Technology Source

a monthly report on technology

Software - What can I legally obtain, and how do I get it?

The ITD Software Distribution Center (SDC) works with many software vendors to license and distribute a variety of statistical, communication, anti-virus and desktop application software for the Emory community. The SDC typically distributes software products with large volume purchase and site-based contract licensing requirements.

A major benefit of large volume and site-based software licensing is the ability to offer the software product at a low price to the Emory community. However, in order to receive the benefit of large volume pricing, Emory is required to comply with the various contractual obligations of the software vendors. These obligations usually involve distribution and usage rights of the software product, but can include other commitments and limitations as well. For example, some software contracts limit the use of software outside of the United States for faculty on sabbatical or study abroad. Additionally, while large volume or site-based contracts allow Emory to charge significantly less than retail cost for the software, they typically do not provide "shrink-wrapped" manuals or extensive technical support for the product.

Individuals sign a General Software License Agreement each time a software order is placed through the SDC. This agreement provides legal information that vendors require to be shared with customers. The legal and ethical use of software is important to all computer users. It is especially important in academic institutions where teaching and research applications require the use of productive and powerful academic software. Illegal use or copying of software may be grounds for sanctions against members of the academic community. If you have questions about the use of a software product, it is best to check first with the ITD Software Licensing and Distribution coordinators.

The Emory Policy on Copying and Using Computer Software states: "Emory University licenses the use of its computer software from a variety of outside companies. Emory does not own this software or its related documentation and, unless authorized by the software developer, neither the University nor its employees and students have the right to reproduce it."

The SDC offers several options for obtaining software and information. One option is through Emory's software server, which houses many freeware and shareware software products. Another option is through World Wide Web pages, which include the latest software price lists and direct links to many software sources. The SDC also offers media options. Software media is available via a diskette duplicator or the recently added CD-ROM duplicator.

The software server can be accessed with an FTP client such as Fetch or Rapid Filer, or through the Appletalk zone "Software" from the chooser, or via anonymous FTP from the World Wide Web home page. The FTP address is: <>. The SDC Web home page is located at: <>.

Software may be ordered by completing a software order form and a General Software License Agreement. These forms are available at the SDC, via the Web page or from the software server in the Pub directory. Software order forms may be faxed to 727-2282. Payment may be by departmental FAS account number, check or EmoryCard - bookstore account. (Some software applications require a departmental FAS account for purchase.)

The SDC is located at the back of the Cox Hall Computing Lab, and the phone number is 727-4741. The hours of operation for the SDC are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday- Friday.

Marygrace Surma and Caroline Landrum, co-coodinators for Emory Software Licensing and Distribution in the Information Technology Division, Computing Resource Services area, are responsible for negotiating and administering site and volume software licenses.

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