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Information Technology Guidelines

Acceptable Computer Use Policy

Students and staff at Tennessee College of Applied Technology Murfreesboro deserve secure, respectful, cooperative use of the College’s computer system and the Internet.  This Acceptable Use Policy is designed to meet those goals.  The College expects variation in what constitutes acceptable use of College computers in each class and the class instructor will determine the particular policy applicable to each system he or she operates, subject to review by the President or Vice President.

Students will not allow unauthorized people access to College equipment or software and will not themselves copy or remove from the College without permission any College hardware or software.

All computer use including Internet use must be in support of education and research and appropriate for the assignment.  The College is not responsible for a student’s access of any inappropriate material.  All students at the College will be taught ethics and acceptable use of the computer system and the Internet.  If there is a complaint about inappropriate usage, the Instructor will resolve it.  If not resolved by the Instructor, the President or Vice President will review the complaint.  Inappropriate usage may be grounds for suspension or dismissal from the College.

Inappropriate usage includes but is not limited to:

  • Using the network or Internet for personal and private matters including electronic mail outside the College.
  • Hate mail, harassment, discriminatory remarks, and other antisocial behaviors including spamming.
  • Accessing pornographic or obscene material.
  • Accessing confidential material including but not limited to test files and personal/personnel records
  • Destroying, inappropriate deleting or changing, or otherwise damaging hardware or software.
  • Downloading and/or installing programs or data files on College computers without permission of the Instructor.
Copyright and Digital Millennium Act

Materials published by the Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Murfreesboro are protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The DMCA also requires that the institution inform all computer and network users that downloading of copyrighted material is prohibited. In addition, Tennessee Code Annotated §49-7-1(c) specifies that the institution ensure that no copyrighted digital music or videos be downloaded using institutional resources. Any attempts to do so will result in appropriate actions.


Violations of the policy will result in action by the appropriate institution office. Students who violate this policy will be referred to the Coordinator of Student Services for appropriate action. Employees who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary measures imposed by their supervisor in conjunction with the institution’s administration. Violations of local, state or federal laws regarding unlawful access or use may be referred to the appropriate law enforcement officials for investigation and/or prosecution.

Inspection of Electronic Records:

Electronic records sent, received, or stored on computers owned, leased, or administered by the Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Murfreesboro are the property of the College and the Tennessee Board of Regents. As the property of TCAT Murfreesboro and TBR, the content of such records, including electronic mail, are subject to inspection by TCAT Murfreesboro personnel. Users should have no reasonable expectation of privacy in the use of these resources.

Copyright General Information

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) to creators of “original works of authorship” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and other published and unpublished works, when “fixed in a tangible form of expression.” Protections last for the term of the author's life plus 50 years after death. It is given to individual, group, or corporate authors and to “works for hire”.

It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided to the owner of a copyright. The Copyright Act (1976) contains provisions prescribing damages that can be assessed if infringements are committed. In civil cases, the law allows the assessment of actual damages or statutory damages. For each infringement, statutory damages range from $250 to $10,000. These rights, however, are limited in scope. Sections 107-118 of the Copyright Act establish limitations that in some cases are specified as exemptions from liability. One major limitation is the doctrine of “fair-use” which is given statutory basis in Section 107 of the Act.