Can I install free software?

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charly3358
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Can I install free software?

Postby charly3358 » Wed May 14, 2014 4:11 pm

Another question is with regards to free software, can I install Open Office, Reader, Google Drive, Teamviewer, etc free stuff which I'm not completely sure complies with church rules for licensing since its not for personal use but a church building pc? Teamviewer seems to be banned by what I've read so far here. I've searched the forum a bit here regarding to all of this but I'm more confused now than before unfortunately.
Last edited by jdlessley on Wed May 14, 2014 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can I install free software?

Postby jdlessley » Wed May 14, 2014 4:36 pm

[Moderator note: This post was split from the Auto populating for officers sustained form thread opening post. Please follow the Code of Conduct and post only one topic per thread.]

Contact your stake technology specialist (STS). He can help you. He has the responsibility for administrative computer configurations and will counsel with the stake president to approve any software that is not already approved at the RKATS page Third Party Software.

There are also instructions found in Meetinghouse Technology Policy that may be helpful to understand.
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Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

russellhltn
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Re: Can I install free software?

Postby russellhltn » Wed May 14, 2014 5:32 pm

According to 4.13.2 of the Meetinghouse Technology Policy, it appears that only church-approved software can be installed. The Stake President doesn't seem to have any leeway in this issue anymore.
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Re: Can I install free software?

Postby aebrown » Wed May 14, 2014 8:50 pm

russellhltn wrote:According to 4.13.2 of the Meetinghouse Technology Policy, it appears that only church-approved software can be installed. The Stake President doesn't seem to have any leeway in this issue anymore.

I can't imagine that you're reading that section properly. I don't see how "Church-approved" can possibly mean "not third-party," although that seems to be the conclusion you are drawing. There's an entire article on RKATS titled "Other Software and Tools" that specifically mentions several third-party tools. It talks about free applications, and even describes the procedure for purchasing other commercial third-party software.

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Re: Can I install free software?

Postby russellhltn » Wed May 14, 2014 11:32 pm

aebrown wrote:I don't see how "Church-approved" can possibly mean "not third-party,"

It doesn't. But the OP seemed to have a open-ended list of software ("etc free stuff").

The policy says "Only Church-approved, licensed software is permitted for installation on Church computers." I'm not sure what your interpretation of "Church-approved" is, but it doesn't sound like an open-ended list to me.

To go over the OP's list:
  • Open Office - OK
  • Reader - Assuming Adobe or Foxit, OK
  • Google Drive - Not listed. Even if allowed, care must be taken with what is stored there.
  • Teamviewer - Not listed, and per LDSTech broadcast on June 1, 2012, prohibited due to "personal use only" licensing restriction.
  • etc free stuff - If not listed, probably not.
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Re: Can I install free software?

Postby aebrown » Thu May 15, 2014 4:55 am

russellhltn wrote:I'm not sure what your interpretation of "Church-approved" is, but it doesn't sound like an open-ended list to me.

It's not my interpretation that matters. The Other Software and Tools article I linked to makes the list almost open-ended, as long as the stake follows the listed procedure. There are other policies that might well make cloud-based storage or remote control software out of policy, but that's not because of licensing per se.

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Re: Can I install free software?

Postby russellhltn » Thu May 15, 2014 9:49 am

I fail to see how that makes it "church-approved". There is no approval process listed.
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charly3358
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Re: Can I install free software?

Postby charly3358 » Thu May 15, 2014 10:22 am

Sorry about the rules problem here...I didn´t read any of those rules before posting because of the hurry...

Thanks for the guide here.

About the free software I was basically trying to get a feel for installing anything that is freely available, including things like maybe AVC or Freemake video converters or AVG or others not mentioned above. But reading more, and the answers here, I suppose it is safer to stick to what is listed in those links above (RKATS). I did speak with the STS , who is a good man and a very, very good pc salesperson but he wasn´t sure about any of this, well he didn´t know so, maybe those senior couple tech specialists would fit in well here!

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Re: Can I install free software?

Postby aebrown » Thu May 15, 2014 10:31 am

russellhltn wrote:I fail to see how that makes it "church-approved". There is no approval process listed.

Although there is not an explicit "approval" process, there is a process for submitting proof of license to a Church email address. I assume (but admittedly do not know) that if there were some problem with a piece of software, then when the license is submitted, whoever handles that email would send a reply to that effect. The lack of a rejection of the license submission could be considered to be an approval.

You seem to be taking the position that your interpretation of the meaning of "Church-approved" in the Meetinghouse Technology Policy is correct, and therefore much of the Other Software and Tools article should be disregarded. I'm taking the position that the detailed process listed in Other Software and Tools was written for a reason, and that a correct interpretation of the Meetinghouse Technology Policy should not render that process completely irrelevant.

In any case, there does seem to be a conflict between the obvious reading of these two articles, and it would be much better if the two articles were written to be clearly consistent. This is an important point, and it shouldn't be this hard to understand exactly what the policy is.

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Re: Can I install free software?

Postby russellhltn » Thu May 15, 2014 10:34 am

aebrown wrote:In any case, there does seem to be a conflict between the obvious reading of these two articles, and it would be much better if the two articles were written to be clearly consistent. This is an important point, and it shouldn't be this hard to understand exactly what the policy is.


Agreed.

Part of my stand is that one is labeled as "policy" and the other isn't. While the date stamp doesn't show it, I remember the policy came later, and therefore is more current in the other page.
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