Software, Copyright, and Competition: The Look and Feel of the Law

Software, Copyright, and Competition: The Look and Feel of the Law

by Anthony L. Clapes

Hardcover

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Overview

This book deals comprehensively with the question of the scope of copyright protection for computer programs. Offering a unique blend of scholarship, technical rigor, and readability, it dispels the confusion and controversy that surround the application of copyright law to computer programs. Through an orderly development of facts and analysis it shows why the copyright law is the appropriate regime for software protection and explains the nature of copyright protection for software. Alternating between essay format and case study, the book provides expert counsel to those interested in this interface between technology and law. Software, Copyright, and Competition: The 'Look and Feel' of the Law, is undoubtedly one of the best pieces of legal scholarship in any subject this editor has ever had the pleasure to read. As to its subject matter, it is the best analysis of 'look and feel' written to date. . . . The book is very readable. Not only does the author 'explain' the law for the non-lawyer, but he explains the 'zen' of computer programming to the non-programmer. With wit and insight he puts to rest the many old wives tales the legal community believes about programmers. . . . In the best of all possible worlds, this book would be mandatory reading for any judge or arbitrator faced with a 'look and feel' case. The Software Law Bulletin, January 1990

Two forces, innovation and imitation, fuel the intense competition that underlies the dramatic technological progress taking place in the computer industry. As the competitive battleground shifts increasingly to the software sector, a vigorous debate has arisen over whether the principal legal regime for protecting the asset value of computer programs—the copyright law—encourages or inhibits that competition. Industry executives, computer lawyers, law professors and lawmakers alike are participating in the debate, the outcome of which will quite literally shape the future of the computer industry.

This book deals comprehensively with the question of the scope of copyright protection for computer programs. Offering a unique blend of scholarship, technical rigor, and readability, it dispels the confusion and controversy that surround the application of copyright law to computer programs. Through an orderly development of facts and analysis it shows why the copyright law is the appropriate regime for software protection and explains the nature of copyright protection for software. Alternating between essay format and case study, the book provides expert counsel to those interested in this interface between technology and law.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780899305073
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/06/1989
Pages: 247
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

ANTHONY L. CLAPES is a Senior Corporate Counsel at IBM and is presently responsible for managing IBM's intellectual property and antitrust litigation. For many years he has represented IBM in large and complex cases. Much of his recent casework has related to software copyrights. Mr. Clapes has lectured on copyright law as it applies to computer programs in numerous symposia, and he is the co-author of an influential law article on the subject: Silicon Epics and Binary Bards: Determining the Proper Scope of Copyright Protection for Computer Programs, 34 UCLA L. Rev.1493 (Winter 1987).

Table of Contents

Introduction

Setting the Stage

Learning from the Past

The Business of Writing Software

Apple v. Franklin

Castles in the Air, and on Diskette

The Art of Programming

Writing for Computers

Programming Languages: The SAS Case

Programming Structures: The Synercom Case

Programming Flow

Program Logic and Other Elements of Expression

Whelan v. Jaslow

The Shaping of the Invisible

The Range of Programming Expression

NEC v. Intel

Bright Lines and Gray Areas: The Frybarger Case

The "Dissemination" Argument: Broderbund v. Unison World

Clean Rooms and Fright Wigs: The Plains Cotton Case and Some Principles for Software Clones

Rights of Copyright Owners: The Softklone Case

IBM v. Fujitsu

An Introduction to Compatibility

Compatibility Demons: Johnson v. Uniden and Further Principles for Software Clones

The "Look and Feel" Cases

Into the Corrida

Index

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