Policy on Copying Software: An Important Caution
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that software piracy is a growing problem on college and university campuses (CHE, 10/9/98 "Colleges Need to Get Serious About Stopping Illegal Copying of Computer Software"). Software piracy at academic institutions takes several different forms. One way it happens is when officials allow more software copies to be installed than is permitted by the software license. Another way is when faculty, staff or students carelessly make copies without checking to see if the number of allowable copies has been exceeded. Some people trade copyrighted software, often over the Internet. Such activity subjects the institution and the individuals involved to civil and possibly criminal penalties, as well as unfavorable publicity. In July 1997, the City of Philadelphia paid $121,000 to settle claims of illegal software copying. The Los Angeles Unified School District now faces a proposed five-million-dollar settlement for alleged copyright infringement.
The following practices will help to ensure that illegal software copying does not become a problem:
All faculty, students and staff are reminded that the unauthorized copying of licensed computer software is a violation of University policy (reprinted below). If you have questions about this policy, or would like help ensuring that your office complies with this policy, contact David Millar, University Information Security Officer at 898-2172 or email@example.com.
If you know or suspect that serious violation of software copyright is occurring on University computing facilities, you may report what you know anonymously to the Corporate Compliance Office reporting number, 1-888-BEN-TIPS.
-- James J. O'Donnell, Vice Provost for Information Systems and Computing
University Policy on Unauthorized Copying of Copyrighted Software
The University of Pennsylvania does not condone or tolerate the unauthorized
copying of licensed computer software by staff, faculty, or students. The
University shall adhere to its contractual responsibilities and shall comply
with all copyright laws, and expects all members of the University community
to do so as well. Members of the University community who violate this policy
may be subject to discipline through standard University procedures. An
individual or University department engaged in the unauthorized copying
or use of software may also face civil suit, criminal charges, and/or penalties
and fines. Subject to the facts and circumstances of each case, such individuals
or departments shall be solely responsible for their defense and any resulting
Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 8, October 20, 1998