Schools ignorant about copyright

11th February 2000 at 00:00
A new survey reveals that many schools are confused about the legalities of copying software.

Forty per cent of schools admit they may be unwittingly breaking the law by illegally copying programs for use at school and home.

Of the 1,500 schools polled in the British Educational Suppliers Assoc-iationEducation Software Publishers Association survey, half of all primaries and 25 per cent of secondaries admitted to being ignorant of the penalties for using unlicensed software.

Although school governors are responsible for ensuring software s legal and licensed, 86 per cent admitted that they had never discussed the issue at a meeting.

Forty-five per cent of information and communications technology coordinators felt they had no one to talk to about licensing issues.

Dominic Savage, BESA's chief executive, said the survey demonstrated a widespread lack of understanding on software licensing, confusion and inconsistencies across Britain. Both associations were working to encourage more standardisation of licences and getting better information about the issue to schools.

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