Statistical and Qualitative Software
Appropriate Use Guidelines
Draft (Updated 9/15/09)
What is unlicensed software?
Using unlicensed software is the illegal (unauthorized) copying, distribution, or use of software. For most software, when you "buy" it, you are not buying the software; you are purchasing the license to use it. Therefore, your use is restricted under the license agreement.
May I make a back-up copy of the software?
Most software allows you to make a single back-up copy of the software. However, that copy is intended to be stored in case the copy installed on your computer is destroyed or corrupted.
How many copies of the software may I make?
The fact that you can physically make a copy does not give you the legal right to make additional copies. It is not permissible to share or sell that copy with anyone.
I want to use the software to teach a class or work on a research paper with a graduate student of mine; may I make copies for educational purposes?
Although software falls under Copyright law, software is not covered by "fair use" clauses. Software cannot legally be shared, duplicated, or installed on more than the licensed number of computers even if used for educational purposes.
Who can use statistical and qualitative software?
Kent State University has negotiated site licenses for several statistical and qualitative software packages. The Kent State University community is bound to uphold those license agreements. Some license agreements permit student use of the software only in computer labs; others permit the use of the software on home and office computers. Careful attention must be paid to the licenses for each software package to ensure compliance. Please go to the FAQs page for license information for each of the statistical and qualitative software packages with KSU site licenses.
What are the legal ramifications of using unlicensed software?
According to the Better Business Bureau:
"Software pirates are liable for a software copyright infringement whether or not they know their conduct violates federal law. Penalties include liability for damages suffered by the copyright owner plus any profits of the infringer that are attributable to the copying, or statutory damages of up to $100,000 for each work infringed. The unauthorized duplication of software is also a Federal crime if done 'willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain (Title 18 Section 2319(b)).' Criminal penalties include fines of as much as $250,000 and jail terms of up to 5 years."