This statement constitutes a college-wide policy for the appropriate use of all McPherson College computing and network resources. It is intended to provide effective protection of individual users, equitable access, and proper management of those resources. These guidelines are intended to supplement, not replace, any and all existing laws, regulations, agreements, and contracts that apply to those resources.

Access to the McPherson College network and computer systems is granted subject to College policies and local, state and federal laws. Appropriate use should always be legal and ethical, reflect academic honesty and community standards, and show restraint in the consumption of shared resources. The use should demonstrate respect for intellectual property, ownership of data, system security, each individual’s rights to privacy, freedom of speech, and freedom from intimidation and harassment.

McPherson College is not responsible for unlawful, unethical, or otherwise unacceptable use of the information technology environment, including computers and computer networks or other electronic communication systems.

It is the responsibility of every user to be aware of the possible effects of manipulating information in the electronic form, to understand the changeable nature of electronically stored information, and to continuously verify the integrity, correctness and completeness of all information that is compiled, created or used.

Use of McPherson College network and computer systems is conditioned upon compliance with this and other College policies and applicable laws. Though not exhaustive, the following is a partial list of activities that are NOT allowed:

  • using facilities, accounts, access codes, privileges or information that you are not authorized to use;
  • downloading or uploading substantial parts of copyrighted work without authority (see Penalties for Copyright Infringement below)
  • viewing, copying, altering, or destroying anyone’s files without the individual’s permission;
  •  representing yourself as another user;
  • harassing others;
  • creating and/or forwarding chain letters;
  • viewing, posting or mailing obscene materials;
  • playing games that interfere with academic or administrative use; or gambling at anytime.
  • making, distributing, or using unauthorized copies of licensed software;
  • unauthorized copying, reproducing or redistributing of another’s text, photos, sound, video graphics, or information formats;
  • obstructing another’s work by consuming large amounts of system resources;
  • introducing or producing destructive software (viruses, etc);
  • attempting to cause or intentionally causing system crashes;
  • running or configuring software or hardware to intentionally allow access by unauthorized users;
  • attempting to circumvent or subvert any system’s security measures;
  • e-mailing unsolicited advertising or otherwise using College network and/or equipment for commercial gain;
  • disrupting services, damaging files or intentionally damaging or destroying equipment, software or data belonging to others;
  • using computing resources for unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications.

All users should report any improper usage of McPherson College’s computers, networks or other information processing equipment to Computer Services, ext. 2456 or 620-242-0456.

For reasons of efficiency and security, McPherson College reserves the right of access to all data contained on any computer equipment owned by the College. Employees are advised that, as against the College, they have no legitimate expectation of privacy with respect to their use of such equipment.

Persons in violation of this policy are subject to the full range of sanctions and discipline, up to and including termination. Some violations may constitute criminal offenses, under local, state or federal laws. The College will carry out its responsibility to report criminal offenses to the appropriate authorities.

Penalties for Copyright Infringement. Penalties for copyright infringement can be particularly severe. 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 copyrighted work without authority constitutes infringement, penalties for which 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 that $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 attorney’s 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 website of the U.S. Copyright Office at: www.copyright.gov.

Legal alternatives to downloading copyrighted materials, both paid and free, are abundant on the Web. In addition to such well-known sources as Youtube, Vimeo, Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, et al., for streaming video and music, the following Web pages index a wide range of free, public domain or Creative Commons-licensed materials that can be used in student projects:

Images: 53+ Free Image Sources

Audio: Best Free and Legal Music Download Sites

Video: Free Video Sources