As a provider of Internet access, web site hosting, and other Internet-related services, Pictor Design offers its customers, their customers, and end-users (collectively known as "Subscribers"), the means to acquire and disseminate a wealth of public, private, commercial, and non-commercial information. Pictor Design respects that the Internet provides a forum for free and open discussion and dissemination of information, however, when there are competing interests at issue, Pictor Design reserves the right to take certain preventative or corrective actions. In order to protect these competing interests, Pictor Design 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 Pictor Design's services.
This AUP will be revised from time to time. A customer's use of Pictor Design's services after changes to the AUP are posted on Pictor Design's web site, www.pictordesign.com, 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 Pictor Design 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 Pictor Design cannot monitor or censor the Internet, and will not attempt to do so, Pictor Design 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 Pictor Design does not review, edit, censor, or take responsibility for any information its Subscribers may create. When Subscribers 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 Pictor Design's network and may reach a large number of people, including both Subscribers and nonsubscribers of Pictor Design, Subscribers' postings to the Internet may affect other Subscribers and may harm Pictor Design's goodwill, business reputation, and operations. For these reasons, Subscribers violate Pictor Design 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 Pictor Design, but also because it can overload Pictor Design's network and disrupt service to Pictor Design Subscribers. Also, maintaining an open SMTP relay is prohibited. When a complaint is received, Pictor Design has the discretion to determine from all of the evidence whether the email recipients were from a "Confirmed Opt-in" email list. With Confirmed Opt-in (also called Closed-Loop Opt-in) the email recipient has verifiably confirmed permission (also known as "Verifiable Confirmation Information") for the address to be included on the specific mailing list, by confirming (responding to) the list subscription request verification. This is the standard practice for all responsible Internet mailing lists, as it ensures users are properly subscribed, from a working address, and with the address owner's consent. Pictor Design reserves the right to request from Subscriber the Verifiable Confirmation Information and to verify this information with the email recipient. Further, spam does not have to be sent from the Subscriber account or Pictor Design's network to violate Pictor Design policy. Email sent by or through a third party that advertises or otherwise directs traffic or links to the Subscriber web site or Subscriber account will be held to the same standard as those emails sent directly by Subscriber. The use of email lists obtained or purchased from a third party must also be verifiable by Subscriber to meet the requirements of Confirmed Opt-in with Verifiable Confirmation Information that recipient has opted-in to email from Subscriber.
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. Pictor Design is required by law to remove or block access to customer content upon receipt of a proper notice of copyright infringement. It is also Pictor Design's policy to terminate the privileges of customers who commit repeat violations of copyright laws.
Obscene Speech or Materials -- Using Pictor Design's network to advertise, transmit, store, post, display, or otherwise make available obscene speech or material.
Child Pornography -- Using Pictor Design's network to advertise, transmit, store, post, display, or otherwise make available child pornography. Pictor Design has a no tolerance policy for child pornography, and accounts reported to Pictor Design as potentially containing child pornography will be immediately disabled and reported to the NCMEC. Pictor Design is required by law to notify law enforcement agencies when it becomes aware of the presence of child pornography on or being transmitted through Pictor Design's network.
Defamatory or Abusive Language -- Using Pictor Design'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. This can include failure to update software used on Subscriber account or web site that is known to be vulnerable to malicious activity or exploitation. Pictor Design also expects Subscriber to use secure passwords to protect Subscriber account and associated email accounts. Use of passwords deemed by Pictor Design to be insecure are a violation of Pictor Design policy.
Export Control Violations -- Exporting encryption software over the Internet or otherwise, to points outside the United States.
Usenet Groups -- Pictor Design reserves the right not to accept postings from newsgroups where we have actual knowledge that the content of the newsgroup violates the AUP.
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 Pictor Design 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. Pictor Design will not, as an ordinary practice, monitor the communications of its Subscribers to ensure that they comply with Pictor Design policy or applicable law. When Pictor Design 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.
Pictor Design also is aware that many of its Subscribers are, themselves, providers of Internet services, and that information reaching Pictor Design's facilities from those Subscribers may have originated from a customer of the Subscriber or from another third-party. Pictor Design does not require its Subscribers who offer Internet services to monitor or censor transmissions or web sites created by customers of its Subscribers. Pictor Design has the right to directly take action against a customer of a Subscriber. Also, Pictor Design may take action against the Pictor Design Subscriber because of activities of a customer of the Subscriber, even though the action may effect other customers of the Subscriber. Similarly, Pictor Design expects that Subscribers who offer Internet services will cooperate with Pictor Design in any corrective or preventive action that Pictor Design deems necessary. Failure to cooperate with such corrective or preventive measures is a violation of Pictor Design policy.
Pictor Design 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, Pictor Design urges its Subscribers to assume that all of their on-line communications are insecure. Pictor Design cannot take any responsibility for the security of information transmitted over Pictor Design's facilities.
Pictor Design 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. Pictor Design may, however, monitor its service electronically to determine that its facilities are operating satisfactorily. Also, Pictor Design 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. Pictor Design 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, Pictor Design may disclose Subscriber information or information transmitted over its network where necessary to protect Pictor Design and others from harm, or where such disclosure is necessary to the proper operation of the system.
Pictor Design 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 Pictor Design policy. Finally, Pictor Design wishes to emphasize that in signing the service agreement, Subscribers indemnify Pictor Design for any violation of the service agreement, law, or Pictor Design policy, that results in loss to Pictor Design or the bringing of any claim against Pictor Design by any third-party. This means that if Pictor Design is sued because of a Subscriber's or customer of a Subscriber's activity, the Subscriber will pay any damages awarded against Pictor Design, plus costs and reasonable attorneys' fees.