The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) will pay a computer trade group $300,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging that copyrighted computer programs were being unlawfully duplicated for use in schools.

The settlement, approved Feb. 9 by the LAUSD school board, also requires the district to spend $1.5 million over the next three years on an eight-member team to find and eliminate any unauthorized software and to train staff and students on district policy prohibiting the unlawful duplication of computer programs.

The Business Software Alliance, an organization formed by Microsoft Corp., Novell Inc., and other computer software companies, alleged that the West Valley Occupational Center in Woodland Hills used unauthorized copies of numerous types of software, including Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop.

The group said it had found at least 1,399 copies of software that it contended were being used without authorization and asked for more than $562,000 in compensation.

LAUSD officials admitted no wrongdoing, but their legal counsel recommended settling to avoid an even more costly court battle.