IBM Academic Initiative

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Software Usage Guidelines

These Software Usage Guidelines supplement the terms of the Academic Initiative Program Agreement (the "Agreement"). In the event of a conflict between the Software Usage Guidelines and the Agreement, the Agreement shall prevail.

If you have additional questions about appropriate use of software that is made available through the IBM Academic Initiative, please send an email to aimember@us.ibm.com.

You can also view these guidelines in PDF format (27KB).

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General guidelines

The guidelines in this table apply to all IBM software products and tools. Be sure to also read Additional details by IBM product and brand.


What Members ARE allowed to do: What Members are NOT allowed to do:

The software that is obtained from the IBM Academic Initiative is restricted to educational and noncommercial research purposes ONLY by Qualified Institutions. Educational purposes are defined as conducting education classes, labs or related programs for teaching and/or learning the Products, or concepts related to the Products, that are part of the IBM Academic Initiative. For example, classes on software development, introduction to programming languages, systems design and analysis, relevant mathematics courses, relevant business process courses, relevant science courses, or relevant engineering courses, to name a few. Noncommercial research purposes are defined as conducting not-for-profit research projects whose results would be considered to be in the public domain and suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal or conference for publication. IBM Products may be used in noncommercial research that is focused on the business concepts, science, math or technology upon which the product is based.

A Qualified Institution is any publicly- or privately-funded body that is defined as one the following:

  • University or college offering education that leads to nationally-recognized qualifications or levels of academic achievement - accredited by a regional or national accrediting council, commission, appropriate government agency, or board of education of the state or country in which the educational institution is located.
  • Teaching hospital associated with an accredited institution.
  • Research institution or consortia comprised of accredited institutions.
  • Primary, elementary or secondary school, either publicly- or privately-funded, where education is the principal objective leading to nationally recognized qualifications or levels of academic achievement, and accredited to provide education by national or regional councils or agencies.
  • Certain open standards organizations focused on nurturing the open collaboration development of open source technologies. Examples of open standards organizations include Eclipse.org and SourceForge.net.

Note: In general, members of non-profit organizations may be eligible to join the IBM Academic Initiative only if all of the following conditions are met:

  • The non-profit organization conducting the research is predominantly research-oriented, with demonstrable ties to the academic community.
  • The research is being done in connection with an academic institution.
  • The results of the research will be published in a public academic journal or otherwise be made publicly available.
  • The IBM Academic Initiative offerings will not be used for operational or administrative purposes, or in a production environment, outside the scope of the research project.

The IBM Academic Initiative is NOT a broad commercial software-licensing program with unrestricted use. As such, the software that is obtained as part of the IBM Academic Initiative has some restrictions: such as, it may NOT be used for any infrastructure purposes whatsoever either in the classroom, the lab, or for administration purposes.

IBM Products may NOT be used to teach courses that are not for credit as a part of a degree program from an accredited college or university. Also, IBM software may NOT be used to teach courses that are part of adult-learning or career transition programs, or are designed to teach the operations of the product itself instead of using the product as an aid in teaching underlying principles or concepts.

Faculty who are authorized members of the IBM Academic Initiative ("Members") may distribute the Products to students enrolled in their courses or degree-granting programs by downloading the Products to a secure server and allowing the students access to the server, and/or by downloading the Products onto a personal machine and copying to a CD with subsequent copying to lab machines or student machines. Access to the Products may only be provided to students enrolled in classes or degree-granting programs being taught or advised by the Member.

If the Institution has only one server that is shared between the administrative staff and faculty/students, the Products may not be installed on that server. There must be separate servers for administrative staff and faculty/students. The IBM Academic Initiative provides server license agreements, and it is not possible to split server licenses.

Each Institution may designate a single point of contact ("I/T Administrator") to manage the distribution and support of the Products to authorized Members and students enrolled in their courses. The I/T Administrator will administer, manage and enforce the distribution obligations for the Products according to the IBM Academic Initiative Program Agreement and these Software Usage Guidelines. This includes loading the software onto servers and lab machines accessible only by Members and students enrolled in the Member's course(s). Additionally, the I/T Administrator MUST maintain and respond to IBM's semi-annual web reporting request for the number of students taught using the Products, the related courses being taught, and other information requested periodically by IBM. Individual faculty members who are relying on the I/T Administrator to administer the Products must still join the IBM Academic Initiative in order to take advantage of the benefits offered.

Faculty members of an institution cannot use the Products being managed by the I/T Administrator unless they are a member of the IBM Academic Initiative. Students may not use the Products unless they are enrolled in a Member course.

Individual faculty members of a qualified institution may join the IBM Academic Initiative. Graduate Teaching Assistants may also join provided the faculty member for whom they are assigned is also a member of IBM's Academic Initiative.

Memberships may not be shared among faculty or departments. This includes a prohibition on sharing membership IDs and passwords with non-members, including students.

Each Member will administer, manage and enforce the distribution guidelines for the Products according to the IBM Academic Initiative Program Agreement and these Software Usage Guidelines.

Membership benefits may not be delivered to, or shared with, the institution business operations or administrative departments.

Each Member may make copies of the IBM Products for backup purposes, or to provide a single copy to each student enrolled in his/her class. The IBM Academic Initiative Member is responsible for semi-annual reporting of the number of students who have used the Products, and other information requested periodically by IBM.

Copies of the Products may not be provided to students who are not enrolled in a Member's class, nor may copies be provided to other faculty who are not members of the IBM Academic Initiative. Students who withdraw from a course being taught by a Member must delete the Products from their personal workstation, and/or be denied access to the Products via a server or lab machine.

Every copy of the Products shall be a true and complete copy, and include all copyright and trademark notices.

The Products may only be provided to students who are taking at least one credit course from a Member. Students enrolled in continuing education or non-credit courses are not eligible to receive, gain access to, or use the Products or other benefits offered by the IBM Academic Initiative.

The IBM Academic Initiative provides e-mail-based support for routine, short duration installation and usage questions for selected Products. e-mail is monitored as available during normal U.S. business hours, Monday thru Friday, for select Products. In addition, Members have access to web-based self-help and the IBM Academic Initiative newsgroup. Only Members can submit email support requests (email from students and non-members will not be accepted).

IBM Academic Initiative support is not provided for performance tuning and integration with other products. Members are not entitled to support for reporting and seeking a resolution to defects in IBM code and publications, unless the educational institution has a separate maintenance agreement with IBM. Problems may be reported via the IBM Academic Initiative technical support form and will be resolved on a best efforts basis (for select products only). Fixes and code modifications are only available as new releases and fix packs are added to the IBM Academic Initiative download catalog.

Only Members may use their IBM Academic Initiative ID and password information to access private areas (for example, courseware downloads, software downloads) of the IBM Academic Initiative web (http://www.ibm.com/ibm/university/academic)

The Products available via the IBM Academic Initiative may not be sold, rented, leased or transferred to any third party including contractors, other department's personnel, other companies or consultants performing services for your department or institution, or students not enrolled in a Member's class. This includes entities working on joint research projects.

IBM Academic Initiative subscription licenses are perpetual, except for the Lotus technologies. If an IBM Academic Initiative Member decides not to renew his/her membership, he/she can still use the Products that were obtained as a benefit of their membership and in accordance with the terms and conditions of the IBM Academic Initiative Program Agreement and these Software Usage Guidelines.

Note: Lotus licenses are NOT perpetual. See additional details below for more information.

Once a Member's membership in the IBM Academic Initiative has expired, the Member will no longer receive program benefits. Additionally, students are no longer allowed to obtain copies of the Products to load onto their personal machines, or gain access to the Products via a server or lab machine. In the event of membership expiration, the affected Member must promptly remove any Products that he/she has installed on the institution's servers or lab machines for access by students. Members can renew their membership by visiting the IBM Academic Initiative web site and completing the semi-annual questionnaire regarding IBM and open source content being used in the Member's course(s).

Other benefits offered by the IBM Academic Initiative include webcasts and podcasts. The information provided during these sessions, including the audio tapes and/or video tapes of these sessions, may be used by Members in their classrooms, so long as proper attribution (copyright, trademark service mark, and so forth) is given to IBM as the owner and provider of the information.

IBM webcasts and podcasts may not be modified in any way.

The Education Materials (all courseware, lab exercises, tests and other related material accessible through IBM's Virtual Innovation Center) may only be used for teaching purposes. You can make copies of the Education Materials and provide them to students in your classes.

You can extract portions of the Education Materials and incorporate them into other teaching materials you may be using, as long as all IBM trademarks and trade names remain within the extracted portion of the materials.

You may translate the Education Materials to other languages, so long as all IBM trademarks and trade names remain within the translated materials. All translated materials will be considered "Derivative Works" under the terms of the Agreement.

The Education Materials may not be used in noncredit, nondegree-earning courses.

The Education Materials may not be used for personal profit.

The Education Materials may not be provided to students who are not enrolled in a Member's class, nor may copies be provided to other faculty who are not members of the IBM Academic Initiative.


Additional details by IBM product and brand

  • Tivoli software may be used for non-commercial research and teaching concepts supporting the Tivoli pillars of performance, availability, configuration and operations; storage; and security. Tivoli products MAY NOT be used in commercial research for configuration management, software distribution/inventory, network monitoring, storage or security systems. They may not be used in classes formally addressing these concepts. The use of Tivoli products to maintain the infrastructure within the institution, or for the performance of other administrative functions, is prohibited under the IBM Academic Initiative. Tivoli products may NOT be used for commercial research in any capacity. Tivoli products may be used to as aids in teaching concepts that support all Tivoli "pillars" (performance, availability configuration and operations, storage, security and asset management).
  • DB2 and Informix Dynamic Server may be used to teach the concepts, theory or procedures of database structures, database administration, or similar database-related courses. DB2 may also be used in noncommercial research to store, organize and query data.
  • WebSphere Application Server may be used to teach concepts, theory or procedures in web application development.
  • AIX products may not be used as the operating system in a lab that is not used to facilitate the teaching and/or learning of development concepts, theories and procedure
  • Cluster/scalable parallel (SP) software (CSM, PSSP, and so forth) may not be used to support clusters in a lab that is not used to facilitate the teaching, learning and/or research of clustering and parallelization development concepts, theories and procedures.
  • Lotus communications and collaboration software may be used only to teach IBM software, hardware or technology or for non-commercial research. The products are for the use of IBM Academic Initiative members for the duration of their membership in the IBM Academic Initiative, and for students enrolled in their course or project for the duration of that specific course or project. When an IBM Academic Initiative member does not renew membership, and/or when the specific class or project is completed, the member and students rights to use the Lotus Product are terminated. Lotus Learning products (for example, Learning Management System and Workplace Collaborative Services) may not be used to deliver courses remotely for a fee or to deliver non-IBM content. Lotus Notes, Lotus Workplace, Lotus Sametime, Lotus Quickr and other Lotus products, cannot be used for communications and collaboration by administrators, IT staff, or faculty who are not Members, nor students of non-Members. Educational use of communications and collaboration products (for example, Lotus Notes, Lotus Connections, Lotus Sametime and Lotus Quickr) includes the use of these products for communication and collaboration between Members and students enrolled in their courses. Members may use these Lotus Products to make or correct assignments, communicate with their students concerning course-related matters, and manage content for classes or research. Students may use the Lotus Products to turn in assignments, request help from, or communicate with, their professor (the Member), work with other students enrolled in the Member's course, or manage class or project content. Students may not utilize the Lotus Products made available through the Academic Initiative for personal use.

Please refer to the IBM Academic Initiative Program Agreement for specific license rights.

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