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Acceptable Use Policy

As a provider of Internet access, web site hosting, and other Internet-related services, dotCOM host 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. dotCOM host respects that the Internet provides a forum for free and open discussion and dissemination of information, however, when there are competing interests at issue, dotCOM host reserves the right to take certain preventative or corrective actions. In order to protect these competing interests, dotCOM host 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 dotCOM host services. This AUP will be revised from time to time. A customer's use of dotCOM host services after changes to the AUP are posted on dotCOM host web site, www.dotcomhost.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 dotCOM host 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 dotCOM host cannot monitor or censor the Internet, and will not attempt to do so, dotCOM host 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 dotCOM host 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 dotCOM host network and may reach a large number of people, including both subscribers and nonsubscribers of dotCOM host, subscribers' postings to the Internet may affect other subscribers and may harm dotCOM host goodwill, business reputation, and operations. For these reasons, subscribers violate dotCOM host policy and the service agreement when they, their customers, affiliates, or subsidiaries engage in the following prohibited activities: 

::  Spamming / Phishing -- Sending unsolicited bulk and/or commercial messages over the Internet (known as "spamming") / sending email pretending to be someone else to collect and gain login info to banking/financial institutions and other protected systems. It is not only harmful because of its negative impact on consumer attitudes toward dotCOM host, but also because it can overload dotCOM host network and disrupt service to dotCOM host subscribers. Also, maintaining an open SMTP relay is prohibited. When a complaint is received, dotCOM host has the discretion to determine from all of the evidence whether the email recipients were from an "opt-in" email list. We reserve the right to charge a $5.00 per spam email and $25.00 per phishing email fee for violations of our policies and this is at the discretion of dotCOM host and its affiliated companies.

::  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. dotCOM host is required by law to remove or block access to customer content upon receipt of a proper notice of copyright infringement. It is also dotCOM host policy to terminate the privileges of customers who commit repeat violations of copyright laws. 

::  Obscene Speech or Materials -- Using dotCOM host network to advertise, transmit, store, post, display, or otherwise make available child pornography or obscene speech or material. dotCOM host is required by law to notify law enforcement agencies when it becomes aware of the presence of child pornography on or being transmitted through dotCOM host network. 

::  Defamatory or Abusive Language -- Using dotCOM host 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. 

::  Export Control Violations -- Exporting encryption software over the Internet or otherwise, to points outside the United States. 

::  Usenet Groups -- dotCOM host 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 dotCOM host 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. dotCOM host will not, as an ordinary practice, monitor the communications of its subscribers to ensure that they comply with dotCOM host policy or applicable law. When dotCOM host 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. 

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

dotCOM host 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, dotCOM host urges its subscribers to assume that all of their on-line communications are insecure. dotCOM host cannot take any responsibility for the security of information transmitted over dotCOM host facilities. 

dotCOM host 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. dotCOM host may, however, monitor its service electronically to determine that its facilities are operating satisfactorily. Also, dotCOM host 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. dotCOM host 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, dotCOM host may disclose subscriber information or information transmitted over its network where necessary to protect dotCOM host and others from harm, or where such disclosure is necessary to the proper operation of the system. 

dotCOM host 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 dotCOM host policy. Finally, dotCOM host wishes to emphasize that in signing the service agreement, subscribers indemnify dotCOM host for any violation of the service agreement, law, or dotCOM host policy, that results in loss to dotCOM host or the bringing of any claim against dotCOM host by any third-party. This means that if dotCOM host is sued because of a subscriber's or customer of a subscriber's activity, the subscriber will pay any damages awarded against dotCOM host, plus costs and reasonable attorneys' fees. 

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

Last Modified January 22, 2005

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