Information for Parents
Helping your child to surf safely and responsibly.
Your child may be participating in B4USurf, an educational program designed to educate students to respect copyrights, especially when using computer software. Made possible by the BSA | The Software Alliance, the foremost organization dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world, this program also helps children understand the dangers they may face online and encourages them to use computer technology responsibly.
In school, your child could be learning the rules against “piracy”—or making copies of copyrighted work without permission. Like shoplifting, piracy is a form of stealing and can have serious legal consequences. We hope that you will build on these important lessons at home. The material here includes background information for you about recognizing and avoiding software piracy. There is also a downloadable mini-poster that lists Internet safety tips. Discuss these tips with your child and then hang or place the mini-poster near your home computer as a reminder to everyone to respect other people’s work and to make smart choices while online.
B4USurf – Some Questions to Ask
Can I make copies of the software I purchase?
Can I make copies of software that I borrow?
It is illegal to make copies of other people’s software without the copyright holder’s permission. This includes putting a copy of the software on your computer. The only legal way to use someone else’s software is to use it on their computer.
Can I use file-sharing software to exchange software with others over the Internet?
People who use file-sharing sites to upload and download copyrighted software without permission may be exposed to potential legal liability. File-sharing software:
- Gives other people access to your computer’s hard drive and can lead to theft of the private information you have stored there, such as medical, financial and other personal records.
- Increases the chances that your computer will be attacked or disabled by a computer virus.
- May contain spyware, which is designed to report information about your online activities to a third party, compromising your computer’s performance in the process.
What are the consequences of piracy?
Criminal penalties for violating copyright can result in criminal penalties. These penalties could apply even when the violation does not involve material gain. Copyright violators can also be sued for damages in civil court. In addition, parents of underage violators may be exposed to legal liabilities, even if they were unaware of their child’s actions.
Use These Tips to Avoid Risks:
- Respect all forms of intellectual property that you find online—computer software, songs, stories, pictures, games, and movies.
- Never accept illegal copies of computer software online or on disk.
- Make sure you have permission from the copyright owner before you make a copy.
- Never borrow or share computer software.
- Beware of super discount computer software—you’re probably buying an illegal copy.
- Protect your identity on the Internet—never give out personal information or agree to meet an unknown “friend” without a parent’s permission.