Software Policies

The following are policies related to the support and installation of software on BCG servers.

Supported Software

The BCG supports several hundred computing applications on its Unix network and a dozen or so on its Microsoft Citrix servers. If you think that many users would benefit by an application that isn't supported, contact the BCG or consider supporting it yourself. If you are a sponsored graduate student and would like us to consider supporting a software package, please have your sponsor send us the request.

Software and the operating systems on which they run change rapidly. New operating systems and other considerations may make the support of old software unfeasible. Users should be aware that the BCG may find it necessary to discontinue the support of old software packages.

User Supported Software

Users of Unix systems are free to install unsupported software and make it available to the user community directories provided that such software does not violate other policies of the BCG. This means that the software must not tax the resources of the BCG servers nor pose a security threat to the system. The BCG reserves the right to remove any software it deems inappropriate. If in doubt, contact the BCG.

Ownership of Locally Developed Software

The BCG complies with the University of Wisconsin System's Computer Software Ownership policy. The crux of this policy document lies in the following: to encourage the production and distribution of creative works, our legal system has established property rights for inventions and writings through patents and copy-rights. Ownership of these properties is reserved to the creator for a limited time during which the creator may sell, lease or distribute the product of his/her efforts. The purpose of these limited rights is to establish an incentive to make the fruits of individual creativity available to society at large.

The BCG interprets the policy as follows, except in cases where other University policies come into effect:

  • The creator owns the software and can distribute it in any way he or she sees fit, provided the software wasn't contracted for, and that such ownership wasn't relinquished;
  • The University can use the software free of charge in perpetuity and should be given credit for making its development possible.

Please note: You may be asked to develop your software on DoIT hardware instead of BMI hardware, depending on the nature of your work, but especially when using PHP or other web frameworks. Contact sysreq@biostat.wisc.edu before beginning your project.

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