USA Software Policy
The following software policy was developed by a faculty committee
and has been approved by the University Deans and President as a University
The reproduction and use of computer software on University equipment
or by University employees or students in pursuit of University
business or instruction shall be in accordance with copyright law (as
in Title 17, United States Code) and the manufacturer's condition
of sale. Specifically:
- No University employee or student shall reproduce or allow the reproduction
of software in violation of copyright law or the conditions of sale.
- No University employee or student shall accept or use software
which is not known to be provided in accordance with copyright
law or conditions of sale.
- It is the individual responsibility of each user to determine that
the use of software is in accord with this policy.
Practices and Guidelines for the Software Policy
The policy stated above applies to:
- The use of copyrighted or licensed software by University departments
and employees on University equipment.
- The use of software purchased with University funds on non-University
- The use of software for instructional purposes.
The University interprets the copyright laws and manufacturers' terms
of sale as described below.
- Back-up copies. You may make as many back-up copies as are necessary
to protect your software in the event your original fails. Such copies
are NOT to be used simultaneously on another machine. The law permits
you to make such back-up copies even if the manufacturer does not
provide you a process to make one.
- Multiple-loading or booting from one disk into multiple
machines at the same time. You may not simultaneously load one copy of a
copyrighted program into a number of different machines, even if
it is physically possible. Although you may use your legal copy
in different machines at different times (so that you are only
using one copy at a time), you may not permit multiple concurrent
uses of the package. It would be legal to load and run it on one
computer, turn that computer off, and then run it on another computer.
For example, Adobe Photoshop is sold for use on one computer, but it
is possible to sequentially load it into a number of different
computers and then run them at the same time. This is a clear violation
of the law; you have caused the “proliferation of simultaneous
users” (the legal term for this process). The fact that it
is physically possible is irrelevant.
- Networks. The concept of “proliferation of simultaneous users” also
applies to networks. Unless you purchased the software with an explicit “network
license”, downloading the program to multiple stations at the
same time violates the copyright law. As in the preceding example,
the fact that it is physically possible to download the software on
your network is irrelevant.
Academic Departments and individual course instructors should take
measures to ensure that students are informed of the legal and ethical
issues regarding software copyrighting, as well as University policy
on this matter. As a minimum, departments should:
- Post the University policy regarding software copying in a conspicuous
location adjacent to any departmental microcomputers which may be
accessible to students.
- Include a statement of the University policy in syllabi for courses
- Read and explain the University policy in any classes using microcomputers.
Use of Software in Course Work
Departments and individual faculty are responsible for insuring that
any copyrighted software made accessible to students be done so in accordance
with University policy and all legal requirements. Specifically, faculty
shall be careful to respect the following points:
- Neither departments nor faculty shall impose requirements which
would encourage students to copy software in violation of University
policy. Instructors shall not make assignments without verifying that
a sufficient quantity of legal copies of software will be readily
accessible to students for the completion of course assignments.
- Difficulty or expense involved in acquiring sufficient copies
does not constitute a reason for violating University policy.
- Any copyrighted software made accessible to students shall bear
the following statement conspicuously placed on both documentation
and physical media:
This software is issued subject to University policy and may
not be copied for any purpose whatsoever. Violation of this policy
may lead to either disciplinary or legal action.
(The University Computer Center will provide labels for this
purpose on request.)
- Software placed on course reserve in the University libraries, computer
laboratories, or other campus sites must be in compliance with University
software policy. Forms to certify compliance are available at Library