Immediate Actions for Computer Software Compliance

Note: This document is intended for use as a reference by departments and student bodies of the University. The word “entity” denotes department or student body in this document.

  1. Promote awareness of the Ordinance
    You can refer to to obtain information about the Ordinance. Make it known to all entity members that your entity is committed to using properly licensed software. Emphasize that illegal duplication or use of software is a serious offense.
  2. Designate a member to be the “compliance officer” responsible for ensuring proper software use
    The responsible individual could be a member of your entity with sufficient seniority to be able to give appropriate directions to other members on what to do in order to comply with the Ordinance in the area of computer software.
  3. Take inventory for all computers
    Identify all computers in your entity. You may want to record information such as location, authorized users, brand and model for each one of them.
  4. Take inventory for all software products
    For each of the computers in your entity, list out all software products installed in it. You can contact the Information Technology Services Centre (ITSC) for information on how to do this.
  5. Clean up illegal software products
    From the software inventory taken above, identify all illegal software products, if any, and remove them from the respective computers. What you can do is, from the software inventory, exclude software products which are legally licensed by your entity, and by staff and students on their own. You should also exclude software products which are covered by the CUHK site licenses (please refer to it for details and eligibility). The remaining ones can be regarded as illegal and should be removed. Another approach is to re-install the system from scratch, and install only software products that are both legal and necessary for the daily works.You can refer to the document “Guidelines for Compliance on the Use of Computer Software” for information on handling different types of software licenses. You can also contact the ITSC for information on how to remove software products or re-install the system from scratch.
  6. Collect and file software license agreements
    For software products which are purchased by your entity, either from the ITSC or directly from the vendors, collect and file the actual software license agreements as well as invoices and other documents showing their legitimate acquisitions.
  7. Handle personal software products
    For personal software products which are installed onto the entity’s computers by staff or students on their own, make sure that the software products are individually authorized by the entity for installation. The relevant information of the software products (e.g., software name, version and description, purpose, installation and removal dates, id of the computer on which the software is installed, name of the installer, name of the authorizing person, etc.) should also be recorded by the entity for monitoring purposes. Furthermore, the entity should have the staff members or students signed a declaration stating the personal software products that they install onto the entity’s computers on their own are properly licensed.
  8. Perform on-going software management
    To maintain proper use of software is an on-going exercise. You can refer to the document “Guidelines for Effective Software Management” for information on how to handle it.


The above information only serves as a reference. The information does not constitute legal advice in anyway. The Information Technology Services Centre does not accept any liability for any loss or damage caused to any person relying on any information or omission in this document.

User Support Service
Information Technology Services Centre
Version 2, May 2010