ITS Web Services Policy

Rules pertaining to use of Web services provided by Information Technology Services (ITS)

Information Technology Services (ITS) World Wide Web services are available by request to Penn State colleges, departments, officially recognized student organizations, faculty, staff, and students. Student organizations can obtain Web space on the Student Activity Server ( Other applications for Web services are handled by the ITS Computer Accounts Office, 204 Wagner Building, University Park, 814-865-4772. Individuals can use our Web application form.)

Student Web space will remain active during periods of continuous enrollment (fall and spring semesters) and for six months after graduation. (Web space is kept active during the summer for students who are expected to return in the fall.) Faculty and staff Web space will be closed upon termination of employment.

We know that in almost every case, these pages will be appropriately used. Unfortunately, exceptions may occur. Content of Web pages must not violate Penn State policies or federal, state, or local laws. ITS does not monitor Web pages and does not assume responsibility for content. The authors of Web pages are responsible for the content of their pages.

Generally, laws that apply to the printed word apply in the electronic medium as well. Publishers should be concerned with issues related to copyright, libel, and liability. Following are some of the main issues that people should be concerned about when publishing on paper or on-line.

  1. Copyright:

    Electronic publishing is much like publishing in any other medium; you generally cannot use materials created by someone else without the author's permission. This is not an issue if you are publishing a collection of your own works, but it is crucial when distributing the works of other people.

    If you wish to publish copyrighted works authored by other people, you must obtain written consent from the copyright owner and keep a copy of that document in your records. These requirements apply to anything copyrighted (for example: paintings, sculpture, articles, poetry, novels, software, screenplays, and student papers).

  2. Policy and Law Violation:

    There are a number of University Policies plus federal and state laws that pertain to use of this facility. These include laws or policies pertaining to libel, slander, threats of bodily harm, pornography, and sexual harassment. By using your Penn State Access Account, including the ITS Web server, you agree to abide by these laws and policies.

  3. Non-profit Use:

    Use of University systems are reserved for University related activities only. You may not use your Penn State Access Account, the ITS Web server, the Penn State network, or any Penn State resources for personal profit.

Forms and Scripts

Scripts, or Common Gateway Interface (CGI) programs, can affect server performance and security for all users. These programs are not necessary for Web publishing. However, for those who wish to use scripts, a library of general-purpose CGI scripts that have already been evaluated and tested are available on the ITS Web server. Persons who write their own scripts should test and debug them on the ITS test server at after which they may submit them to for approval and installation. The Web Support Team requires approximately two weeks to process these requests. For further information see the ITS Knowledge Base.


If inappropriate materials are discovered or reported, ITS reserves the right to block access to such files until the author removes them or until competent authority grants access. Disciplinary action, including referral to the Office of Judicial Affairs, police, and suspension of account are possible.

Related Policies and Guidelines

Please also refer to University policies related to information technology.