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International Software Copyright
International Software Agreement is a Matter of National Security
Is there one governing law concerning international software copyright? According to agreements by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIP) any software written has an automatic copyright. This is a pretty conclusive consensus as far as an international copyright goes. The short answer would have been yes, but this was so much more informative.
An international software copyright should not however be confused with a patent. Copyrights provide creators with the ability to prevent others from directly copying the code involved. A patent can actually limit the use of the software. Because of this, I'm sure you'll understand that patents are a hotly debated topic when it comes to software.
The biggest thing to know about international software copyright is that your code is essentially protected the moment you create it. This is, unless you have some kind of contract through your employer that all code created by your belongs to them (these cases have been known to happen and provide excellent incentives for employees to always read the fine print).
The problem that many companies are running into when it comes to enforcing international software copyright is that computers are not permanent fixtures in a company. Computers are rather disposable hardware when it comes to keeping up with evolving technologies and software needs to be updated when new computers are purchased. Rather than purchasing new copies of software when the computers are replaced companies are notorious for reusing old copies of the software. They are also famous for replacing 10 computers with the software installed with 40 new computers and installing the 10 copies of the software on all 40 computers. This is not in keeping with international software copyright. This is stealing and you'd be surprised at some of the good upstanding companies that do this on a regular basis.
There really are no major differences between traditional policies for American copyright and international software copyright which makes legal issues, troubles, and woes that much easier to deal with. By having a unified international front thee are ramifications and legal actions that can be taken around the world without going through a great deal of international red tape. If you think dealing with the American government is bad, you should see how much fun it is to deal with the American government and another government for a legal action.
The agreement between nations for international software copyright is probably one of the soundest possible decisions that can be made as military secrets of all governments have some degree of software in order to keep them operating. While it isn't quite as simplistic as stealing a computer program to unlock the defense secrets of a nation, having access to certain source codes could be problematic in the absolute best-case scenario. Keeping secrets isn't the only thing that makes this agreement so valuable, it is however, one of the most vital.
Perhaps one of the greatest things to come about as the result of the international agreement to protect and honor software copyright is the peace of mind that is available to software developers in America and other technologically advanced countries that their source code won't be allowed to be stolen and used against them at a later date by someone in a developing nation with cheap labor and other overhead costs that American corporations simply cannot compete with. This could be devastating to the economies of technological societies if it were allowed to happen and the agreement for an international software copyright prevents that from being allowed to occur.
Software copyright act The Software Copyright Act was a Great Step in the Right Direction The software copyright act, which is actually called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act has given software developers a little more power when it comes to protecting their works. If you've bought software in the last few years I'm sure you've noticed some of the changes that have been made in the software buying process. If not, then you really should wake up and take note. Some of the more noteworthy achievements of this act are the following: 1) It is now a crime to go around anti-piracy measures in software. 2) It is no longer legal to make, sale, or give away software or devices that were invented for the purpose of cracking codes enabling the illegal copying of software. 3) Limits the liability that ISPs (as far as copyright infringement violations) when information is transmitted online. The problem isn't the people want to be bad or do something wrong. Most of us by nature want to do the right thing. The problem lies in educating people to the fact that it really is stealing when you bootleg, pirate, illegally download, or otherwise acquire copies of software that you didn't pay for. It's one of those 'white lie' types of crimes for most people and they don't really see how it will hurt anyone for them to copy a game that their brother, cousin, uncle, or friend has. Someone paid for it after all. The problem is that at $50 plus being the average price for computer games and simple software if 10 million people are doing it, the numbers are staggering and they add up quickly. The software copyright act sought to protect businesses from losing money this way. The software copyright act was the worldwide response to a growing problem. This problem was so widespread with illegal downloading of music that lawsuits and massive commercial ad campaigns were initiated in order to curtail illegal downloading activities when it comes to music. It seems to be working to some degree. Fewer people are illegally downloading music; the downside is that these people aren't buying as much music either. The reason is because they are no longer being exposed to the wide variety of music and artists that they were getting freely when downloading music each night at no cost. This equals lower record sales and is becoming a problem of lower movie sales and software sales as well. People aren't trying new games like they could before the software copyright act by going to LAN parties and everyone sharing a copy to play, now everyone has to own a copy before they can play. While this may be great for the companies that make a few (a minimal few at best) extra sales on the games for the sake of a great party but for the most part, it is costing them the extra money that could be made by 10 people finding they liked the game enough to go out and buy it so they could play it whenever (and the next group of 10 they will introduce the game to) Gamers are a funny group and software copyright act or no, they are going to stick with the software and games that serve them best. The software copyright act was created in order to protect the rights of those writing and developing computer software. We want those who fill our lives with fun games, useful tools, and great ways to connect to friends and family to continue providing these great services and to get paid for the ones they've already provided. The software copyright act is one giant step in the right direction as far as I'm concerned.