Theoretical Foundations for the Protection of Computer Programs in Developing Countries
Pacific Basin Law Journal, Vol. 13, pp.179-198, 1994
20 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2009
Date Written: 1994
This article addresses the degree to which and the mode in which computer programs should be protected by copyright law in developing countries. Copyright, notwithstanding its very long term of protection and its unwillingness to recognize compulsory licensing, can serve as a useful vehicle for protecting programs. This is possible if the scope of protection is held appropriately narrow and if programs are considered sui generis works requiring legal interpretations unique to their characteristics as technological rather than artistic products. Copyright law can be effective in achieving the antipiracy goal of protecting code (1) if the scope of protection is appropriately limited to that goal; (2) if interface protection is separated from any copyright in the program generating the interface; and (3) if there exists a fair use principle allowing interim copying of programs for a legitimate purpose, such as extracting and using copyright unprotected ideas and interface information. Copyright protection of programs can equally meet the needs of developing countries, provided that limitations are applied to its interpretation.
Keywords: Copyright, Developing Countries, Computer Programming
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