The scope of this document pertains to individual computers and not "public" or lab computers. IT@CSUMB.EDU recommends that the individual computers used by the students, faculty, and staff of CSUMB utilize a level of security that prevents the unrestricted installation of software or modification of system settings. This recommendation is based on the analysis of information provided by the operating system publishers and various technical resources and provides for the greatest level of system reliability. The complex set of operating system, productivity, and enterprise systems software combinations makes the installation of even apparently unrelated software risky. There are many instances where the installation of additional software can render computer systems inoperable for their intended purpose and require the intervention of technical staff to restore the system to an operational state. In addition, software publishers are aggressively pursuing software license compliance on college campuses and software without documentation of license ownership results in fines to the university

However, IT@CSUMB.EDU also recognizes the unique nature of the academic environment and the need for some individuals to install and test a variety of software tools. IT@CSUMB.EDU strives to provide the greatest level of flexibility in balance with the need for reliability. For this reason, individuals may request administrative access for their computer for the purpose of academic/business related testing. In addition, departments may request that an individual department technologist be trained and granted administrative access to all department computers for the purpose of assisting IT@CSUMB.EDU in the support of their academic program or department operation. If you wish to avail yourself of this option please fill out the Request for Computer Administrative Access Form and submit it to the Help Desk. Requests are normally processed within one business day of receipt of the form. Administrative Access requires that a technician perform an in-person service and that the individual requesting access be present at the time of service to complete the process. Please note that individuals with administrative access to their computers understand that they will not receive increased level of service as a result of the increased security access to the operating system and the attendant technical complications that may arise.

Implications to expected service levels for administrative access:

  • When a technician performs service to a computer with local administrative access there may be instances when all attempts to troubleshoot the problem may not be sufficient to resolve the service request. In extreme cases the technician may be required to restore the computer to its original state (re-imaging). This can result in the loss of software, files and data. In these cases the technician will be unable to re-install any software added to the system by non-IT personnel.
  • Installation of server or peer-to-peer software requires consultation with the Manager of Technology Support Services prior to installation or implementation. This consultation is necessary in order to maintain network stability for the campus community. Installation without consultation may result in the temporary restriction or termination of network access while IT@CSUMB.EDU assesses the affect of the installation on network performance.
  • If untrained in system troubleshooting, administrator access increases the potential for system complications and failure. Service requests placed by individuals with administrative access will be placed in the standard service queue. Priority service cannot be expected in the event that non-standard software renders the system inoperable.
  • IT@CSUMB.EDU highly discourages administrative access if your tasking requires access to enterprise systems such as the following CSUMB applications: Banner, Resource 25, FRS, CMS (PeopleSoft), etc. This recommendation is due to the increased potential for system complications that can impact system performance and potentially your ability to accomplish your work due to system down time, and in some cases, data loss.
  • In addition, by requesting administrative access I understand that a valid license for all software installed by me, on any CSUMB owned/maintained computer, must be maintained by me or my department, and be made available to the IT@CSUMB.EDU staff on request.

Information about copyright and software (from the Software & Information Industry Association).

Software is automatically protected by federal copyright law from the moment of its creation. The rights granted to the owner of a copyright are clearly stated in the Copyright Act, Title 17 of the US Code. The Act gives the owner of the copyright "the exclusive rights" to "reproduce the copyrighted work" and "to distribute copies ... of the copyrighted work" (Section 106). It also states that "anyone who violates any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner ... is an infringer of the copyright" (Section 501), and sets forth several penalties for such conduct. Those who purchase a license for a copy of software do not have the right to make additional copies without the permission of the copyright owner, except (i) copy the software onto a single computer and (ii) make "another copy for archival purposes only," which are specifically provided in the Copyright Act (Section 117). The license accompanying the product may allow additional copies to be made; be sure to review the license carefully.

Software creates unique problems for copyright owners because it is so easy to duplicate, and the copy is usually as good as the original. This fact, however, does not make it legal to violate the rights of the copyright owner. Although software is a new medium of intellectual property, its protection is grounded in the long-established copyright rules that govern other more familiar media, such as records, books, and films. The unauthorized duplication of software constitutes copyright infringement regardless of whether it is done for sale, for free distribution, or for the copier's own use. Moreover, copiers are liable for the resulting copyright infringement whether or not they knew their conduct violated federal law. Penalties include liability for damages suffered by the copyright owner plus any profits of the infringer that are attributable to the copying, or statutory damages of up to $100,000 for each work infringed. The unauthorized duplication of software is also a Federal crime if done "willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain (Title 18 Section 2319(b))." Criminal penalties include fines of as much as $250,000 and jail terms of up to 5 years.

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