Music, movies, and games are not the only items plagued with copyright infringement. Software that is copyrighted also has the risk. A common term for copyright infringement is piracy. Piracy means the unauthorized use or reproduction of copyrighted or patented material.

Software publishers take piracy very seriously. Most Software companies allow you to make one backup copy of your installation disk. This copy is for your protection, should your original CD become damaged or lost.

If you make more copies than this one backup, you are infringing on the Software Publisher’s copyright. If you make additional copies to share with friends, or you install the software you purchased on multiple computers, you are committing copyright infringement and may be subject to fines and penalties.

When you share copies or install more instances of the software than you have purchased, you are committing software piracy. This action denies the publisher money they have legally earned. It cheats the Publisher and everyone who uses the software – including you. Software companies use money from the sales of their products to improve current software and finance new projects.

When Rose-Hulman finds out about software piracy, notice will be sent by email to the alleged offender. If this is a first incident, the offender will be granted 24 hours to schedule a meeting with an EIT Professional or risk losing Network Access. At the time of the meeting, the computer or device in question will be scanned to determine if the data in question is present. If the data is found, the data and the method used to obtain the data will be removed from the device. Also, the EIT Professional will review the RHIT Copyright Infringement Policy with the offending user to be certain the policy is understood by the user.

A second incident requires a meeting with the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs plus removal of illegally acquired materials.

A third infraction will result in meeting with the Dean of Students.

Breaking these laws can lead to criminal or civil penalties.

Be aware that even though you comply with RHIT Copyright Policy, there is no guarantee you will not be sued by RIAA, MPAA, or any other person or group whose copyrights you have infringed upon.

How does Rose-Hulman find out about illegal software?

We find out through honest employees and students, and possibly routine software audits. If the software violation is reported to the publisher, and they send a notice to Rose-Hulman, legal action could be brought against the school and the individual or individuals involved. These actions can be extremely time consuming – maybe requiring an intensive software audit within a very short timeframe. There could be substantial monetary damages, or exclusion from discount pricing and volume-licensing programs. The losses far outweigh the gains.

Do not copy software to share with your friends or co-workers. If you see this behavior, you should report it to EIT.