Software Copyright's Oracle from the Cloud

43 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2013

See all articles by Lothar Determann

Lothar Determann

Freie Universität Berlin; Baker & McKenzie LLP; Berkeley School of Law; University of California Hastings College of the Law

David Nimmer

Irell & Manella LLP

Date Written: May 31, 2013


It was never a happy marriage. Computer software and copyright law came from different families, embodied disparate values, pursued separate interests. So, even though the latter became the vehicle to secure legal protection for the former, the union was never smooth — even on the wedding day. At present, the plates are flying with ever more reckless abandon, as the open source movement has been active to turn copyright into “copyleft,” courts around the world are reshaping the first sale doctrine, and software manufacturers flee from distribution to service models, into the Cloud. With a perfect storm brewing, this Article steps in to offer some mild marital counseling.

Keywords: computer software, copyright protection, cloud interoperability

Suggested Citation

Determann, Lothar and Determann, Lothar and Nimmer, David, Software Copyright's Oracle from the Cloud (May 31, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Lothar Determann (Contact Author)

Baker & McKenzie LLP ( email )

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Freie Universität Berlin ( email )

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Berkeley School of Law ( email )

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University of California Hastings College of the Law ( email )

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David Nimmer

Irell & Manella LLP ( email )

1800 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 900
Los Angeles, CA 90067
United States
310-277-1010 or (310) 203-7079 (Phone)

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