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Policy Governing the use and Duplication of Software

Memorandum #305 Policy Governing the use and Duplication of Software

Revised: January 2020
Original Date of Issue: December 20, 1995

  • Community College of Philadelphia forbids, under any circumstances, the unauthorized reproduction of software or the use of illegally obtained software. Using College equipment to make illegal copies of software is prohibited. Employees and students of the College who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action. Individuals who violate federal copyright law and software licensing agreements may also be subject to criminal action and/or civil action by the owner of the copyright. The College purchases or licenses the use of copies of software from a variety of outside companies. The College does not own the Copyright to this software or its related documentation and, unless authorized by the software developer or copyright Owner, does not have the right to reproduce it for use on more than one computer. The College will make a reasonable effort to correct any discovered instances of illegal software by deleting it. The College will not defend or indemnify any employee or student of the College who makes unauthorized copies of software programs or otherwise violates the terms on which any software programs are licensed. Individuals are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the copyright provisions of the software they use.
  • Community College of Philadelphia, along with many other colleges and universities, supports the following statement from the 1987 brochure entitled "Using Software," distributed by EDUCOM (a non-profit consortium of over 450 colleges and universities):
    1. Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to works of all authors and publishers in all media. It encompasses respect for the right to acknowledgment, right to privacy, and right to determine the form, manner, and terms of publication and distribution.
    2. Because electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computer environments. Violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access, and trade secret and copyright violations, may be grounds for sanctions against members of the academic community.
  • Employees and students of the College are required to adhere to any specific conditions or restrictions required by the licensing agreements for software programs purchased or licensed with College funds. In addition, the following general conditions apply:
    1. It is illegal to copy a software program, such as but not limited to Office Applications Tools or Suites, Database Processing Tools, Anti-Virus Utilities, or Operating Systems, and install that single program for simultaneous use on more than one machine except where specifically licensed otherwise.
    2. Unauthorized copies of software programs may not be used knowingly on College equipment. This applies even though the individual may not have made the illegal copy.
    3. Employees and students of the college are prohibited from making, assisting in making, or knowingly using illegal copies of software on college equipment.
    4. Employees and students of the college are permitted to make an archival (i.e., back-up) copy of a software program unless prohibited by the software licensing agreement, but any copy so created must be used solely for archival purposes and all archival copies of a particular computer program must be destroyed if the continued possession of that computer program ceases to be rightful.
  • Under U.S. copyright law, unauthorized software duplication constitutes "copyright infringement" and is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and imprisonment for up to five years. Federal law also permits the recovery of "actual damages" sustained by the copyright owner, based on the number of copies produced. However, even if the copyright owner is unable to prove "actual damages", it may be entitled to "statutory damages" ranging up to $100,000 for willful copyright infringement.