Software Licensing

Software Licensing for UA Faculty, Staff & Students


The University of Arizona acquires software licenses, and must use the software and documentation only in accordance with applicable license agreements. The university does not own such software or its related documentation. Except as specifically authorized by a software licenser in an agreement, university faculty, staff, and students are prohibited from reproducing licensed software or related documentation. It is the responsibility of software users to be aware of limitations on use and reproduction described in the license agreement related to specific software and to use licensed software strictly in accordance with such limitations. A copy of the software license agreement should be kept with the software for easy reference to determine if copies can be made, e.g., for backup or archival purposes, and to assure compliance with all provisions of the software agreement. If a college or department purchases software outside of the standard for the University of Arizona, it is responsible for licensing, compliance, maintenance and service for the software.

University faculty, staff, or students making, acquiring or using unauthorized copies of licensed software or related documentation, or otherwise misusing licensed software may be disciplined by the university as appropriate. The individual may also be subject to civil damages costing thousands of dollars and criminal penalties including fines and imprisonment.

Relevant Policies and Guidelines:

Recommended penalties for violation(s) of software copyright licenses are as follows:

For students: The University of Arizona Student Code of Conduct delineates appropriate penalties for violations of university policies, up to and including suspension and expulsion from the university.

For administrators, faculty, and staff (including student employees): Penalties range from a verbal reprimand through dismissal, depending upon the circumstances of the violation(s) of software copyright.


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


Software: 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.

Reference: U.S. Copyright Law."Using Software: A Guide to the Ethical and Legal Use of Software for Members of the Academic Community," produced by Educause, a non-profit consortium of over 450 colleges and universities committed to the use and management of Information Technology in higher education, and ADAPSO, the computer software and services industry association.

Copying Computer Software


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.

University of Arizona Policy Governing Use and Duplication of Computer Software


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. 

Visit the FAQs for more information.

Obsolete Software 

As software companies release newer versions of software, the older versions eventually become obsolete for the following reasons:

    • The software vendor no longer offers technical support for problems encountered
    • The files or documents created by the software may be in a format no longer recognized by current software, making them un-sharable
    • The original disks from which the software was installed may have been lost and can no longer be replaced
    • The software will no longer run under current computer operating systems

If a user or department needs assistance with such software, the 24/7 IT Support Center will recommend a currently supported software package that will perform the required functions and assist the user in making the transition to the new software.