UF Software Copyright Policy

The principles for using and managing software derive from U.S. copyright law, the Florida Computer Crimes Act, and legal agreements in the form of licenses and purchase agreements. That foundation makes the basic policy governing software clear:

All faculty, staff, and students of the University of Florida are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. Because such violations are also against University policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate.

Software Copyright Compliance: Guidelines for Individual Users

Your Individual Responsibility

It is your responsibility as a University of Florida employee to make sure that you are in compliance with all state and university regulations relating to the use of computer software. You should make sure that you can document the legality of each software package on any workstation assigned to you and to the workstations of employees who report to you or whose workstations you manage. A log sheet is provided for your use in checking the software on your workstation. Any problems should be reported to your supervisor.

Acquisition and Record-Keeping

Evidence of legal acquisition (purchase, lease, gift) for all software in use or possession must be kept. Unit records should be sufficient to identify and retrieve evidence of legal acquisition for capitalized software rapidly. Records for uncapitalized software should be held in the unit, be readily retrievable, and should include statements of all licenses in use, license counts, locations where software is installed or available, to whom software is assigned, and sub-license statements where required. It is recommended that supporting materials be kept in a notebook.

Installation, Distribution, Backup, and Protection

Software must be installed and distributed within the restrictions defined by licenses or agreements with vendors. Installations are to be documented so that it is clear what was installed, when, and by whom. Backup copies, if permitted, must be made in accordance with licenses or vendor agreements and documented also. For computers with multiple users, operating system features or utilities to protect installed software from misuse or copying must be utilized. A sample log sheet is included in this package for your use.

Technologies to Assist with Software Management

In most computer operating environments, utilities are available to help protect software. For stand-alone microcomputers, there is a variety of “disk-locking” programs for each major operating system (DOS, Macintosh, OS/2). Network utilities for Novell and other microcomputer networks are available to control the number of users of each software package, as well as to protect packages from illegal copying. Password and file security protections should also be used routinely to control access. System managers for multiple-use operating systems such as VAX’/VMS or UNIX should make full use of operating system features which prevent unauthorized use or copying.

For information on specific products for your operating environment, consult with the user group for your brand of computer, or the UF Help Desk.

Departmental Guidelines for Software Copyright Compliance

Information to Users

Software managers and unit administrators should provide written guidance to software users defining their responsibilities for appropriate use. Similarly, managers and administrators should provide access to license statements (terms and conditions of use) so that users understand specific restrictions for software they utilize. In large units and in those with substantial software usage, a departmental policy document and associated training about appropriate software use should be provided by the unit.

Acquisition and Record-keeping

Evidence of legal acquisition (purchase, lease, gift) for all software in use or possession must be kept. Unit records should be sufficient to identify and retrieve evidence of legal acquisition for capitalized software rapidly. Records for uncapitalized software should be held in the unit, be readily retrievable, and should include statements of all licenses in use, license counts, location where software is installed or available, to whom software is assigned, and sub-license statements where required. It is recommended that supporting materials be kept in a notebook.

Installation, Distribution, Backup, and Protection

Software must be installed and distributed within the restrictions defined by licenses or agreements with vendors. Installations are to be documented so that it is clear what was installed, when, and by whom. Backup copies, if permitted, must be made in accordance with licenses or vendor agreements and documented also. For computers with multiple users, operating system features or utilities to protect installed software from misuse or copying must be utilized. A sample log sheet is included in this package for your use.

Facilities Management

Software managers and unit administrators should post notices of software usage policies in computer facilities. Notices which may be used for this purpose are attached. Managers and administrators should provide documentation of policies governing software use for end-users. Units should train their computing staff to deal with software misuse appropriately and should develop procedures to remove illegally installed software from facility machines when discovered. When equipment is moved and/or changes ownership, units must take care that software installed on that equipment is handled properly.

System Management

In addition to responsibilities listed above, each unit must monitor and keep records of authorized users, and inform new users of their responsibilities at the time they become authorized to use the facilities and services provided.

Review

Each unit should conduct a periodic review of compliance with an understanding of the appropriate use policies and procedures of the unit.

Technologies to Assist with Software Management

In most computer operating environments, utilities are available to help protect software. For stand-alone microcomputers, there is a variety of “disk-locking” programs for each major operating system (DOS, Macintosh, OS/2). Network utilities for Novell and other microcomputer networks are available to control the number of users of each software package, as well as to protect packages from illegal copying. Password and file security protections should also be used routinely to control access. System managers for multi-use operating systems such as VAX/VMS or UNIX should make full use of operating system features which prevent unauthorized use or copying.

For information on specific products for your operating environment, consult with the user group for your brand of computer, or the UFComputing Help Desk.