USA Software Policy

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 set forth 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 equipment
  • 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.
  • Loading a single licensed program into multiple computers.  You may not simultaneously load one copy of a copyrighted program into a number of different machines, even if it is physically possible, unless you have purchased sufficient licenses for all computers. 
  • Networks Unless you purchased the software with an explicit "network  license" or sufficient licenses for all computers, downloading or running the program from a network drive or server on multiple computers 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.


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.

The Computer Services Center can provide assistance with software review, pricing and licensing issues.