Title: Software Licence Administration

Status of Document: This document describes the service provision of the OUCS Software Licensing Service as of May 2011.

1. Introduction

The OUCS Software Licensing Service funds and/or manages a range of software licences that are of interest to the Oxford University community. It liaises with the University community over licence renewals and the provision of new licences.

2. Summary of OUCS's responsibilities

Hours of Service

2.1 The service operates during standard working hours.

Service Levels

2.2 Email queries via software@oucs.ox.ac.uk should receive a response from a staff member within one working day.

2.3 OUCS will publish and maintain up to date information on its web pages about the software licences that it maintains and include details of any other software available within the University that is provided to us. Details of the software agreements are listed at http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/sls/fullist.xml

2.4 If a software licence is taken out that involves annual activation codes, the user is subscribed to a mailing list specific to that software so that essential information about licence changes can easily be provided.

2.5 When licences are approaching a renewal date contact is made via mailing lists as in 2.4 above and to the IT Support Staff mailing list to canvas for the level of continued interest and the responses to this are used to assess whether the licence should be continued through central funding. A final decision is made in conjunction with Divisional Representatives.

Software Distribution

2.6 The availability of software licences and media to University members and units is subject to the relevant software agreements for each product. Some products are licensed for University members only, some for units only, the majority is for both groups.

2.7 Licences for centrally managed software will generally be available through the Computing Services Online Shop. Some licences will be free, due to central funding, for others there will be a charge.

2.8 Software media, for which a charge is made, is available from the Computing Services Online Shop to registered licence holders.

2.9 Some software and renewal codes are distributed via the University network, through the OUCS registration pages.

Additional products are added when possible, with the following distribution factors being taken account of:

  • Does the manufacturer's licence constrain online distribution?
  • Are there any practical limits to the size of software installation sets that should be considered?
  • Would downloading be of benefit to the license holder?

2.10 For individual University members, the right to acquire software licences is determined by their status shown on their University card.

2.11 The OUCS Software Card is used to enable University Units to purchase or register software licences through the Computing Services Online Shop. http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/sls/software-card.xml

License Servers

2.12 Three license servers are available offering Flexlm, Sentinel and Microsoft KMS. Software that uses these license managers can be hosted by OUCS. (Refer to section 4.1 below)

Setting up Software Agreements

2.13 Licensing staff will assist in the setting up of software agreements licensed for the whole of the University which is being funded by a unit or units within the University. This includes Eduserv Chest framework agreements and direct agreements with software owners. We can also arrange for partial cost recovery from users of the software via our premium services, see section 5 below

Distribution of ISO Images

2.14 A software download site with access restricted to IT Support Staff is provided to allow disk images of site licensed software to be obtained.

Distribution of Existing Site Licenses

2.15 Existing site licenses owned by units of the University can be hosted at OUCS. We can arrange for any or all of: license management, software distribution, registration of users and cost recovery to be provided. (Cost recovery is a premium service, see section 5 below)

Administration and Support

2.16 The following mailing lists are maintained:

  • The Software-announce mailing list is used to announce important changes in our software agreements. To subscribe to the software-announce mailing list, send a message to software-announce-subscribe@maillist.ox.ac.uk.
  • The Software-discuss mailing list can be used by users to give their views on software agreements, to say what programs they are interested in and what they would like to see available. To subscribe to the software-discuss mailing list, send a message to software-discuss-subscribe@maillist.ox.ac.uk.

2.17 A Software Newsletter is sent out at least once per term to the Software-Announce and IT Support Staff mailing lists. The newsletter is published, and an archive maintained at http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/sls/newsletter.xml

2.18 Queries relating to licensing issues can be sent via email to software@oucs.ox.ac.uk. Where queries relate to software outside of our own agreements we attempt to provide "value for money" solutions by referring the enquirer to Eduserv Chest Agreements or linking them up with other departments who have also expressed similar queries.

Time Commitment

2.19 Two staff members, total of 1.6FTE administer the service. In addition to this technical staff provide server management resources.

3. Summary of client's responsibilities

3.1 Licenses are only available to identified members or Units of the University.

  • Online software distribution is provided via the OUCS self-registration web pages.
  • For licence registration at the Computing Services Online Shop either a valid University card or an OUCS Software Card must be provided.
  • The University card is required when acquiring software licences for personal use. Any charges must be paid at the Computing Services Online Shop at the time the licence is acquired.
  • When Units of the University are acquiring licences using their OUCS Software Card, they can do so using valid purchase orders from their institution via the OUCS Online Shop. Where licenses are free of charge they can also email Shop@oucs.ox.ac.uk in order to obtain licenses.

3.2 Users must be aware of and comply with the University's current IT regulations.

3.3 Users must comply with UK copyright laws relating to the copying of software, music, video etc. OUCS reserves the right not to deal with problems involving pirated software or other material.

4. Service Development Work

4.1 Additional software is added to the three license servers as suitable products are identified

4.2 New agreements offered fom Eduserv Chest are promoted, with a view to taking out software contacts funded by interested units.

4.3 Promotion of software licensing for use on students's own machines, where this is not already provided in existing agreements.

Possible Developments (funding required)

4.4. Develop a model to streamline the mechanisms required in 4.2 above, in order to automate the process of agreeing license fees via some equitable pro rata basis and collecting these fees.

4.5 Administer software contracts on behalf of a individual units.

5. Premium services

5.1 Existing licenses owned by units of the University can be hosted at OUCS. We can arrange for any or all of: license management, software distribution, registration of users and cost recovery to be provided. We can only provide license serving for basic implementations of the flexlm and sentinal server products, however please refer to 5.2 for details of alternative services.

5.2 OUCS can run specific software licence management tools for specific products for individual departments or divisions on a chargeable basis via its NSMS service.