Computer Software and Games

When you purchase (or download) computer software or a game and install it, you are usually required to accept or agree to a 'click through' licence agreement. The licence agreement or terms of use will explain what you can and cannot do with the software or game. If you accept the agreement/terms of use, they become legally binding and you must comply with them. Before accepting the agreement, you should read it carefully and make sure you understand your rights and obligations.

Even open source or freeware software and games will include terms and conditions. Just because software or games can be freely downloaded from the web, does not mean that you are free to redistribute or use them as you like. You will still need to abide by the terms of use.

There are very limited provisions in the Copyright Act that allow software and games to used. The provisions that allow copyright material to be copied for teaching do not apply to software and games. If you wish to use computer software or games for teaching, you will need to purchase a licence to do so.

The University purchases licences for many different types of software that it uses for teaching, research and administrative purposes. In some cases, for example Endnote, a blanket licence is available that enables copies to be freely downloaded and used by all staff and students. In most cases, individual or group licences are purchased by departments for their staff. For more information see: Software and applications.

Further information about staff roles and responsibilities in regard to software is available at Software Copyright: Roles and Responsibilities.