Software License Compliance

Information Technologies can research all software needs to find the best price and determine compatibility with our network and desktop environments. We can purchase the software using departmental funds, register software as appropriate, test on a standard desktop or laptop, and then make arrangements for installation as allowed by the license or software agreement.

Each software license agreement is different and must be read to determine appropriate use. It is best to review the license prior to purchase to ensure it will meet your needs. The Information Technologies department is a good resource to help interpret software licenses.

A "backup copy" can be used for "archival purposed only." This copy cannot be sold or distributed to another party without the written consent of the copyright owner.

Contact the Computer Support Help Desk at least 3 months prior to use. IT will ensure the software is compatible with the College's network environment and can be installed on the Computer Lab standard image. In some cases, the author and/or publisher of the textbook may need to be contacted to obtain permission to install the software on the College's computer lab image.

Shareware software is copyrighted software that is distributed freely through bulletin boards and online systems. It is the policy of the College to pay shareware authors the fee they request for use of their products. Purchase, registration and installation of shareware software should be handled the same way as other commercial software products.

A good rule of thumb to follow is one software package per computer, unless the terms of the license agreement allow for multiple use of the program. Some license agreements permit a "secondary" installation of a software title. Check the license agreement carefully to determine the allowed uses of each software title. The Information Technologies Department does make provision for secondary installations when permitted.

OEM software is only distributed when sold with specified accompanying hardware. When these programs are copied and/or sold separately from the hardware, this is a violation of the contract with the publisher and is illegal.

Software piracy is the illegal distribution and/or copying of software for personal or business use. Software piracy ranges from making illegal copies of copyrighted software to a company's mismanagement of its software licenses. Whether these acts of piracy are committed with intent or not, they are still illegal and punishable by law.

No. It is illegal for a faculty member or student to copy software for distribution among the members of a class, without permission of the author or publisher.

The Information Technologies Department will periodically conduct software audits of all College PCs to ensure the College is in compliance. Audits will be scheduled and the appropriate college staff has the option to be present.

You may install personally-owned software on your college-owned computer if it is in compliance with the software agreement and does not impact the performance of your computer or the College's network. IT staff will not support personally-owned software and may have to remove it while troubleshooting problems or performing system upgrades. The faculty or staff member is solely and fully responsible for ensuring compliance with any licensing restrictions on personally-owned software.

While some P2P activity such as collaboration is legal; most P2P activity of sharing and downloading copyrighted material is illegal and considered software piracy.

For more information regarding software license compliancy, please go to the Business Software Alliance web site or to the Software & Information Industry Association web site

Updated: December 12, 2015
by E.A.Jacobson