software from previous computer

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  • Years ago, our school district purchased computers with bundled educational software. The computers since have been replaced twice with newer models. We still have the old software but the question is the copyright issue. Can we legally put the software on the new computers since we don't own the computers that accompanied the software?
    Thank you.
  • I'd start by checking for any license agreements or terms of use attached to the particular software. Often you can find these linked from the drop-down Help menu. In addition, you might look into whether or not there was a license agreement involved in the school district's purchase of the computers and bundled software. Perhaps the people in your procurement dept. would have a copy of such an agreement?

    Failing that, I'd probably assume that you can't re-install the software on your new computers, since software is often licensed and not purchased. Some developers allow personal users to transfer software to another computer if they uninstall the software from the old machine, but I suspect this wouldn't necessarily be the case with an institutional license. But perhaps I'm being overly cautious. Anyone have a different take on this?
  • It sounds like you're talking about OEM software. I run into this situation in the course of my work pretty regularly.

    In general, software licenses can be an iffy thing. Some parts may be valid, some parts may not be valid, depending on your jurisdiction. For the most part, it is safer to assume that the terms are valid unless you have advice from an attorney.

    In my experience, usually that type of software is tied to the hardware by the license, like RDavis mentioned. You'll probably need to check on that if you can, but I haven't really seen otherwise.

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