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Microcomputer Software, Internet & Blackboard

Microcomputer Software

  1. The fair use doctrine does not apply to microcomputer software. Most software is licensed rather than sold outright and license terms vary widely from one package to another. The Uniform Computer Information Transactions (UCITA) took effect July 1, 2001 in Virginia. Shrink-wrap and click-on licenses are enforceable by law, even if the person clicking does not have institutional authority to agree to a license.
  2. CVCC faculty and staff shall read, file, and abide by all license agreements for software installed in personal computers assigned to them. CVCC equipment shall not be used to make illegal copies of software. CVCC prohibits the use of illegally copied software in its offices or laboratories.
  3. CVCC faculty and staff shall read and abide by the VCCS Computer Ethics Policy statement.

    Supervisors of student labs shall post copyright warnings and monitor student software use. Students violating this policy should be referred to the Conduct Committee for disciplinary action as discussed in the Student Code of Conduct located in the Catalog and Student Handbook.

  4. Copyright Law specifies users may make a backup or archival copy of the software in case of a later problem with the software. Backup software copies may be used only if the original copy fails.
  5. If a user buys a new version of software outright (rather than an upgrade) and does not plan to use the older version of the software, he/she should destroy the old version of the software, including manuals, when the new software is installed.


  1. Everything posted on the internet is open to wide public scrutiny. If a piece of text or graphics or recorded music to be included on a web site is copyrighted, be certain to get permission before posting it, and be sure to include copyright information with the piece.
  2. Unless there is a clear statement on a web site that text and graphics are public domain and free for all to use, assume everything is copyrighted and that users do not have the right to copy, reproduce, or modify it without permission.
  3. Linking to other sites from a web page is permitted, as long as the originating web page identifies the link-to sites clearly, and the user easily can tell the web page apart from the link-to site.


  1. Faculty can post material on Blackboard if: (1) the instructor is the copyright owner, (2) the instructor has permission from the copyright owner, (3) the material is in the public domain, or (4) use is "fair use" under the law. When possible, instructors should link to copyrighted materials rather than posting them.
  2. While the doctrine of fair use does not apply to unprotected internet sites, it can be applied to password protected course management sites such as Blackboard. When posting copyrighted material without permission, instructors should remember to consider and document the evaluation of all four fair use factors including effect on market value. Use should be spontaneous and limited to one time.
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