Merlot Digital








Acceptable Usage Policy

Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP)

Part of the Merlot Digital Legals
Last updated 2024/03/27
 (March 27th, 2024)

An Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP) is a set of rules and conditions compiled by a network, system or a website owner. These rules explicitly define and restrict the ways in which the respective network, system or website may be used.

The Network Crew Pty Ltd’s AUP aims to clearly outline the purposes for which our customers cannot utilise our hosting services and position data on our servers.

This Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP) is an integral part of the policies to which each customer agrees to abide by when signing up for an account with our company. Any violation of this AUP will be deemed a violation of our policies.

We, at our own discretion, shall determine whether an act constitutes a breach of this AUP terms and misuse of our services. We reserve our right to be the sole arbiter in determining the sufficiency of the presented evidences. We will respond accordingly, and/or immediately terminate the provision of the services, shall we receive report, and/or have sufficient proof, of any prohibited conduct outlined in this AUP, or any other activity threatening the security of our hosting environment and/or our network of hosting servers.

In order to protect our company’s reputation and responsibilities, and guarantee state-of-the-art and reliable hosting services to all our customers, as well as privacy and security for all users, we hereby outline the following AUP rules and conditions to come into effect for each customer signing up for a hosting/server account with our company:

1. System Abuse

Any customer in violation of our system or network security is subject to criminal and civil liability, as well as immediate account suspension or termination.

Examples include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Unauthorised access, use, probing, or scanning of our system’s security, authentication measures, data or traffic. Interference with the service to any user, host or network including, but not limited to: e-mail bombing, flooding, deliberate attempts to overload the system and broadcast attacks, forging of any TCP/IP packet header or similar modifications/abuse.
  • Any attempt at doing harm to a server or a customer of our services: The Network Crew Pty Ltd will immediately and resolutely react to any attempt at misuse of an Internet account or computer/server, or any attempt to gain access to an internet account or computer/server by a The Network Crew Pty Ltd customer unauthorised by the account/computer/server owner. Such attempts include, but are not limited to the following: ‘Internet scamming’ (tricking other people into releasing their passwords, banking details, etc.), password robbery, security hole scanning, running proxies, proxy lists and any kind of proxy scripts, introducing of any malicious software/scripts/etc (viruses, Trojan horses, trap doors, back doors, worms, time bombs, packet bombs, cancel bots, etc) that are intended to negatively interfere with, intercept, irreversibly damage or take hold of any system, data or personal information. It WILL NOT matter whether the attacked account or computer/server does or does not belong to The Network Crew Pty Ltd services. The fraud will be subject to actions based on the nature of the attack and those may represent a warning, an account suspension or cancellation, and/or civil or criminal legal actions.
  • Background operations/programs on servers: ‘Background process’ is a program that runs in the background of the operating system. What is specific for a background process is that, once started, it runs simultaneously with other foreground processes. This means that the shell executing the background operation does not wait for it to finish or terminate, as it does with foreground processes, but is free to start executing more operations along with the background one. Some applications may legitimately use background processes efficiently, however many do not. Background processes – generally speaking – are not permitted on Shared Hosting, as they tend to lead to CPU overload and can be used for malicious and/or illegal actions. As our primary task is to provide high-quality service to all our customers, we cannot permit background processes to be executed if they broadly impact reliability/speed.
  • Excessive use of system resources: In order to ensure higher server performance and quality of Hosting services, all Shared Hosting plans are subject to certain resource limitations concerning, but not limited to, server CPU usage, memory usage, inodes, processes, disk I/O, disk space and network traffic. If a Hosting account exceeds the allowed amount of system resources, the account owner will typically be granted some grace, however will then be notified to take remedial action in order to reduce the usage, or if the usage is expected then upgrade to a suitable package. If such action is not promptly taken by the owner, the account will be suspended unless an alternative workaround is agreed beforehand with our Support team (PHP restrictions, tighter resource controls, etc). If any hosting account is found to be causing degradation of one of our servers and/or our network’s performance, regardless of the reason, the account will be subject to suspension or other action, depending on the situation. We will take all reasonable steps to contact the customer before taking such action, where possible. The Network Crew Pty Ltd will be the sole arbiter in determining whether a given account is excessively using the server resources and/or causing a server degradation.
  • Crypto-currency mining: While this relates to the last point/exclusion, it is pertinent to mention that crypto-currency mining is banned across all of our Shared Hosting and Compute services and platforms. It will typically exhaust all available CPU/GPU resources available, giving no consideration to other users of our systems. The ROI for the power draw is not enough to warrant mining, and there are purpose-built platforms available which you may engage for the purpose of crypto-currency mining. Instances found to be mining will be shut down. The only services where you are permitted to perform mining operations is on Dedicated Server and Colocation services, where your actions can have zero impact on other users.

2. Spam Email (Spam Act 2003)

Spamming is prohibited (see Spam Act 2003). Users may not utilise our web hosting services to transmit, distribute or deliver any unsolicited bulk or commercial messages over the Internet (an action known as “spam” or “spamming”).

Spamming is a violation of Federal Law and will be interpreted as an infringement. The Network Crew Pty Ltd will not tolerate the sending of unsolicited bulk or commercial messages through our services, as well as through another service that is mentioning, in some way, our customer’s domain name or implies the utilisation of our network or our e-mail services for sending the unsolicited bulk or messages. Spamvertising is prohibited.

Spamvertising’ refers to the practice of sending unsolicited spam messages for the purpose of advertising a particular website.

If such e-mails are relayed through 3rd party (e-mail spoofing) and/or are promoting a domain hosted on our servers, this will lead to immediate account suspension unless evidence of legitimacy for non-involvement of the domain owner in the particular illegal action is provided.

E-mail spoofing’ is a fraudulent e-mail activity in which the sender’s (3rd party) e-mail address and other parts of the e-mail header are changed so as to appear that the e-mail has been sent from a different source (e-mail address owner/server).

Unsolicited message’ is a message that is sent against the privacy policy of a website, or is sent to a recipient without their explicit permission. We, at our sole discretion, shall determine whether any of the messages you are sending is spam or spamvertising.

For your information, spamming generally includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Sending of junk mail;
  • Excessive and repeated cross-posting;
  • E-mailing of age-inappropriate communications or content to anyone under the age of 18.
  • Sending of unsolicited messages in bulk, or sending of unsolicited e-mails, which provoke complaints from recipients;
  • Use of distribution lists that include people who have not given prior explicit permission to be involved in such a distribution process;
  • E-mail harassment of another Internet Customer or Customers, including but not limited to, transmitting of any threatening, libellous or obscene material, or material of any nature that may be deemed offensive;

3. Inappropriate or Unlawful Content

Content published or transmitted via The Network Crew Pty Ltd’s services includes website content, email content, forum/blog postings, chat content, and/or any other type of content hosted on our servers, published online or transmitted through our network’s services.

The user of our services is not permitted to post online content or have links to content that:

  • is defamatory, abusive or obscene, violates a person’s reputation/privacy, is reasonably deemed offensive by the web community, is anti-religious or anti-human rights, or contains any type of threatening or hate speech, encourages harassment or physical harm to any group or individual, or is otherwise malicious/fraudulent and may result in complaints/liabilities/or retaliation against The Network Crew Pty Ltd by offended viewers;
  • promotes or encourages illegal activities (e.g. illegal drugs, illegal gambling, arms trafficking, etc.) or violates any applicable law, statute, ordinance or regulation, including but not limited to the laws and regulations governing export control, unfair competition, false advertising, consumer protection, etc.
  • represents pornography – any type of pornographic/adult material, including child pornography, or advertisements of pornographic websites (except where explicitly agreed with our Support team; excludes child pornography and other federally illegal forms of pornography);
  • represents infringement on copyright, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, or third party’s intellectual property or proprietary rights, including pirated computer programs, hacking/phreaking software, warez or any type of software/content (including also ROMs, ROM Emulators, media files – MP3, AVI, .RM, etc., torrent files, and others) that is copyrighted, is not uploaded in compliance with its license agreement or is not freely available for distribution.

4. Copyright & Violations

Copyrighted material must not be placed on customers’ accounts without the explicit permission of the copyright owner or a person explicitly authorised to give such permission by the copyright owner. Upon receipt of a claim for copyright infringement, or a notice of such violation, we will immediately begin a full investigation and, upon confirmation, will promptly remove the infringing material from the Services. Further procedures (in accordance with our stated below corrective measures) will be carried out if necessary. We will assume no liability to any Customer of the Services for the removal of any such material.

5. Slack Connect Support

The Network Crew Pty Ltd T/A Merlot Digital agrees to provide Clients who take up 2+ Fully Managed VPS/Servers with Technical Support via Slack Connect – a 3rd-party system, requiring a paid Slack Membership on both sides – to assist the Client’s staff by reducing support friction, time-to-reply, and so on.

Client agrees to adhere to these principles for effective chat-based support:

  1. Issues raised via a method are kept via that method (ie. email, Slack)
  2. Threading is used when accessing Support via Slack Connect
  3. Creating Organisation will be The Network Crew Pty Ltd
  4. Access is only available while 2+ Managed VPS are OK*

*OK: Active Servers, with all Invoices paid up-to-date

6. Corrective Actions

We reserve our right to be the sole arbiter in determining the seriousness of each infringement and to immediately take corrective actions.

We will disable the customer’s account if we deem necessary, at our sole discretion. Upon closing of the customer’s account we will send an e-mail notification to the customer, stating the reason for the termination and quoting our terms’ section that has been violated. The customer will be given an opportunity to respond and take measures to remedy the situation should he/she consider him/herself abused by a third party. Upon fulfilling of this obligation, we may re-activate the customer’s account, if we find, at our own discretion, sufficient evidence on the customer’s side.

Closed accounts due to repeated violations will not be re-activated unless unique circumstances apply. A backup may be requested, however it may be subject to certain fees imposed according to the breach of these AUP terms. The fee will be determined by the type and frequency of the violations.

7. Reporting Issues to Us

If you need to report a violation of this AUP agreement or believe that you or your system has been subject to attack originating from our hosting and cloud infrastructure, please contact us immediately. Our team will investigate the situation and provide you with full assistance.

You may email to report such an incident. If you provide partial or incomplete data/logs/etc, we may not be able to take action.

Law enforcement / access requests: Please email from your address, or write to PO Box 111, West Wallsend 2286 NSW Australia.

We’re able to take more decisive action if you include all supporting documentation in your initial contact, including contact history, legal documents, and logs/details/etc.

8. Revisions to this Document

We reserve our right to change this Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP) at any time, without prior notice.

We encourage our users to periodically review this Acceptable Usage Policy and our other policies.