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University of Arizona Policy Governing Use and Duplication of Computer Software (Repealed)

Policy Information

PDF version
Last Revised Date: 
August, 2023
Policy Number: 
Responsible Unit: 
Software Licensing

Purpose and Summary

Respect for intellectual effort and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to works of all authors and publishers in media. Because computer software is easily reproduced, respect for the work and creativity of others is especially critical. The University has both a legal and ethical responsibility to prevent unauthorized duplication and distribution of software.

Since unauthorized copying of software by individuals can harm the entire University, subjecting it to legal liabilities and making it more difficult to negotiate agreements that make software available at reasonable cost, it is the purpose of this policy to clarify the ramifications of such duplication and distribution, and to prevent such action.


This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, and affiliates of the University of Arizona.


"Software" is a computer program or set of programs held in some kind of storage medium and loaded into read/write or random access memory (RAM) for execution.


The University of Arizona forbids, under any circumstances, the unauthorized reproduction of software or use of illegally obtained software. Using University equipment to make illegal copies of software is prohibited. University employees and students who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action. Individuals who violate U.S. copyright law and software licensing agreements also may be subject to criminal or civil action by the owner of the copyright.

The University of Arizona supports the following statement regarding copyrights:

"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.

"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."

University employees and students are required to adhere to any specific conditions or restrictions required by the licensing agreements for software programs purchased with University funds. For commonly used licensing agreements, the following conditions apply:

  1. It is illegal to copy a software program, such as Microsoft Office, Windows 2000/XP, Norton Utilities, Adobe Photoshop, etc., and install that single program for simultaneous use on multiple machines.
  2. Unauthorized copies of software programs may not be used on University equipment. This applies even though you yourself may not have made the illegal copy.
  3. Purchase of the appropriate number of copies of a software program is necessary for maintaining legal status, especially if you are using machines connected to a network.
  4. University employees and students are prohibited from assisting in making or using illegal copies of software.
  5. University employees and students are permitted to make an archival (backup) copy of a software program, provided it is not used or transferred separately from the original program.

Compliance and Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of all users of computer software to read and be aware of the terms and conditions of an acquired software product's license agreement, and to abide by such agreement. It is the responsibility of professionals and skilled workers who provide information services and products, including instruction in the use of software resources, to refrain from copying and distributing software and related documentation, except as specifically authorized by licensed agreement, but also to clearly inform clients they are responsible licensees of such proprietary products.

Frequently Asked Questions*

Visit the FAQs on the Software Licensing website for more information.

Related Information*

Software Licensing Policies web page []

U.S. Copyright Law. []

EDUCOM Code: "Using Software: A Guide to the Ethical and Legal Use of Software for Members of the Academic Community" []


Revision History*

08/22/2023: Policy repealed.  The terms of this policy are addressed in the Acceptable Use of Computers and Networks policy.

* Please note that sections titled Frequently Asked Questions, Sources, Related Information, and Revision History are provided solely for the convenience of users and are not part of the official University policy.

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