Acceptable Use Policy

1.0 Purpose
2.0 Scope
2.1 Your Rights and Responsibilities
3.0 Policy
3.1 Acceptable Use
3.2 Fair Share of Resources
3.3 Adherence with Federal, State, and Local Laws
3.4 Other Inappropriate Activities
3.5 Privacy and Personal Rights
3.6 User Compliance
4.0 Copyright and Fair Use

1.0 Purpose

The online resources of Superluminal Systems and the Guardian Alliance support the educational, instructional, research, and administrative activities of the Guardian Alliance Academy and the use of these resources is a privilege that is extended to members of the Guardian community. As a user of these services and facilities, you have access to valuable Academy resources, to sensitive data, and to internal and external networks. Consequently, it is important for you to behave in a responsible, ethical, and legal manner.

In general, acceptable use means respecting the rights of other users, the integrity of our online facilities and all pertinent license and contractual agreements. If an individual is found to be in violation of the Acceptable Use Policy, the Academy will take disciplinary action, including the restriction and possible loss of network privileges. A serious violation could result in more serious consequences, up to and including suspension or termination from the Academy. Individuals are also subject to federal, state and local laws governing many interactions that occur on the Internet. These policies and laws are subject to change as state and federal laws develop and change.

This document establishes specific requirements for the use of all computing and network resources at Guardian Alliance under both the and GuardianAlliance.Academy domains.

2.0 Scope

This policy applies to all users of computing resources owned or managed by Guardian Alliance. Individuals covered by the policy include (but are not limited to) Guardian faculty and visiting faculty, staff, students, alumni, guests or agents of the administration, external individuals and organizations accessing network services via the Guardian Alliance and Superluminal Systems websites.

Computing resources include all Academy owned, licensed, or managed hardware and software, and use of the Academy network via a physical or wireless connection, regardless of the ownership of the computer or device connected to the network.

These policies apply to courses and pages administered on the Academy sites, the resources administered by central administrative departments (such as the Hosting environments and WP-Admin), and to the use of any web interfaces of the site by personal or public devices.

2.1 Your Rights and Responsibilities

As a member of the Academy community, the Academy provides you with the use of scholarly and/or work-related tools, including access to certain web pages, and in turn their constituent computer systems, servers, software and databases. You have a reasonable expectation of unobstructed use of these tools, of certain degrees of privacy (which may vary depending on whether you are a Academy faculty member or a matriculated student), and of protection from abuse and intrusion by others sharing these resources. You can expect your right to access information and to express your opinion to be protected as it is for paper and other forms of non-electronic communication.

In turn, you are responsible for knowing the regulations and policies of the Academy that apply to appropriate use of the Academy’s technologies and resources. You are responsible for exercising good judgment in the use of the Academy’s technological and information resources. Just because an action is technically possible does not mean that it is appropriate to perform that action.

As a representative of the Guardian Alliance community, you are expected to respect the Academy’s good name in your electronic dealings with those outside the Academy.

3.0 Policy

3.1 Acceptable Use

  • You may use only the web interfaces for which you have authorization.
  • You may not use another individual’s account, or attempt to capture or guess other users’ passwords.
  • You are individually responsible for appropriate use of all resources assigned to you, including your profile, groups, courses, and other online interfaces. Therefore, you are accountable to the Academy for all use of such resources. As an authorized Guardian Alliance user of resources, you may not enable unauthorized users to access the network by using an existing Guardian Alliance user account that is not registered to that unauthorized user.
  • The Academy is bound by its contractual and license agreements respecting certain third party resources; you are expected to comply with all such agreements when using such resources.
  • You should make a reasonable effort to protect your passwords and to secure resources against unauthorized use or access.
  • You must not attempt to access restricted portions of the network, databases, or administrative applications without appropriate authorization by a Guardian Alliance faculty member.
  • You must comply with the policies and guidelines for any specific set of resources to which you have been granted access. When other policies are more restrictive than this policy, the more restrictive policy takes precedence.
  • You must not use Guardian Alliance websites in conjunction with the execution of programs, software, processes, or automated transaction-based commands that are intended to disrupt (or that could reasonably be expected to disrupt) other users, or damage or degrade performance, software or hardware components of a system.
  • On Guardian Alliance websites, do not use tools that are normally used to assess security or to attack computer systems or networks (e.g., password ‘crackers,’ vulnerability scanners, network sniffers, etc.) unless you have been specifically authorized to do so by the Guardian Security Council.

3.2 Fair Share of Resources

Superluminal Systems and the Guardian Alliance online resources, websites, network systems and servers, expect to maintain an acceptable level of performance and must assure that frivolous, excessive, or inappropriate use of the resources by one person or a few people does not degrade performance for others. The online resources are shared widely and are limited, requiring that resources be utilized with consideration for others who also use them. Therefore, the use of any automated processes to gain technical advantage over others in the Guardian community is explicitly forbidden.

The Academy may choose to set limits on an individual’s use of a resource through quotas, time limits, and other mechanisms to ensure that these resources can be used by anyone who needs them.

3.3 Adherence with Federal, State, and Local Laws

As a member of the Guardian Alliance community, you are expected to uphold local ordinances and state and federal law. Some Guardian guidelines related to use of technologies derive from that concern, including laws regarding license and copyright, and the protection of intellectual property. As long as a law fundamentally supports the wellbeing of communities, the sovereignty of individuals, and the propagation of freedom and life, it may be found to be in alignment with Guardian Alliance principles.

As a user of the Guardian Alliance we strongly recommend that you:

  • Abide by all federal, state, and local laws.
  • Abide by all applicable copyright laws and licenses. Guardian Alliance has entered into legal agreements or contracts for many of our software and network resources which require each individual using them to comply with those agreements.
  • Observe the copyright law as it applies to music, videos, games, images, texts and other media in both personal use and in production of electronic information. The ease with which electronic materials can be copied, modified and sent over the Internet makes electronic materials extremely vulnerable to unauthorized access, invasion of privacy and copyright infringement.
  • Do not use, copy, or distribute copyrighted works (including but not limited to Web page graphics, sound files, film clips, trademarks, software and logos) unless you have a legal right to use, copy, distribute, or otherwise exploit the copyrighted work. Doing so may provide the basis for civil litigation and criminal prosecution.

Please visit the Copyright and Fair Use section for full discussion of your legal obligations.

3.4 Other Inappropriate Activities

Use Guardian’s computing facilities and services for those activities that are consistent with the educational, research and public service mission of the Academy. Other prohibited activities include:

  • Use of the Guardian Alliance sites for political purposes (outside of Guardian Alliance initiatives).
  • Use of the Guardian Alliance sites for advertising or personal economic gain (outside of approved faculty or partner use).
  • Use of the Guardian Alliance sites for trolling, spamming, slander, excessive profanity or abuse of other users.

3.5 Privacy and Personal Rights

  • All users of the Guardian Alliance sites are expected to respect the privacy and personal rights of others.
  • Do not access or copy another user’s email, data, programs, or other files without the written permission of the Guardian Security Council, who are bound to Emergency Access Procedures only.
  • Be professional and respectful when using computing systems to communicate with others; the use of computing resources to libel, slander, or harass any other person is not allowed and could lead to Academy discipline as well as legal action by those who are the recipient of these actions.

While the Academy does not generally monitor or limit content of information transmitted on the campus network, it reserves the right to access and review such information under certain conditions. These include: investigating performance deviations and system problems (with reasonable cause), determining if an individual is in violation of this policy, or, as may be necessary, to ensure that Guardian is not subject to claims of institutional misconduct.

Access to files on Academy-owned or licensed equipment or information will only be approved by specific personnel when there is a valid reason to access those files. Authority to access user files can only come from the Guardian Security Council in conjunction with requests and/or approvals from senior members of the Academy. External law enforcement agencies and the Guardian Security Council may request access to files through valid subpoenas and other legally binding requests. Information obtained in this manner can be admissible in legal proceedings or in a Academy hearing.

3.6 User Compliance

When you use the Guardian Alliance online Academy or sites, you agree to comply with this and all other related policies. You have the responsibility to keep up-to-date on changes in this agreement as published, using Academy electronic and print publication mechanisms, and to adapt to those changes as necessary.

4.0 Copyright and Fair Use

“To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries”

—U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8


Guardian Alliance Policy

The Guardian Alliance expects that all members of the Academy community respect the rights of ownership of intellectual property by adhering to United States copyright laws. The principle of fair use as set forth in the copyright act provides essential limitations to the exclusive rights of copyright owners that support the Academy’s mission of teaching, scholarship, research, and free inquiry. In an effort to balance copyright law with fair use principles, the Guardian Alliance is committed to providing tools and resources to the Academy community to assist decision-making in this complex environment.

Understanding Copyright and Fair Use

The principle of copyright is derived from the US Constitution in fulfillment of Congress’ right “to promote the progress of science and the useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive rights to their writings and discoveries” (Article 1, section 8). This emphasis on the progress that results from publication, and the limitation of the term of ownership, are important to remember. Copyright laws serve to protect the rights of copyright holders in their works while allowing unfettered access to such works under particular circumstances.

The limitation of fair use provides exceptions to the rights of copyright holders in certain cases, allowing people to use portions of works for non-profit, academic, and other purposes provided those uses stay within certain bounds. The following links can help you understand the principles of fair use and determine when and whether you may use copyrighted material without getting permission first.

Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair Use

The fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include –

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Principles of Fair Use

There are four factors that are taken into consideration in determining whether or not a use falls within the fair use exception. They are:

  • the purpose or character of the use:  The copyright law mentions several purposes appropriate to fair use: criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.  Court decisions have tended to favor non-commercial purposes over commercial ones.  Transformative use, where the use adds new meaning or insight has been favored over simple reproduction. Not all educational uses are fair use.
  • the nature of the work being used: Courts have favored fair use of published materials over unpublished ones.  Fair use may apply more broadly to works that are more factual in nature. More protection may be given to works of a more creative nature: art, music, poetry, film.  Uses of consumables (tests, workbook pages) and works intended for the educational market (textbooks and literature anthologies) are less likely to be considered Fair Use.
  • the amount of the work being used, and its substantiality in relation to the whole: The larger portion of a work used, the less likely a use is to be considered Fair Use.  The amount one uses is likely to be evaluated both in terms of its relation to the whole work and the amount needed to achieve one’s purpose.  A qualitative analysis may also be performed to determine if the use has captured the essential or key portion of the work being used – if so, it is not likely Fair Use.  On the other hand, the use of the key portion or the entire work for purposes of parody may be entirely appropriate.
  • the effect of the intended use on the market: If your use is one where a copy (or copies) may be purchased or licensed for a fair market price it is not likely Fair Use.  If the use deprives the copyright owner of income or undermined a potential new market it is not Fair Use.

Each of these factors carries weight in deciding whether the use you plan is fair use.

The above explanations draw on the articles “Measuring Fair Use: the Four Factors” and “What is Fair Use” at the Stanford Copyright & Fair Use website.  Other recent articles useful for more in-depth analysis of the Fair Use issue in Higher Ed. include  June M. Besak’s “Copyright: What A Use Fair?” Educause Review (Nov.-Dec., 2003) and Jonathan Band’s “Educational Fair Use Today” Association of Research Libraries (2007).

This Acceptable Use Policy is based on the policies of Brown University. More information: Links to legislation, web resources, and articles on fair use and copyright.

Questions or comments to: [email protected]

Effective Date: January 1, 2015

Last Reviewed: January, 2015

Next Scheduled Review: January, 2016