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Software and Copyright

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:29 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 65.7 
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Current copright and patent laws are inapropriate for computer software; their imposition slows

down software development and reduces competition.

From the first computer as we know them, the ENIAC, computer software has become more and more

important.   From thousands of bytes on miles of paper to millions of bytes on a thin piece of tin foil

sandwitched between two pieces of plastic, software has played an important part in the world.   Computers

have most likely played an important role in all our lives, from making math easier with calculators, to

having money on the go with ATM machines.   However, with all the help that has been given to us, we

haven't done anything for software and the people who write it.   Software by nature is completely

defenseless, as it is more or less simply intellectual property, and not a physical thing, thus very

easily copied.   Copied software does not make money for its creators, and thus they charge more for whats

not copied, and the whole industry inflates.

There are two categories of intellectual property.   The first one is composed of writing, music,

and films,which are covered by copyright.   Inventions and innovations are covered by patent.   These two

categories have covered for years   many kinds of work with little or no conflict.   Unfortunately, it is

not that easy when dealing with   such a complex matter as computer software.   When something is typed on

a computer, it is considered writting, as it is all written words and numbers.   However, when executed by

the computer, it functions like an invention, performing a specific task as instructed by the user.

Thus, software falls into both categories (Del Guercio 22-24).   It is generally covered today by

copyright laws, for most mass market software at least.   More advanced software or programming

techniques, however, can be patented, as...


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