Policy on Copyrighted Computer Software                    UPPS No. 01.04.24

                                                                                                Issue No. 3

                                                                                                Effective Date: 11/20/2009

                                                                                                Review: December 1 E4Y

                                                                                                Attachments I, II, III, IV





01.01  This UPPS informs the Texas State university community of its responsibility to use and manage computer software legally and ethically. The Texas State user community will take an active role in assuring that computer software is used only for its intended purpose (as defined by the owner) and consistently with applicable laws. Technology Resources provides access to written policies, procedures and brochures as necessary to minimize the risk of illegal computer software use and duplication and to protect these university assets. Further information may be found in UPPS No. 04.01.07, Appropriate Use of Information Resources.


The Academic Computing Committee has adopted a resolution supporting the intent of this policy. See Attachment I for the Academic Computing Committee Resolution.


01.02  The purpose of this UPPS is to:


a.   Publicize Texas State policies, procedures, and informational resources that facilitate compliance with computer software copyright and licensing terms and conditions, including acquisition and distribution information located at Technology Resources website http://tr.txstate.edu/software;


b.   Provide assistance to faculty, staff, and students in implementing effective software copyright standards, use, and practices;


c.   Assign accountability and managerial responsibility for university computer software;


d.   Clarify software copyright, trademark, and licensing terminology; and


e.   Establish controls to best utilize university resources.




02.01  There are risks associated with unauthorized software usage. According to the U.S. Copyright Act, illegal reproduction of software is subject to civil damages and criminal penalties including extensive fines and imprisonment.


02.03  The Software Publishers Association (SPA), an anti-piracy division of the Software Information Industry Association (SIIA), and the Business Software Alliance (BSA) aggressively enforce software piracy laws.




03.01  Computer Software refers to the programs, routines, and symbolic languages that control the functioning of computer hardware and direct its operation. As used in this policy, it includes major productivity applications; proprietary fonts, templates and other data; run-time packages; operating systems and utilities such as disk utilities; screen savers; terminate-and-stay-resident programs; and desk accessories.


03.02  Copyright refers to the owner’s exclusive right to reproduce the work, to make derivative works from it, and to distribute copies of it by sale or otherwise. Absence of a copyright symbol does not give the user permission to copy the work. The user may only copy the software when the license agreement allows it or by the owner’s express or implied consent. All software is subject to copyright protection, regardless of the manner in which it is distributed.


03.03  EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. Texas State is currently an institutional member of EDUCAUSE. See Attachment II for the EDUCAUSE statement on Software and Intellectual Rights.


03.04  Position of Special Trust refers to an individual designated by an administrative officer to represent an organizational unit with responsibilities delineated in Attachment III.


03.05  Site License as used in this policy, generally is held by Texas State, and in most instances a limited number of licenses are associated with that particular site license agreement. "Site license" almost never means unlimited copying rights.


03.06  Software Contact is a Texas State full time employee, designated by an administrative head of an organizational unit, who is assigned the duty and responsibility of requesting, installing, monitoring, and managing licensed computer software for the unit. Each software contact must sign the Software Code of Ethics.


03.07  Trademark refers to a word, name, symbol, device, or any combination thereof used by its owner to identify or distinguish goods or services from those of others. The owner of a trademark has the exclusive right to use it on the product it was intended to identify and often on related products.




04.01  Texas State expects its students, staff, and faculty to become familiar with the usage terms and conditions applicable to software copyrights, trademarks, site licenses, and campus agreements as well as potential civil and criminal liability penalties. Texas State further expects its students, staff, and faculty to avoid using or providing for any use of software that violates licensing agreements while performing university business or using software in a university facility. Software users are responsible for discerning and complying with the owner’s copyright restrictions, regardless of how that software is obtained. Most software will state any licensing requirements or usage restrictions when it is initially installed, including shareware, freeware, and “public domain” software. However, even where software ownership, licensing requirements, usage restrictions, and acquisition methods cannot be clearly discerned, users are still responsible for making good faith efforts to respect the owner’s copyright. This policy applies to all computer software as defined in Section 03.01.


04.02  All members of the university community must respect the rights of trademark owners. More information can be found in UPPS No. 04.01.07, Appropriate Use of Information Resources.


04.03  The Texas State NetID password change process requires users to agree to comply with the university’s computer security, copyright, and appropriate use policies.


04.04  Technology Resources or the Office of Audits and Analysis may conduct software audits to document that Texas State complies with licensing laws and agreements.




05.01  Every Texas State faculty member, staff member, and student is responsible for his or her own legal and ethical behavior in regard to computer software use. A user should not consider an activity legal or ethical simply because it is technically possible.


05.02  With respect to software acquisition and appropriate use, the responsibilities of Texas State faculty, staff, and students vary according to their roles in the university community. The roles and incumbent responsibilities are described in Attachment III. All members of the university are expected to fulfill those responsibilities appropriate to their roles.




06.01  Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:


Position                                                         Date


Assistant Vice President for                       December 1 E4Y

Technology Resources


Coordinator, Software Licensing              December 1 E4Y


Director, Technology Resources              December 1 E4Y

Business Services                                      


Director, Audits and Analysis                    December 1 E4Y                


Chair, Academic Computing                     December 1 E4Y





This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.


Assistant Vice President for Technology Resources; senior reviewer of this UPPS


Vice President for Information Technology