Consequences for Misusing University Computers
UNK has various policies and procedures in place to address copyright violations and computer use.
- Executive Memorandum No. 16, the Policy for Responsible Use of University Computers and Information Systems, was adopted January 5, 1998, and amended August 28, 2001, by the President of the University of Nebraska system. A pertinent section states:
“Misuse of University information systems is prohibited. Misuse includes the following:
- Using electronic communications to violate the property rights of authors and copyright owners.”
- The Guidelines for the Use of Computing Resources at the University of Nebraska at Kearney contains an identical statement.
- The UNK Student Code of Conduct, published in the Student Handbook, references Executive Memorandum No. 16 and the UNK Guidelines for the Responsible Use of Computing Resources.
- The Memorandum on Copyright Law and Compliance Policies of the University of Nebraska was posted to the university system web site on May 4, 2007. See http://www.nebraska.edu/about/about_bylaws.shtml. Section VII specifically addresses peer to peer file sharing.
Organizations that represent the interests of artists and other copyright holders in the U.S. actively search the Internet for evidence of copyright violations. If they find such evidence at a UNK IP address, they typically send a written complaint to UNK Information Technology Services. When we receive a complaint, we will first verify that the complaint involves a computer that is connected to the campus network. We then track the IP address to a specific data jack on our network and identify the location and user of the machine.
If the computer is connected to our residence hall network, our Network Access Control device (NAC) will send a message to the computer that the owner/user must contact the Office of the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Information Technology to have network access re-instated.
- For a first offense, the Assistant Vice Chancellor will explain peer-to-peer file sharing and illegal downloading and with a verbal agreement to cease such activity, network access will be restored.
- For a second offense, the computer must be delivered to the UNK Helpdesk for removal of peer-to-peer software prior to restoring network access.
- Subsequent offenses are turned over to the Student Conduct Officer, with network access restored at his/her request.
If the computer is not located in a residence hall, responsibility for disciplinary action is turned over to the employee's supervisor, or for faculty, the appropriate Dean. When the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Information Technology is notified by the supervisor or Dean that disciplinary action has been taken, network access is restored.