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Gulf Coast Information Systems

"The Source of your Internet Solutions"


GCIS Acceptable Use Policies

Web Posted May 30, 2005

As a provider of web site hosting, and other Internet-related services, GCIS offers its customers (also known as subscribers), and their customers and users, the means to acquire and disseminate a wealth of public, private, commercial, and non-commercial information. GCIS respects that the Internet provides a forum for free and open discussion and dissemination of information, however, when there are competing interests at issue, GCIS reserves the right to take certain preventative or corrective actions. In order to protect these competing interests, GCIS has developed an Acceptable Use Policy ("AUP"), which supplements and explains certain terms of each customer's respective service agreement and is intended as a guide to the customer's rights and obligations when utilizing GCIS's services. This AUP will be revised from time to time. A customer's use of GCIS's services after changes to the AUP are posted on GCIS's web site, www.gcis.biz/www.gcisnet.net, will constitute the customer's acceptance of any new or additional terms of the AUP that result from those changes.

One important aspect of the Internet is that no one party owns or controls it. This fact accounts for much of the Internet's openness and value, but it also places a high premium on the judgment and responsibility of those who use the Internet, both in the information they acquire and in the information they disseminate to others. When subscribers obtain information through the Internet, they must keep in mind that GCIS cannot monitor, verify, warrant, or vouch for the accuracy and quality of the information that subscribers may acquire. For this reason, the subscriber must exercise his or her best judgment in relying on information obtained from the Internet, and also should be aware that some material posted to the Internet is sexually explicit or otherwise offensive. Because GCIS cannot monitor or censor the Internet, and will not attempt to do so, GCIS cannot accept any responsibility for injury to its subscribers that results from inaccurate, unsuitable, offensive, or illegal Internet communications.

When subscribers disseminate information through the Internet, they also must keep in mind that GCIS does not review, edit, censor, or take responsibility for any information its subscribers may create. When users place information on the Internet, they have the same liability as other authors for copyright infringement, defamation, and other harmful speech. Also, because the information they create is carried over GCIS's network and may reach a large number of people, including both subscribers and nonsubscribers of GCIS, subscribers' postings to the Internet may affect other subscribers and may harm GCIS's goodwill, business reputation, and operations. For these reasons, subscribers violate GCIS policy and the service agreement when they, their customers, affiliates, or subsidiaries engage in the following prohibited activities:
Spamming -- Sending unsolicited bulk and/or commercial messages over the Internet (known as "spamming"). It is not only harmful because of its negative impact on consumer attitudes toward GCIS, but also because it can overload GCIS's network and disrupt service to GCIS subscribers. Also, maintaining an open SMTP relay is prohibited. When a complaint is received, GCIS has the discretion to determine from all of the evidence whether the email recipients were from an "opt-in" email list.
Intellectual Property Violations -- Engaging in any activity that infringes or misappropriates the intellectual property rights of others, including copyrights, trademarks, service marks, trade secrets, software piracy, and patents held by individuals, corporations, or other entities. Also, engaging in activity that violates privacy, publicity, or other personal rights of others. GCIS is required by law to remove or block access to customer content upon receipt of a proper notice of copyright infringement. It is also GCIS's policy to terminate the privileges of customers who commit repeat violations of copyright laws.
Intellectual Property Violations reporting procedures are listed below.
Obscene Speech or Materials -- Using GCIS's network to advertise, transmit, store, post, display, or otherwise make available child pornography or obscene speech or material. GCIS is required by law to notify law enforcement agencies when it becomes aware of the presence of child pornography on or being transmitted through GCIS's network.
Defamatory or Abusive Language -- Using GCIS's network as a means to transmit or post defamatory, harassing, abusive, or threatening language.

Forging of Headers -- Forging or misrepresenting message headers, whether in whole or in part, to mask the originator of the message.

Illegal or Unauthorized Access to Other Computers or Networks -- Accessing illegally or without authorization computers, accounts, or networks belonging to another party, or attempting to penetrate security measures of another individual's system (often known as "hacking"). Also, any activity that might be used as a precursor to an attempted system penetration (i.e. port scan, stealth scan, or other information gathering activity).

Distribution of Internet Viruses, Worms, Trojan Horses, or Other Destructive Activities -- Distributing information regarding the creation of and sending Internet viruses, worms, Trojan horses, pinging, flooding, mailbombing, or denial of service attacks. Also, activities that disrupt the use of or interfere with the ability of others to effectively use the network or any connected network, system, service, or equipment.

Facilitating a Violation of this AUP -- Advertising, transmitting, or otherwise making available any software, program, product, or service that is designed to violate this AUP, which includes the facilitation of the means to spam, initiation of pinging, flooding, mailbombing, denial of service attacks, and piracy of software.

Other Illegal Activities -- Engaging in activities that are determined to be illegal, including advertising, transmitting, or otherwise making available ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, fraudulently charging credit cards, and pirating software.

Other Activities -- Engaging in activities, whether lawful or unlawful, that GCIS determines to be harmful to its subscribers, operations, reputation, goodwill, or customer relations.

As we have pointed out, the responsibility for avoiding the harmful activities just described rests primarily with the subscriber. GCIS will not, as an ordinary practice, monitor the communications of its subscribers to ensure that they comply with GCIS policy or applicable law. When GCIS becomes aware of harmful activities, however, it may take any action to stop the harmful activity, including but not limited to, removing information, shutting down a web site, implementing screening software designed to block offending transmissions, denying access to the Internet, or take any other action it deems appropriate.

GCIS also is aware that many of its subscribers are, themselves, providers of Internet services, and that information reaching GCIS's facilities from those subscribers may have originated from a customer of the subscriber or from another third-party. GCIS does not require its subscribers who offer Internet services to monitor or censor transmissions or web sites created by customers of its subscribers. GCIS has the right to directly take action against a customer of a subscriber. Also, GCIS may take action against the GCIS subscriber because of activities of a customer of the subscriber, even though the action may effect other customers of the subscriber. Similarly, GCIS anticipates that subscribers who offer Internet services will cooperate with GCIS in any corrective or preventive action that GCIS deems necessary. Failure to cooperate with such corrective or preventive measures is a violation of GCIS policy.

GCIS also is concerned with the privacy of on-line communications and web sites. In general, the Internet is neither more nor less secure than other means of communication, including mail, facsimile, and voice telephone service, all of which can be intercepted and otherwise compromised. As a matter of prudence, however, GCIS urges its subscribers to assume that all of their on-line communications are insecure. GCIS cannot take any responsibility for the security of information transmitted over GCIS's facilities.

GCIS will not intentionally monitor private electronic mail messages sent or received by its subscribers unless required to do so by law, governmental authority, or when public safety is at stake. GCIS may, however, monitor its service electronically to determine that its facilities are operating satisfactorily. Also, GCIS may disclose information, including but not limited to, information concerning a subscriber, a transmission made using our network, or a web site, in order to comply with a court order, subpoena, summons, discovery request, warrant, statute, regulation, or governmental request. GCIS assumes no obligation to inform the subscriber that subscriber information has been provided and in some cases may be prohibited by law from giving such notice. Finally, GCIS may disclose subscriber information or information transmitted over its network where necessary to protect GCIS and others from harm, or where such disclosure is necessary to the proper operation of the system.

GCIS expects that its subscribers who provide Internet services to others will comply fully with all applicable laws concerning the privacy of on-line communications. A subscriber's failure to comply with those laws will violate GCIS policy. Finally, GCIS wishes to emphasize that in signing the service agreement, subscribers indemnify GCIS for any violation of the service agreement, law, or GCIS policy, that results in loss to GCIS or the bringing of any claim against GCIS by any third-party. This means that if GCIS is sued because of a subscriber's or customer of a subscriber's activity, the subscriber will pay any damages awarded against GCIS, plus costs and reasonable attorneys' fees.

We hope this AUP is helpful in clarifying the obligations of Internet users, including GCIS and its subscribers, as responsible members of the Internet. Any complaints about a subscriber's violation of this AUP should be sent to abuse@gcis.biz.

Reporting Copyright Violations


Written notification must be submitted to the following Designated Agent: 

Service Provider(s): Gulf Coast Information Systems
Name of Agent Designated to Receive
Notification of Claimed Infringement: Lloyd Kirk
Full Address of Designated Agent to
Which Notification Should be Sent: 13520 Havens Rd, Vanleave,MS 39565
Telephone Number of Designated Agent: (601) 791-1323 
Email Address of Designated Agent: gcis@gcis.biz 

To be effective, the Notification must include the following: 
1. A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed; 
2. Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site; 
3. Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material; 
4. Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the Complaining Party, such as an address, telephone number, and if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted; 
5. A statement that the Complaining Party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and 
6. A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the Complaining Party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed. 

Upon receipt of the written Notification containing the information as outlined in 1 through 6 above: 
1. Service Provider shall remove or disable access to the material that is alleged to be infringing; 
2. Service Provider shall forward the written notification to such alleged infringer ("Subscriber"); 
3. Service Provider shall take reasonable steps to promptly notify the Subscriber that it has removed or disabled access to the material. 

Counter Notification: 

To be effective, a Counter Notification must be a written communication provided to the Service Provider's Designated Agent that includes substantially the following: 
1. A physical or electronic signature of the Subscriber; 
2. Identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled; 
3. A statement under penalty of perjury that the Subscriber has a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled; 
4. The Subscriber's name, address, and telephone number, and a statement that the Subscriber consents to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the address is located, or if the Subscriber's address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which the Service Provider may be found, and that the Subscriber will accept service of process from the person who provided notification or an agent of such person 

Upon receipt of a Counter Notification containing the information as outlined in 1 through 4 above: 
1. Service Provider shall promptly provide the Complaining Party with a copy of the Counter Notification; 
2. Service Provider shall inform the Complaining Party that it will replace the removed material or cease disabling access to it within ten (10) business days; 
3. Service Provider shall replace the removed material or cease disabling access to the material within ten (10) to fourteen (14) business days following receipt of the Counter Notification, provided Service Provider's Designated Agent has not received notice from the Complaining Party that an action has been filed seeking a court order to restrain Subscriber from engaging in infringing activity relating to the material on Service Provider's network or system. 
If it is determined that the copyright holder misrepresented its claim regarding the infringing material, the copyright holder then becomes liable to the OSP for any damages that resulted from the improper removal of the material. [512(f)] 

GCIS may at its discretion forward the counter-claim and materials to the party making the claim of infringement. 
Items may or may not be inactivated pending legal resolution solely at the discretion of GCIS.