Software Copyright Policy
I.) GENERAL COPYRIGHT STATEMENT
"Software code is protected under copyright law as an original work of authorship. A copyright gives its owner the ability to control the reproduction, adaptation, public distribution, and public performance of the software code. Copyrights can be used to prevent others from copying the software program, either through direct duplication or through appropriation of the software's expressive (as opposed to functional) elements." - U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
VMI Information Technology is committed to follow the copyright laws and regulations regarding the proper use and installation of computer software. License agreements for most Copyrighted software state the conditions under which a specific software application may be used. The purchaser agrees to take responsibility for the correct use of the software package. Each licensee of the software package is bound by the license agreement and may not use the software in any manner that is contrary to these restrictions. License agreements typically specify: the number of machines on which the software can be installed; the site restrictions; network installation restrictions; restrictions on modifying the original code and software duplication restrictions.
II.) POLICY STATEMENTS
- Any software package that is to be installed on a VMI Faculty or Staff computer by a member of the IT staff must be properly licensed. No IT staff member is permitted to install a software package unless the appropriate license has been presented. A specific software license must be valid for the number of installations, site location, date, and network location (if applicable). In most situations the software license must be on record at the IT Help Desk before a work order to install the software can be issued.
- Software CD key numbers or Serial numbers, and any applicable license numbers for all software that is installed by a IT staff member shall be recorded. Faculty or Staff name, department, software name, serial number, license number, and machine serial number will be recorded in the software license data form. If applicable, copies of any license agreements pertaining to the software package should be on record in the Help Desk office before a work order is issued. Any license or copyright information gathered by IT staff should be forwarded to the Help desk for storage.
- IT staff members are responsible for informing VMI Faculty and Staff of the regulations regarding software usage. When copyright violations are discovered a written notification shall be sent to the specific department informing them that the software packages are not legal and that the licenses should be updated or the software should be removed. Software applications are not to be removed by any IS staff without the consent of the department involved. The Information Technology department shall provide updated copyright information for applicable software packages to all departments through direct distribution or posting on the VMI web page.