Confidential Information and Software Piracy

Brown University complies with all local, state, and federal laws regulating intellectual property rights, including copyright infringement, confidential information, and software piracy.

Copyright Infringement

The reproduction by any means of any copyrighted material which has not been placed in the public domain or, if software, distributed as "freeware" or "shareware" without the consent of the copyright holder is expressly prohibited except as otherwise permitted by specific exceptions as set forth in the laws covering copyright. Violations of the copyright policy may result in individual liability for copyright infringement. See Brown's Copyright and Fair Use policy for a full explanation.
Questions on copyright matters should be addressed to the Vice President and General Counsel.

Software Piracy and Computer Security

Brown University has adopted the EDUCAUSE code on Software and Intellectual Rights with respect to unauthorized or illegal use of software. Employees who purchase and/or use copyrighted and/or licensed software in the performance of their job functions are expected to abide by all the conditions of the vendor's agreement enclosed with the program, including restricted limitations on copying, use, and distribution of the program and documentation. There is no absolute entitlement to use a co-worker's software packet or use one software packet for departmental use.

Brown's computer and information system is a shared resource. Access to the network is conditioned upon strict compliance with rules and regulations established by the University. No user of the network is permitted to invade the files of another without that user's consent or to use the network to engage in any illegal or unethical activity. See Brown's Copyright Infringement Policy for more details.

Additional information on the computer usage policy is contained in the document Acceptable Use Policy from Computing and Information Services.

Confidential Information

Receipt of information from other individuals, institutions and organizations, is one of Brown's most valuable resources which requires responsible use by Brown University personnel. Often, such information contains trade secrets and/or is considered confidential. Access to confidential information is restricted to those who have a need to know or use the information data, as defined by job duties and subject to appropriate approval. Anyone who receives confidential information has a responsibility to maintain and safeguard this information and to use it with consideration and ethical regard for others. Circumventing or attempting to circumvent restrictions on the use and dissemination of confidential information is considered a serious offense.

Administrative Information Security

Brown University retains ownership of all administrative information created or modified by employees as part of their job functions. Access to information is granted to a particular individual based on the need to use specific data, as defined by the job duties and subject to appropriate approval. As such, this access cannot be shared, transferred or delegated. Brown employees are expected to safeguard the accuracy and confidentiality of administrative information and to ensure that the information is protected from unauthorized access, use, or destruction.

Abuse or misuse of the network system, unauthorized access, dissemination or failure to properly protect confidential information, or violation of any of the aforementioned policies, may result in disciplinary measures being taken against an employee, including termination.

Brown Information Security policies can be obtained from the Director of IT Security at Computing and Information Services. They can also be found at