CAMPUS COMPUTER POLICIES
TASK FORCE

("The Hermes Group")

Brandeis University

Spring 2001

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   Charge to the Task Force --



   Major Issues Before the Task Force --



   Members of the Task Force ("The Hermes Group") --



  Some Hypotheticals for Discussion --

    Adventures or Mis-Adventures of John and Alice and Their Sometime Friend, Henry:


1. Henry Sabotages John's Project
John and Alice are assigned shared server space to store web site projects they are building for a class. Unbeknownst to either John or Alice, Henry repeatedly and purposefully deletes John's images and pages from the server space.

2. John and Alice Turn "Green"
John and Alice have founded a new campus environmental organization, LEFB:("Let Every Flower Bloom"). They tape a program from the Discovery channel on endangered plant species in New England and rebroadcast it over the Brandeis cable network to promote their new group.

3. John and Alice Become "Talk Radio" Hosts at Brandeis
John and Alice start their own program on the Brandeis radio station, called "Whad-do-ya Think, Whad-do-ya Know?" They digitalize several of their most recent broadcasts and post them on the Brandeis server..

4. John - In a "Tizzy" - Finishes the Assignment
John is unable to get into WebCT to complete an assignment by a specific deadline for his Computer Science Class.and so uses Alice's account (whose information he just happens to have) to access the course, posting the assignment by using Alice's account.

5. Alice Tries to Do Something Nice for Henry
Meanwhile Henry has left Brandeis and is now enrolled at the University of Hawaii-Maui. He is running out of ideas for his upcoming term paper on "Sputnik and the National Defense Education Act," and asks Alice to help. Alice sends Henry an E-mail with the password of her personal Brandeis UNet account so that Henry can have access to the Brandeis Library Online resources.

6. You Be the Judge: Whose Civil Rights Are Violated, Alice's or John's?
John sees Alice in the Feldberg Computer Cluster.. He sits down next to her and starts to use the iMac to view pornograpny. Alice grows increasingly uncomfortable and asks John to stop or "work" elsewhere. John ignores Alice and continues to do what he is doing.

7. John Lets His Entrepeneurial Instincts Go
John decides to start his own online busniess, selling used textbooks on the internet at a discount. He uses his own personal UNet website to launch "Textbooks 'R Us." He designs the site himself and includes an online shopping cart and a page to take credit cards via the web.

8. Alice Wonders: "Is There No Privacy Left?"
Alice discovers that her sister, mother and brother-in-law are all reading her E-mail and using her Brandeis E-mail account.

9. John and the Great Campus Givaway
Alice shares a folder from a personal machine in her dorm. She is unaware that John can "view" and "make use of" the contents of this folder. John downloads a bunch of copyrighted software and uses the publicly shared folder to store the software without Alice's knoweldge. He then tells his friends about the folder so that they can get on the network and download some, according to John, "really cool" software for their own personal use.

10: John Decides to Get Himself a "Mess" Of "Good Tunes"
John uses his own personal computer in his dorm room to run an FTP Website making available for download entire, perfect copies of new, popular software products, including a whole host of EXE and ZIP files, MP3 amd MIDI music files and thousands of JPG files. Network traffic to the site takes up 75% to 90% of the bandwidth for the building. A member of the ITS staff discovers the high volume and shuts down John's connection to the network. John complains that he was "shut off" without warning and that he was unable, as a result, to complete an important assignment for his USEM class.

11. Henry Gets John Into Trouble
Henry uses John's computer and John's account to send harassing E-mail to Alice. Alice complains and it is noticed that the offending E-mail messages come from John's account and John's name is passed along to the student judicial board.

12. John, His Entrepeneurial Wheels Spinning, Gets Down To Business
John eager to promote his new business ("Textbooks 'R Us") types in every student's and faculty's E-mail address that he can find in the University Directory, puts them all on a huge E-mail list and sends them some snappy advertizing for his new Online Business . He sends another series of E-mails asking people to list any textsbooks they have to sell. The University E-mail server suffers a serious breakdown and/or a sequence of delays causing all other E-mail to anyone and everyone at Brandeis to be delayed or undelivered.

13. Alice Becomes a Hockey Fan and Tapes the Bruins
Alice has now become a Professor of Psychology and a member of the Brandeis Faculty. She has a cable TV drop in her office and has been taping several Boston Bruins Hockey games to show to her class on Sports Psychology, in particular for the section on "Violence in Sports." She decides to archive the games to watch and study them at the end of the semester

14. Alice Brings Hannibal Lechter Into Her Students' Lives
Alice, who is still teaching at Brandeis and still teaching Psychology, takes a video copy of "Hannibal" to the AV production room in Goldfarb for duplication. She says that "she (Alice) knows the producer," Dino de Laurentiis, and used to "vacation with him in Italy," as well as Ridley Scott who directed the film ("they," she says "went to school together," adding that she had a "small walk-on" in "Blade Runner"). She says she has talked with Dino de Laurentiis and Ridley Scott, and both told her it was "Okey-Dokey" for her to tape copies for her entire class.

15. Alice Asks For a Little Help from John
Alice, who is still teaching at Brandeis and still teaching Psychology, asks John who is now a graduate student in the Department to scan several articles in their entirety from the "Clinical Journal of Pain" and the "Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review" and to post them on the Department website.

16. Alice Becomes Image (Un)Conscious
Alice brings 800 35mm slides to the Fine Arts Slide library and asks them to scan them onto a web page she has created on the Brandeis server for her Sports Psychology class. The site will be publicly accessible and not restriced to users by password. She has a list of sources for the material but no letters from copyright holders to reproduce and/or use the images..

17. Alice Wonders "What Use is Fair?"
Alice asks the Library to put ten paes of a book on Electronic Reseserve for her Psychology of Sports Class, only to have the Library staff refuse to do so because the Library does own the book or have that particular book in its collection.

18. Alice Decides to Take a Break and Go On Vacation
Alice is about to go on a trip to Alaska. She insists upon giveing the chief administrator in the Psychology Department as well as a member of the ITS staff her personal password to her Unet account so they can copy files for her, while she is bear-watching East of Fairbanks.

19. You Be the Judge: Is It John or Alice Who Sets the Bad Example?
John decides to enroll in Alice's class in Sports Psychology. Alice posts several papers on a website she has created for the class and that is also open to he public. Among the papers she chooses for posting, she chooses one of John's. She tells the class she has chosen the papers as examples of "good" and "bad" work. John's paper, she tells the class, is an example of "bad" work. Alice posts the papers without asking the students who wrote them for their permission to do so. John complains that Alice's actions seriously damage his chances to get a post-graduate position. He sues Alice and the university.

20. John's Chat Room "Talk" Comes Back to Haunt Him
John, unable to find a Sports Psychology position elsewehere, applies for a job at Brandeis. A hiring supervisor does a web search on John and discovers that he has been an especially active participant in an Online Chat Room visited by Michael Mcdermott, the 42 year-old software engineer at Edgewater Technology in Wakefield who recently killed seven employees at the company's suburban Boston offices. Without asking John about his Online participation in the Chat Room, she decides not to hire him because the information about John has "made her nervous." .




   Information System Guidelines and Computer Policies at Other Universities


The links below are examples of computer policies other universities are implementing. These guidelines are not law, and thus do not guarantee safe harbor from violation and infringement. It is also likely that the conditions determining the extent of permissible use for educational purposes in any given area, such as copyright, will change in the future: copying permitted under some guidelines may not be permissible in the future, and conversely types of copying not permitted by some university policies may turn out to be permissible. The guidelines linked below are not intended to limit the types of conduct permitted under the countervailing standards such as fair use or free speech. There may be instances in conduct forbidden under the guidelines established by a particular university that may nonetheless be permitted under the criteria of fair use or free speech.


Cornell Computer Policies List: "Welcome to the Computer Policy and Law Policies List! [A] very useful resource for policy-makers of all kinds . . . The policies are classified into twelve (12) categories, or types. Each type has been assigned an icon to represent it to make the policies easier to identify in list format. Because some of the policies cover a number of policy areas and others could be construed to cover different areas (i.e. Responsible Use vs. Guidelines for Use) [they have] put. . .they fit best."

Stanford University: FAIR USE - Primary Materials, Current Legislation, Cases and Issues, Resources on the Internet , Oveview of Copyright Law

Using Computer Resources at Brown University: " These guidelines apply to all users of computing resources owned or managed by Brown University, including but not limited to Brown faculty and visiting faculty, staff, students, guests of the administration, external individuals or organizations and individuals accessing external network services, such as the Internet, via Brown's computing facilities."

Harvard University: Policies: Use of Facilitites, Privacy of Information, Electronic Communication, Intellectual Property, Security, Use of Facilities, Use of the Network, Electronic Communication, Cases of Misconduct

TUFTS - Policies and Standards: "Information Technology Responsible Use Policy, New Massachusetts Computer Crime Law, Policy on Rights and Responsibilities With Respect to Intellectual Property, Eligibility Policy for Information Technology, Policy on Licensing of Electronic Content Resources, Policies for Tufts E-mail Accounts and Addresses, Tufts University Information Technology Standards"

NOTRE DAME - Responsible Use Policy: " This document constitutes the University policy for the management of computer networks, personal computers and the resources made available thereby. The policy reflects the ethical principles of the University community and indicates, in general, the privileges and responsibilities of those using University computing resources: Acceptable Use, Institutional Purposes, Impermissible Use, Cooperative Use, General Policies, Responsibilities of Users, Security, Privacy and Confidentiality, External Networks, Sanctions, Disclaimer, Existing University Rules and Regulations, andDefinitions."

University of Michigan Policy: "This site is intended to provide information about copyright which will enhance the understanding of faculty, staff and students at The University of Michigan and provide guidelines for using and creating copyrighted material. The information provided is not legal advice."

MIT - Policies and Procedures: "Information Policies, Intellectual Property, Ownership of Intellectual Property, Significant Use of MIT-Administered Resources, Ownership of Copyrights in Theses, Invention and Proprietary Information Agreements, Consulting Agreements, Organization, Disclosures and Technology Transfer, Policy on the Use of Information Technology, Privacy of Institute Records, Information Security and Preservation, Responsible Use of MIT Computers, Networks, and Telephones, Privacy of Electronic Communications, Acquisition and use of Third-Party Products and Services, Archival Policy, Records Management Program, and Reproduction of Copyrighted Matter."

YALE - Appropriate Use Policy: Information technology ("IT"), the vast and growing array of computing and electronic data communications facilities and services, is used daily to create, access, examine, store, and distribute material in multiple media and formats. Information technology plays an integral part in the fulfillment of Yale University's research, education, clinical, administrative, and other roles. Users of Yale's IT resources have a responsibility not to abuse those resources and to respect the rights of the members of the community as well as the University itself. This Yale University IT Appropriate Use Policy (the "Policy" or "AUP") provides guidelines for the appropriate use of Yale's IT resources as well as for the University's access to information about and oversight of these resources. Most IT use parallels familiar activity in other media and formats, making existing University policies important in determining what use is appropriate. Using electronic mail ("E-mail") instead of standard written correspondence, for example, does not fundamentally alter the nature of the communication, nor does it alter the guiding policies. University policies that already govern freedom of expression and related matters in the context of standard written expression govern electronic expression as well. This Policy addresses circumstances that are particular to the IT arena and is intended to augment but not to supersede other relevant University policies. The purpose of this Policy is to ensure an information technology infrastructure that promotes the basic missions of the University in teaching, learning, research, patient care, and administration. In particular, this Policy aims to promote the following goals: To ensure the integrity, reliability, availability, and superior performance of IT Systems; To ensure that use of IT Systems is consistent with the principles and values that govern use of other University facilities and services; To ensure that IT Systems are used for their intended purposes; and To establish processes for addressing policy violations and sanctions for violators."

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Basic Guidelines: " Copyrighted materials, Pictures and video, Commercial activity on the MIT network, Private business, Use of Institute Name, Fundraising and Advertising, Reselling network IP services, Sponsoring a not-for-profit web site, and Web accessibility."

University of Virginia: General and Local Information: Basics, UV's Policies and Procedures; Primary Materials: Copyright Act of 1976, U.S. Copyright Office, United States Patent and Trademark Office; Information from organizations concerned about copyright; and Guidelines, views and interpretations from various groups, individuals and other institutions."

University of Minnesota: " Interim Guidelines for the Use of Copyrighted Works"

Tufts University Copyright and Cyberspace: "In this new age of technology, how does copyright law affect faculty, researchers, librarians, and school administrators? What are the implications of copyright law for distance learning? For Digital Library development? This hypertext document has been created by the Center for Teaching Excellence as part of its collaboration with the Tufts University Digital Library Design Team. It contains general information about copyright law to assist Tufts University faculty, staff, and students in understanding this complex issue. This document does NOT provide legal advice per se. Such advice should only be provided by direct consultation with counsel, based upon all facts and circumstances involved in a specific instance."


Prepared: January 23, 2001 - 12:02:29 PM
Edited and Updated, January 24, 2001


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