Software Copyright

Overview Digital information, and inexpensive recording devices and media, have changed the face of copyright laws. What could be easier than popping a blank CD into a burner to make a friend a copy of that great new game you just purchased? It's just as easy to create an .mp3 version of your favorite song and send it via e-mail to all your friends. You might not even know if it's legal or not to make backup copies of your favorite software package, or to install it on both your work and home computers. Legislators scramble to create new laws and upgrade existing laws to cover digital information, but computer technology evolves so quickly that it is often difficult for the lawyers to keep up to date.

Software Copyright Issues The software copyright and licensing world is very fast-paced. What are the current copyright issues? What are some common copyright myths? What are the penalties for software piracy? These questions and more are answered on the “10 Big myths about copyright explained” Web page. To read a variety of information about copyright issues ranging from court cases to software licensing, visit the “Copyright Website” Digital Copyright page at www.benedict.com. Read about the importance of software copyright, from a software developer’s standpoint, at this Nolo.com article

Software Copyright Legislation Learn how today’s software copyright laws and legal actions affect your computer use at www.kuesterlaw.com/. Be sure to click the “Tech Law” link on the home page to read about court cases, laws, and licenses. Visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_license to read about shrink-wrap license agreements and implied licenses, as well as other software copyright issues and the laws that affect them. You can also read the entire text of the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) by following this link

Additional Links Intellectual property is a hot topic that’s related to software copyright. The Electronic Frontier Foundation site contains extensive lists of FAQs, articles, discussions, and research papers about topics ranging from intellectual property to copyright laws. If you are interested in the types of copyright and software licensing issues that face educators and librarians today, then link to this site that is maintained by ERICDigests.org, which includes information on how these professionals comply with software copyright laws when distributing software to multiple computers.