Appropriate Use of Software

Federal copyright laws protect intellectual property such as the software available for use on computers at the University. Educational institutions are not exempt from the laws covering copyright. In addition, software is normally protected by a license agreement between the purchaser and the software seller.

It is University policy to respect the copyright protections given by law to software and other intellectual property. It is against University policy for faculty, staff, or students to copy or reproduce any licensed software or intellectual property except as expressly permitted by the software license or granting authority. Faculty, staff, and students may not use copies of software on University computers that have been obtained illegally.

The following statement on intellectual property rights prepared by EDUCAUSE (a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology) has been endorsed by the University:

Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to work of all authors and publishers in all media. It encompasses respect for the right to acknowledgment, right to privacy and right to determine the form, manner, and terms of publication and distribution.

Because electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computer environments. Violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access and trade secret and copyright violations, may be grounds for sanctions against members of the academic community.

Unauthorized or illegal use of intellectual property is regarded as a serious matter and any such use is without the consent of the University and is subject to disciplinary action.