ERIC Number: ED426486
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Nov
Licensing and the Consequences of Pirating Software: What Schools Should Know.
Julka, Michael J.
Inquiry & Analysis, p 1-3 Nov 1997
This article presents an overview of the laws governing the use of computer software, along with an outline of precautions school districts should take to reduce the potential for liability. In 1964 the U.S. Copyright Office began to register software as a form of literary expression. This was followed by the Software Rental Amendments Act, which prohibited the commercial renting, leasing, or lending of software without the express written permission of the copyright holder. The exception to the law was educational institutions, which were allowed to transfer possession of lawfully made copies of computer programs. This did not mean that educational institutions had authority to illegally copy software. There are many types of software piracy, a common form being unlicensed copying, also known as softlifting, where an organization that has a limited number of licenses for a program makes extra copies to meet demand. Some of the consequences of pirating software include large fines, jail terms, and civil action. Enforcement of software copyrights includes litigation, raids, and audits. School districts can implement various measures to reduce incidents of software piracy by making employees aware of the lawful uses of software. (RJM)
Descriptors: Compliance (Legal), Computer Software, Copyrights, Court Litigation, Elementary Secondary Education, Fair Use (Copyrights), Federal Regulation, Legal Responsibility, School Districts
NSBA Council of School Attorneys, 1680 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 (by subscription: $75 for 6 bimonthly issues).
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National School Boards Association, Alexandria, VA. Council of School Attorneys.