The below is available as reference for those users participating in the prior version of our annually renewed program.

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.

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

The software that is obtained from the IBM Academic Initiative through is restricted to educational and noncommercial research purposes ONLY by Qualified Academic 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.
  • Research institutions comprised of accredited institutions 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.

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.

Faculty who are registered with 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 faculty 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.

Individual faculty members of a qualified institution may register with to gain access to IBM assets made available by the IBM Academic Initiative. Graduate Teaching Assistants may also register with their school’s credentials.

Registrations with may not be shared among faculty or departments. Each user must register with on their own. This includes a prohibition on sharing membership IDs and passwords with non-members, including students.

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

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

Each user 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 user 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 also registered with Students who withdraw from a course being taught by a faculty 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 registered member of

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.

The Education Materials (all courseware, lab exercises, tests and other related material) 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 for personal profit.

The Education Materials may not be provided to students who are not enrolled in a faculty members’ class, nor may copies be provided to other faculty who are not registered with

Additional details by IBM product and brand

  • IBM may make Watson offerings available for a limited period of time (usually a semester or academic term). Watson may be made available as:
    • Watson Developer Cloud: The Watson Developer Cloud is a cloud-hosted marketplace that includes access to application programming interfaces (APIs), software developer kits, tooling, and methodologies focused on facilitating the use and adoption of cognitive capabilities.
    • Watson Offerings: An instance of the remotely hosted Watson platform on the Watson Developer Cloud that can be accessed using browser-based tools and APIs.

    Faculty must ensure that any student to whom he/she provides access to any Watson Offering has read, understands, and agrees to be bound by the terms of this Agreement and its attachments, including, specifically the IBM Watson Prototype Development Agreement.

  • 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 available for use for the duration of their valid registration with (an annual renewal), and for students enrolled in their course or project for the duration of that specific course or project. When a user does not renew membership with, and/or when the specific class or project is completed, the faculty 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 registered users of, nor students of non registered users. 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 registered users and students enrolled in their courses. Registered members of 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 registered member), work with other students enrolled in the registered 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 current IBM Academic Initiative Program Agreement for specific license rights.