2023-2024 Catalog

Computer Use Procedure and Electronic Communication Policy

All students must have access to a computer with internet connection to fulfill class requirements, conduct research, review college-issued email, and perform other activities associated with being a college student. Each FRCC campus provides computers and internet access for student use during posted hours.

The Computer Use Procedure contains the governing philosophy for regulating faculty, student, and staff use of the System's computing resources. It spells out the general principles regarding appropriate use of equipment, software, networks and data. In addition to this policy all members of the CCCS community are also bound by local, state, and federal laws relating to copyrights, security, and other statutes regarding electronic media. The CCCS has the right to monitor any and all aspects of its computer and telecommunications systems including employee email, voice mail, and file structures on any CCCS system. CCCS's right to monitor its computer system and telecommunications equipment includes, but is not limited to, monitoring sites users visit on the internet, monitoring chat groups and newsgroups, reviewing material downloaded or uploaded by users, and reviewing email sent and received by users.

Students should be aware that due to the nature of their use, computers in FRCC's computer labs and on FRCC campuses are susceptible to computer viruses, which could be passed to other computers via files saved on flash drives or shared with other users. FRCC is committed to reducing the virus threat to computers in its purview, including providing virus-checking software in the labs, continuous upgrades to this software, and procedures for students on its use. This does not ensure that these computers will always be virus-free; as quickly as upgrades are created to deal with viruses, new viruses are being created. Therefore, FRCC cannot be held liable for any loss that may be caused due to a computer virus. The procedures to check for viruses on student work are available in the computer labs on each campus.

To help ensure the security and operations of FRCC's computer network, the connection of personally owned or non-FRCC computers and peripherals to the FRCC non-student wireless network is restricted. Student wireless networks are accessible on each campus.

To read the Computer Use Procedure and Electronic Communication Policy in full, go to https://cccs.edu/policies-and-procedures/board-policies/bp-3-125-electronic-communication-policy/


P2P file sharing can violate copyright laws

Using P2P (Peer-to-Peer) file-sharing software that copies and distributes music, videos, software, games, or other copyrighted works without permission of the copyright holder is a violation of U.S. copyright law. If you have P2P file-sharing applications installed on your computer, you may be sharing copyrighted works without even realizing it. Even if you do not intend to engage in illegal activity, installing P2P software on a computer can easily result in you unintentionally sharing files (copyrighted music or even sensitive documents) with other P2P users, and you may then be personally responsible for the legal and financial consequences.

Content owners, such as the recording industry, movie studios, and game and software companies, specifically target unauthorized file sharing on college networks. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has employed aggressive legal strategies to address unauthorized file sharing. Since September 2003, the RIAA has filed lawsuits against more than 20,000 individuals using P2P software worldwide. 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.

You can listen to music and watch entertainment online without running the risks involved with downloading or sharing networks that operate outside copyright law. This link maintains a listing of known sites that provide free and legal entertainment: www.educause.edu/legalcontent.

Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws

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 a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.

Penalties for copyright infringement 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 than $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 attorneys' 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 web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov, especially their FAQ's at www.copyright.gov/help/faq.