Copyright for Computer Software
Copyright is the exclusive right to reproduce, publish, and
sell the matter and form of a literary, musical or artistic work.
How my I use computer software?
Use of a computer program is usually governed by a license agreement, so it depends...Some Licenses say you may freely make copies, other say you must pay a fee to use the software, or to install the software onto multiple machines. This is a contractual agreement and it supersedes the copyright restrictions. You may not decompile a program and us a program instructions in new programs. You may not defeat any form of copy protection built into the program. You may not defeat any form of copy protection built into the program. You may not us a single user version of software on a network. You may not install a program on more than one computer at a time without express, written permission from the copyright owner. This means that you cannot install the program on your computer at home and your computer at school unless you own two copies of the program or have permission to do so from the copyright owner or the software license. Depending on the program, you may also be limited in what you can do with the output of the program. Some educational licenses restrict what you can do with computer output, or mark the output as educational material. You may not defeat these copy restrictions.
What about printed materials that come with software?
Computer manuals and documentation are covered in the same manner as computer programs. You may not make multiple copies of computer documentation for classes. Copying a computer program intended for single user onto a network is the same as making multiple copies of the program. It's a no-no. A network license if required to load a computer program onto a network, despite the fact that the program may, indeed, work in a network environment. Do don't do it.
How long can I keep it?
As long as you own the program, you may keep a copy of a computer program on your hard drive and a backup copy in addition to the original diskettes or CD. If you should lose the copy on the hard drive, you may reload the program form the original or backup disks. If you sell or transfer the program to another person, you must transfer all diskettes and documentation to the new owner, and you must remove all copies of the program from the computer's hard drive and memory.
This brochure was reprinted from Copyright for Schools: A Practical Guide, 5th edition,
by Carol Simpson, Linworth Publishing, copyright 2010.