Research and Advances

Development of an international system for legal protection of computer programs


Is execution of a program “copying?” If a program is copyrighted, is execution an infringement of the copyright? Is an algorithm, or a program, or a computer running a program, patentable? If a program is licensed as a trade secret to N users with a nondisclosure clause, at what point is N so large as to be the equivalent of publication? How far can old laws be stretched to accommodate new technology? How can developing countries gain access to the computer software they need? Questions such as these increasingly have concerned software developers and lawyers since computer programs first began to be sold. Now international diplomats responding to the call of the developing nations for increased assistance in their development are asking similar questions.

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