Technology Guide : Software Use and the Law

Individuals have the right to make a backup copy of properly licensed software if one is not provided by the manufacturer. However, it is illegal to make copies of software for any other purpose.  The law applies equally to all proprietary (this excludes open source) software irrespective of monetary value.  It is illegal to install software on any system other than the system for which its use has been licensed.  If your system is identified as having illegal software installed, you will be denied access from the University network until you are in compliance with the law.

The Law

Copyright law is an evolving field protecting intellectual property.  Current legal principles include the following:  The copyright holder is given certain exclusive rights, including the right to make and distribute copies. Title 17 of the U.S. Code states that "it is illegal to make or distribute copies of copyrighted material without authorization" (Section 106).  The only exception is the user's right to make a backup copy for archival purposes (Section 117).