Software Should Not Be Copyrighted -- Lawsuit

Computer software should not be protected by copyright laws designed for music, literature and other creative works, according to a lawsuit filed in a U.S. court in San Francisco. Intellectual-property consultant Greg Aharonian hopes to convince the court that software makers can protect their products adequately through patents, which provide more comprehensive protection, but are difficult to obtain and expire in a shorter period of time.

The case seeks to clarify which laws the $100 billion U.S. software industry uses to protect its products. Currently, software makers like Microsoft Corp. use both copyright and patent laws to protect their creations, as well as "clickwrap" agreements that stipulate terms of use. An official with a software-industry trade group said not every software product is protected by patents. "If you eliminated the ability to sue somebody for copyright infringement, you would eviscerate our ability to go against pirates," said Emory Simon, counselor for the Business Software Alliance, which estimates that U.S. businesses lost $6.5 billion last year to piracy.

News source: Reuters

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