Policy Library

820 Computer Software Procurement and Licensing Compliance

Authority: Approved by the Board of Trustees
Last updated on: May 06, 2022

820.1 Use of Computer Software - Overview and Scope

Computer software is a form of intellectual property and generally covered under the same provisions of copyright law for the protection against unauthorized copying, sharing or distribution. With few exceptions, most software is copyrighted.  Any software used on a University-owned computer must have a valid license. When the University licenses access to software for use by its students, staff, and faculty, it does not own the software and must still abide by any agreement that governs the software's use. It is the individual's responsibility to ensure licensing requirements have been met when accessing software. Suspected violations of copyright and other applicable laws will be reported to appropriate University authorities.


This policy applies to:

 (a) All software used for University administrative, academic, teaching, learning, clinical, and research activities, including software obtained through Canvas or other school, university or department software procurement;

 (b) All software that is purchased and licensed from third-party vendors, developers, or companies irrespective of the University entity or individual that makes the purchase;

 (c) The acquisition of software installed on local computers or servers by faculty, staff, departments, vendors and affiliates.

Authority to bind the University to contracts and agreements for software purchases or licensing is governed by Policy 630 Purchasing.  Only limited delegation of authority is granted to department end users to commit funds for the purchase of software as provided for in the policy.

820.2 User or Department Requirements.

It is the obligation of ISU employees and students to acquire and use software in a way that strictly follows all applicable University policies and licensing contract requirements, including installation, use, copying, virtualization, maintenance, service, restriction on the permitted use and/or the number of users, and other terms of the license agreement

820.2.1 Due Diligence and Compliance.  Departments and employees should review the software procurement guidelines found on the Procurement Services website prior to finalizing any software purchase. Purchasers of proprietary and open source software are frequently presented with an electronic license agreement or click-through agreement that establishes the purchaser’s rights and responsibilities to use the software after having agreed to the vendors terms and conditions. Departments must comply with all terms and conditions of licensed software.

820.3 Software Disposal

All non-transferable licensed software should be permanently deleted before any electronic device or media is disposed of or transferred within ISU. Departments and users are obligated to follow the terms and conditions relating to the disposal or return of the software. Special consideration should be given to software purchased with funds from research, commercial, or government contracts or grants.

820.4 Violation of Software Licenses and Enforcement

Members of the University community are responsible for any violation of the terms and conditions of software licenses on ISU-owned devices or other copyright infringement that may occur. Violations of this policy may result in appropriate sanction or disciplinary action consistent with applicable University procedures up to and including the suspension, revocation or curtailment of accounts or disciplinary action consistent with ISU policy. Individuals who commit copyright infringement may be subject to personal, civil or criminal fines, sanctions or prosecution under the U.S. Copyright Act.


Related Information

Policy Administrator:
Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Policy Contact:
Office of Information Technology
Gillum Hall Room 103
(812) 237-2100
Policy History:
Policy 931 was included in the 2001 University Handbook revision. On December 14, 2018, the ISU Board of Trustees approved the renumbering of the Policy to 820. On May 6, 2022, the ISU Board of Trustees approved modifications to Sections 820.1, 820.2, 820.3. and 820.4.