On Stealing Software

by Daniel T. Brooks, Computer Law Advisers, Springfield, Va.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1984, Vol. 54, Issue 10, Pg. 33-35

Document Type: Feature article


Current estimates of illegal software copying vary from two to ten copies per program on the market. The Copyright Act of 1976 specifically disallows such copying, but much so-called piracy is done by honest computer users who simply wish to have extra copies of programs for backup or other legitimate uses. But firms are liable and several recent lawsuits have focused attention on the problem. Technical protection devices have thus far not been very effective, since they can be broken fairly easily. Also, vendors wish to keep their programs user-friendly. The copyright law is reviewed and current industry efforts to deal with the piracy problem are outlined. New legislation, as well as educational programs, are among those efforts.

Subject Headings: Computer software | Litigation | Industries | Legislation

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