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Dallas County Schools Technology Department

Policy on Illegal Software and Material


Refer to this material from the signed Acceptable Use Policy.
II. B. Unacceptable Uses of Network.
Among the uses that are considered unacceptable and which constitute a violation of this Policy
are the following: uses that violate the law or encourage others to violate the law.
IV. Privacy
The Dallas County School District reserves the right to monitor, inspect, copy, review and
store at any time and without prior notice any and all usage of the computer network
You may not be aware of it, but if you answer "yes" to any of the questions below, you've probably
violated copyright law.
Have you ever:
- given a copy of your software to a friend or coworker?
-"borrowed" someone's software to try it out, then never purchased it?
- given away an old version of software when you received an upgrade?
- installed "single-user" software on several computers in your classroom?
- installed software purchased by your school on your home computer?
- taken copyrighted software from a server or electronic bulletin board
without paying for it?
- downloaded and used copyrighted information, pictures, and or video clips
from the World Wide Web?
Copyright laws are designed to protect the intellectual property rights of individuals and are based
on Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution. While there is a firm sense of right and
wrong when it comes to fair use of physical property, the fair use of computers and related
technology often involves the idea that information is property, and we are often confused about
how to regard non-print information and software.
Software (including portions of a copyrighted program such as graphics, pictures, and video clips)
is automatically protected by federal copyright law from the moment of its creation. * When you
break the seal on a new software package, you agree to accept the terms of the software license
that's inside. Most licenses give software purchasers the right to install a software product on one
computer and make one back-up copy. But licenses do vary, so you need to read the fine print.
You many be violating a license without knowing it.
Public or private educational institutions are not exempt from copyright law. To the contrary,
because of their unique position of influence, schools must remain committed to upholding the
law. Just as it would be wrong to buy one textbook and photocopy it for use by other students, it is
wrong for a school to duplicate software (or to allow its faculty or students to do so) without
authorization from the publisher.
* The only exception to this is information used from the Digital Curriculum and/or public
domain resources, or ones where you have been given permission, in such case, make sure to
keep the documentation that proves you are within the legal use of those items.