Information Services Division


Software licensing at UCL - 27 March 2019

26 September 2020

Software licensing at UCL

UCL has a legal and contractual obligation to ensure the use of software is within the agreements we have agreed with vendors.

We’d like to take the opportunity to remind staff and students that using software outside of a vendor’s terms and conditions is unacceptable. We have established processes in place for making individual software requests and we have the software database, where we make a vast array of academic software available for use.

The vast majority of software on the software database is freely available for teaching, learning and academic research. The exception to this is if the software is used for commercial research. In such circumstances a commercial licence should be purchased.

There is absolutely no need to use ‘cracked’ software or software from ‘free download’ sites. These should not be installed on UCL machines and students are advised they should not install on their personal devices and use on UCL’s network. Legitimate licences are in place or can easily be acquired.

You should be able to provide reference to a valid licence for every piece of software installed on your computer, regardless of how or when the software was installed.

The risk to UCL for not having the correct licenses or not legitimate software are:

  • Reputational damage to UCL
  • Unexpected costs and potential legal proceedings
  • Increase the risk of a security breach
  • Lack of support for research projects from vendors

Please take a moment to review the UCL software policy and the Acceptable Use policy. It explains:

  • How software should be managed within UCL.
  • Your responsibilities.

If you have any questions or need advice on software, please contact us.