated with the University's core education, research, or service, either directly or through University administration,
  2. Restricted applications, those clearly unrelated to the University's core purposes, or which violate general University policies, jeopardize its tax-exempt or other circumstances, or otherwise interfere with core applications, and
  3. Ancillary applications, which do not fall clearly into either of the preceding two categories and which do not interfere with Core applications.

Core Applications

These support University instruction, research, service, and administration. Classroom use, computer-based assignments, research applications, communication among faculty, students, and administrators, administrative applications, access to
University-related information, and similar applications all are Core applications.

Restricted Applications

Restricted applications of University information technology primarily include those that threaten the University's tax-exempt status, such as certain kinds of political activity and most commercial activity, those that are illegal, such as fraud, harassment, copyright violation, and child pornography, those that deprive other users of their fair share of University information technology or interfere with the functioning of central networks and systems, such as mass mailings, chain letters, unauthorized high-bandwidth applications, or denial-of-service attacks, and those that violate more general University Statutes, Bylaws, and policies.

Disclaimers do not render Restricted applications acceptable. The only recourse available to someone interested in such applications is to use non-University computers, networks, and other technologies.

Ancillary Applications

Ancillary applications are easy to list, but difficult to define. Examples are plentiful: using a University-connected personal
computer to host small-scale personal (but non-commercial) Web pages, University servers to send and receive for modest amounts of personal electronic mail, a University fax machine to get a vacation itinerary from a travel agent, and the like. In general, Ancillary applications are those neither explicitly permitted nor explicitly restricted, and with one other essential attribute: they are invisible to other users, to network and system administrators, and to other University
offices. Ancillary applications consume only resources that would otherwise go to waste, and never require any action or intervention by anyone at the University other than their user. As a rule, Ancillary applications that become visible to others or burden systems are by definition no longer Ancillary, but Restricted.

Questions and Answers

I have a bunch of music files (mp3, wma, etc.) -- can I keep them on the server?

No. Without getting into whether or not your particular music files are copyrighted, they almost always take up too much space. Burn them to a CD, and get them off the server. Even if we have a large amount of space free on the server, we don't need to spend money on backup tapes for that data.

I have some photos stored in my web space of friends around campus, scenery, etc. Can I keep them?

As long as those photos don't violate any laws (copyright or otherwise) or impact others' use of the facilities, that should be ok. Also, keep the quantity of these photos in mind. A collection of "some photos" shouldn't number in the hundreds or thousands, and shouldn't grow to gigabytes in size. Large collections of photos unrelated to your research will fall under the restricted category of usage, and should be removed or trimmed down to the most important ones.

I have a scan of a journal article or other printed material related to my research. Can I keep it on the server?

Yes, but you must still abide by all applicable copyright law. Particularly, storing that scan in your public or private web
space would violate copyright. Storing it in your home directory, outside of your web space, would not. If your advisor, committee members, or others related to your research need a copy of that article, then the article should only be in your web space long enough for them to get a copy (less than one day, normally). Long-term storage of copyrighted material in your web space will fall under the restricted category of usage.