Computing and IT Policies

Users of the Harvard Chan School computing facility should note that commercial software and databases are protected by copyright laws and license agreements. Users are expected to abide by the restrictions inherent in these contractual agreements. These restrictions include prohibitions against the following:

a) copying programs for use on other systems
b) distribution or resale of programs outside Harvard
c) use of programs for non-educational purposes or for financial gain
d) altering or disclosure of program source code

Illegal copies of software may not be used on machines owned by the school, and copy protected software owned by the facility may not be illegally duplicated.

Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA)
DMCA laws have extended copyright protection to additional forms of electronic materials such as music and videos. The University is committed to maintaining the integrity and availability of the Harvard network for vital educational and research purposes for which it was designed. All Harvard community members — faculty, staff and students — should be familiar with the laws pertaining to the use of digital material and to comply with federal law and University policy regarding use of copyrighted materials.

Harvard University Technology Resources Policy (excerpts)
1) Access to and use of technology resources at Harvard University are provided to members of the Harvard community to assist in fulfilling the education, research, and service missions of the university. Such resources include e-mail, telephone, voicemail, computer hardware and software, Internet access, and the campus computer network. All technology resources and their components or peripheral parts are the property of Harvard University. All users have the responsibility to use those resources in an efficient, ethical, and legal manner. Access to such resources is limited to authorized users and is for approved purposes only.
2) As has been the custom with the telephone, it is permissible to use these facilities for incidental personal purposes. Incidental personal use is permitted so long as it does not interfere with job performance, consume significant time or resources, interfere with the activities of others, or otherwise violate this policy, the rules of the Harvard Chan School, or other university policies.
3) University technology resources should not be used in connection with lobbying or political campaigns. In addition, such resources should not be used for private business or commercial activities, except where such activities are otherwise permitted under applicable university policies.
4) I/T users should note that distribution, storage, or viewing of pornography on university computers violates the Technology Resources Policy.

Harvard neither sanctions nor censors individual expression of opinion on its systems. The same standards of behavior, however, are expected in the use of electronic mail as in the use of telephones and written and oral communication. Therefore electronic mail, like telephone messages, must be neither obscene nor harassing. Similarly, messages must not misrepresent the identity of the sender and should not be sent as chain letters or broadcast indiscriminately to large numbers of individuals. This prohibition includes unauthorized mass electronic mailings. For example, e-mail on a given topic that is sent to large numbers of recipients should in general be directed only to those who have indicated a willingness to receive such e-mail.

You may find a more complete listing of the I/T policies of the Harvard Chan School and the university on the School web site at More information about student computing may be found on the IT website at

Further information is available from the IT Service Desk by phone at 617-432-HELP, via email, or on the IT website.