Question - Software No Longer Commercially Available

The agronomy technology department owns an old version of a software program and wants to purchase additional copies of the program but finds that the program no longer is commercially available. There are a number of features in the version of the software that the members of the department like, so the department is not interested in purchasing the new version of the program. Can't the department just make copies of the version of the program it has and distribute it to department members?

No. The fact that the software program is no longer commercially available does not affect the software company's copyrights. Copying software may only be done in accordance with the software licensing agreement. In this instance, if the department does not have a grant of permission to make additional copies of the program, it may not do so. The department likely will have to purchase upgrades or the new version of the software.