Software Copyright Declaration and Compliance Observation (SCDCO)


To facilitate research, teaching and learning support, the University maintains an open environment. In congruence with this open-environment principle, rights are granted to computer users to install software on their computers and computer systems.

At the same time, the Copyright Ordinance and other relevant ordinances require everyone to use legally licensed software. Software copyright infringement is a criminal offense in Hong Kong, with a maximum penalty of four years’ imprisonment and a fine of HK$50,000 per infringing copy.

The University’s aim is to assist staff in complying with the relevant laws through the implementation of Software Copyright Declaration and Compliance Observation Procedures.

Please refer to the FAQ for more information.


This applies to all computers owned by the University, including computers assigned to individuals (assignees), like those purchased by research grants , and computers shared in public areas, such as student labs, as well as computers at off-campus sites and at home or mobile locations.

Roles of Department

Each department will provide and maintain licenses for its staff, including software for individual use funded by the University. Each department will keep the relevant records in the department’s general office, and make them available to all staff in the department.

The management of each department will review the status of self-declarations, maintain appropriate records, report the status to upper management and take remedial action if necessary.

Roles of Individual Staff

All staff are responsible for all computers they use/manage. Staff must be aware of and acknowledge their role and liability in relation to software copyright. Staff may purchase licenses for personal and work related use. Licenses and records of self-financed software must be kept and made available if requested by internal and/or external authorities.

Software Copyright Compliance Declaration Procedure

  1. Each department’s general office must maintain a list of computers and the staff members responsible for them, plus a complete list of the department’s software licenses.
  2. All staff members need to review the software installed on their computers annually.
  3. All staff members need to declare through the AIMS that they fully understand the Software Copyright requirements and their responsibilities, and confirm that there is no software infringement on any computers under their use/management. If staff member re-assigns an assigned computer to another individual, the new assignee becomes responsible for the software installed on that computer.
  4. Each department’s general office must report the number of staff who completed and the number of staff who did not complete the annual declaration form.
  5. Each department must report its software copyright awareness status to department management, who must review the status and take remedial action if necessary.

Compliance Observation Procedure

  1. The objective of the observation procedure is to allow the University Management to have continually updated information on the adequacy of the campus license coverage and software compliance with minimal disturbance to University operations.
  2. The Central IT will sample a number of retired computers periodically to assess the level of software compliance in the University for reporting to the Management