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Software

The information on this page provides a brief description of the main requirements involved in protecting software innovations.  Additional resources regarding more comprehensive educational materials on software licensing are available in the sidebar.

  1. University’s Role in Distributing Software
    1. All Boston College full time, part time, and temporary faculty members, post–docs, graduate students, and staff members are bound by the University’s Intellectual Property Policy that stipulates any software made as part of university employment is owned by the Trustees of Boston College (see sidebar).
    2. Boston College’s Office for Technology Transfer and Licensing (OTTL) helps manage the software licensing process:
      1. Provides licensing options;
      2. Executes permission statements and license agreements for external collaborators and users;
      3. Manages external relationships with contributors and companies who evaluate the software; and
      4. Provides access to legal experts when necessary.
    3. In order for OTTL to assist faculty in licensing software, a completed Software Disclosure Form must be submitted (see sidebar).
  2. Goal Establishment and Distribution Plan
    1. Licensing software developed in an academic setting is determined best by the group that creates it before starting a software development project.
    2. When determining the goal of software distribution, groups beginning a software development project should consider factors involved in how external users will be permitted to use, copy, modify, change, test, demonstrate, sell, and distribute data, source code, binaries and executables:
      1. source or binary form distribution
      2. available to public or by request only
      3. standardized data collection
      4. external academic community access
      5. derivative products
      6. name recognition
      7. redistribution
      8. credit
      9. commercialization
  3. Contributors
    1. All contributors and their respective roles need to be documented before starting and for the duration of a software development project.
    2. The creators are responsible for providing every collaborator with a copy of the established goals and distribution plan for the project.
      1. OTTL suggests keeping email records which OTTL can also house.
    3. Royalty distribution determinations for licensed software are based on Boston College Intellectual Property Policy and contributor records.