Official Campus Software Policy
Metropolitan State College of Denver acquires software licenses, and must use the software and documentation only in accordance with applicable license agreements. The College does not own such software or its related documentation. Except as specifically authorized by a software licenser in an agreement, College employees and students are prohibited from reproducing licensed software or related documentation. It is the responsibility of software users to be aware of limitations on use and reproduction described in the license agreement related to specific software and to use licensed software strictly in accordance with such limitations. A copy of the software license agreement should be kept with the software for easy reference to determine if copies can be made, e.g., for backup or archival purposes, and to assure compliance with all provisions of the software agreement. If a department purchases software outside of the standard for MSCD, it is responsible for licensing, compliance, maintenance and service for the software.
College employees or students making, acquiring or using unauthorized copies of licensed software or related documentation, or otherwise misusing licensed software may be disciplined by the College as appropriate. The individual may also be subject to civil damages of $100,000 or more, and criminal penalties including fines and imprisonment.
Recommended penalties for violation(s) of software copyright licenses are as follows:
For students: The Metro State Student Handbook delineates appropriate penalties for violations of college policies, up to and including suspension and expulsion from the College.
For administrators, faculty and staff (including student employees): Penalties range from a verbal reprimand through dismissal, depending upon the circumstances of the violation(s) of software copyright.
This policy applies to all officers, faculty, staff, students, Schools (LAS, SPS, and Business) and operations of Metropolitan State College of Denver.
Software: A computer program or set of programs held in some kind of storage medium and loaded into read/write or random access memory (RAM) for execution.
U.S. Copyright Law 2."Using Software: A Guide to the Ethical and Legal Use of Software for Members of the Academic Community," 3 produced by Educause, a non-profit consortium of over 450 colleges and universities committed to the use and management of Information Technology in higher education, and ADAPSO, the computer software and services industry association
III. Copying Computer Software
Respect for intellectual effort and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to works of all authors and publishers in
media. Because computer software is easily reproduced, respect for the work and creativity of others is especially critical. The College has both a legal and
ethical responsibility to prevent unauthorized duplication and distribution of software.
Since unauthorized copying of software by individuals can harm the entire College, subjecting it to legal liabilities and making it more difficult to negotiate agreements that make software available at reasonable cost, it is the purpose of this policy to clarify the ramifications of such duplication and distribution, and to prevent such action.
It is the responsibility of all users of computer software to read and be aware of the terms and conditions of an acquired software product's license agreement, and to abide by such agreement. It is the responsibility of professionals and skilled workers who provide information services and products, including instruction in the use of software resources, to refrain from copying and distributing software and related documentation, except as specifically authorized by licensed agreement, but also to clearly inform clients they are responsible licensees of such proprietary products.
Frequently Asked Questions about Software Copying
What is software piracy, exactly?
It is the unauthorized duplication, distribution or use of computer software -- for example, making more copies of software than the license allows, or installing software licensed for one computer onto multiple computers or a server.
Copying software is an act of copyright infringement, and is subject to civil and criminal penalties. It is illegal whether one uses pirated software oneself, gives it away, or sells it. And aiding piracy by providing unauthorized access to software or serial numbers to registered software is illegal.
What's the harm in making a few extra copies?
If those extra copies are used on College-owned computers, the harm could be great. Software publishers take piracy very seriously. The College and the individuals
involved could be held liable for large monetary damages. In the larger picture, copying is unethical and cheats the publisher and everyone who uses the software. It makes software more costly and denies the publisher the sales it needs to improve software and finance new projects.
How will Metro State ever find out that I have illegal software?
It happens more often than you might think, from honest employees and students, routine software audits, technology support professionals, network administrators, software publishers and piracy watchdog groups. Your work computer is College property. So is your connection to the Internet via the campus network. Metro State is committed to making sure that its computers run legally licensed software, and that its network is not supporting software piracy in any form.
What happens when illegal software is found?
If illegal software is reported to a software publisher or piracy watchdog group, legal action can be brought against Metro State and the individuals involved. At minimum, the College will have to prove that it has resolved the problem, which typically requires an intensive software audit within a very short timeframe. Other sanctions can include large monetary damages, or exclusion from discount pricing and volume-licensing programs, such as the Microsoft Office license agreement.
Our software budget wasn't big enough this year. Can we make copies for now and buy enough for everyone next year?
No. Unless otherwise stated in the software license, the only copy you can legally make is one archival backup of the original installation disks or CD, to be used only if the originals fail.
When my computer was delivered, it had software installed on it. Is this software already legally licensed?
Yes, if it was obtained through Metro State Procurement and Deployment. If your computer came from another source, review the licenses and documentation to verify the software's legitimacy.
I require my students to use certain software for assignments. Since I'm using it for educational purposes, I can give them copies, right?
No. And there's little chance that the "fair use" 5 argument can be applied to software the way it can to printed materials - it's generally impossible to install and use only a small piece of a software product.
I'm trying to decide which software package to buy. Can I install my co-workers' software just to try it, if I remove it right after I'm done?
No. There's a widespread myth that you can use software for 24 hours without penalty. The truth is the software is illegal the moment you install it. Arrange to use your co-workers' computers instead. Or ask the software publisher for a trial version.
If Metro State has a site license for something, does that mean we can copy it to as many computers as we want?
Not necessarily. Each site license states who may use the software, where and for what purpose. Within those restrictions, a site license allows unlimited use. Most of MSCD's site licenses permit Metro State to install the software on their College computers; a few include home computers and student-owned computers as well.
Can I put Metro State site-licensed software on a computer Metro State doesn't own -- for example, my home computer?
Usually not, as most of MSCD's site licenses are restricted to College or student owned computers, unless otherwise directed, i.e.: The Microsoft Campus Agreement. 6
I work at home sometimes. Can I copy software from my work computer to my laptop or home computer, since I won't be using both at the same
Some software publishers allow this type of use; others do not. Read the license agreement to determine what type you have.
A friend recommended some great software, but the publisher is out of business. Would it be OK to get a copy from my friend?
Your best bet is to ask the copyright holder for written permission to copy the software.
Where can I obtain the licenses?
Licenses can be picked up at the Metro State Help Desk located on the 4th floor of the Administration Building.
I still have some questions. Who can I ask?
Call the Metro State Help Desk at 1-877-35AskIT (1-877-352-7548) or visit Metro State Help Desk
2: See http://www.loc.gov/copyright/title17 for complete text of US Copyright Law.
3: For text from Educause member college, see http://wjh-www.harvard.edu/wjh/computing/educom.html.
4: Metropolitan State College of Denver acknowledges the work of Cornell University in the development of these questions and answers.
5: See United States Code Title 17§1: Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phono-records or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching(including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include -(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.
6: Microsoft Campus Agreement: Metropolitan State College of Denver (MSCD) has entered a Campus Agreement with the Microsoft Corporation effective 09/01/01 through 08/31/02. This agreement allows "faculty and staff (with the exception of student workers) the right to run one copy of the Software, for school-related activities, on either a laptop or desktop that they own or lease." In addition MSCD's faculty and staff can use the entire platform of software for schoolwork at home. During the Campus Agreement term, a Special Product Key will be generated for the licensed staff and faculty members at MSCD. The Special Product Key is assigned to each staff and faculty member and is intended for the sole use of the user who is granted the Special Product Key. Holders of these key codes are required to keep their Special Product Keys secure, by not sharing them with unauthorized users. Excerpt from the agreement: "The Campus Agreement program gives your Users the right during this agreement to run a platform of 'Software' (Microsoft Windows or Windows NT, Workstation Upgrades; Microsoft Office Standard of Office Professional; Microsoft FrontPage; Microsoft Visual Studio Professional Edition; Microsoft BackOffice Client Access License; and MS Press Office Starts Here Step-by-Step Interactive and add-on products."
The Campus Agreement software is available for pickup at AD475, each employee must show Metro State ID. Please contact the Help Desk at 1-877-35AskIT (1-877-352-7548) or visit MSU Denver HelpDesk for more information.
Approved December 2001