Novel Ruling

Software can be copyrighted

Copyright laws, ruled the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia last week, are "not confined to literature in the nature of Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls." Having made that point, the court's three judges went on to extend the protection of copyright laws to computer software, the virtually indecipherable strings of Is and Os that give instructions to make a computer work. The software industry, which is expected to be a $6 billion business by 1985, according to Dataquest, a California research firm, has been fighting a rearguard battle...

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