Computer Software Copyright


Maine School Administrative District No. 31


It is the intent of Maine School Administrative District No. 31 to adhere to the provisions of copyright laws in the area of microcomputer programs. Though there continues to be controversy regarding interpretation of those copyright laws, the following procedure represents a sincere effort to operate legally. We recognize that computer software piracy is a major problem for the industry and that violations of computer copyright laws contribute to higher costs and greater efforts to prevent copies and/or lessen incentives for the development of effective educational uses of microcomputers. Therefore, in an effort to discourage violation of copyright laws and to prevent such illegal activities:

1. The ethical and practical problems caused by software piracy will be an integral part of any computer instructional usage.

2. District employees will be expected to adhere to the provisions of Public Law 96-517, Section 7(b) which amends Section 117

of Title 17 of the United States Code allow for the making of a back-up copy of computer programs. This states that "…it is not

an infringement for the owner of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that

computer program provided:

A. That such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction

with a machine and that it is used in no other manner.

B. That such a new copy and adaptation is for archival purposes only and that all archival copies are destroyed in the event

that continued possession of the computer program should cease to be rightful.

C. The only exceptions are those which may be found in a signed or unsigned license agreement or contract accompanying the

software or purchase and available at all times.

3. When software is to be used on a disk sharing system, efforts will be made to secure this software from copying.

4. Illegal copies of copyrighted programs may not be made or used on school equipment.

5. The legal or insurance protection of the District will not be extended to employees who violate copyright laws.

6. The Principal of each building is designated as the individual who may sign license agreements for software for the building

under their direct supervision (only) after consulting with the Superintendent of Schools.

7. The Principal of each school site is responsible for establishing practices which will enforce this policy at the school level.

First Reading: 03/19/1997

Adopted: 04/16/1997

Updated: 05/21/2008