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Information Technology Guidelines

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology has established computing and networking policies and guidelines which apply to everyone who chooses to use the College technology infrastructure and services. These include:

Computer Operation and Internet Access Policy and Guidelines

Each computer user must review the policy and guidelines of the institution before operating any computer system. Compliance with this policy is necessary to insure maximum utilization and performance of each computer system, as well as provide a sense of security and respectful cooperation among the school community. Strict adherence to this policy will prevent costly damage or repair, down-time, and/or loss of computer privileges.

  1. No computer system may be used without prior approval of the supervising instructor or other school official.
  2. Because software is protected under copyright laws, no software can be copied without written authorization.
  3. No outside software can be loaded on school computers without written approval.
  4. Changes to a system’s configuration or the inappropriate deleting or changing of computer settings is forbidden.
  5. Technical manuals must not be removed from the training area.
  6. Computers must not be moved or repositioned on tables.
  7. To prevent damage to any system, computer users should not eat, drink or smoke around computer equipment.
  8. Specific instructions for access to the Internet or network:
    • The system may not be used for personal or private matters.
    • Creating, distributing, or accessing hate mail, pornographic or obscene material, discriminatory or harassing materials or communications is strictly forbidden.
    • Anti-social behaviors (including spamming) are forbidden.
    • Accessing pornographic images or language is forbidden.
    • Creating, distributing, or accessing confidential material, including, but not limited to, test files or student/personnel records is forbidden.

Any person who violates this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary sanctions, including dismissal and/or possible prosecution.

Copyright and Digital Millennium Act

Materials published by the Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Knoxville 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 - Knoxville are the property of the College and the Tennessee Board of Regents. As the property of TCAT Knoxville and TBR, the content of such records, including electronic mail, are subject to inspection by TCAT Knoxville 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.