Quiz 10: Intellectual Property Rights and the Internet


a. True. Computer software is copyrightable. In fact, code for a program and its important functions code can be protected. Enforcement is given by laws such as Computer Software Copyright Act (CSPA) and Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) b. False. A conspicuous copyright notice is not required to claim copyright protection, as long as the software was original and innovative when created. However, having such notice grants better protection. c. False. Software written in source code and machine language code is copyrightable. E.g. translating a copyrighted work in another language doesn't dissolve the copyright protection. d. False. The copyright limit of USA is life of the author + 70 years. This exceeds 20 years.

As per the stated case, XC Corp. Ltd. was found to be imitating the designs of S café locations in city S. In light of the case, three parties, that is, S, W, S Corporation have a clear standing to bring suit in country C against XC Corp. Ltd. since the company violated the US Trademark law. As per the US Trademark Law, a person, company or institution that is found imitating the trademark (symbols, designs, color, shape, size) of other company would face serious legal actions and in extreme cases may face strict imprisonment. Moreover, the plaintiff has to prove that his/her company has a valid design and they were the first one who created the designs. Hence, another's use of the same design would likely to cause confusion to consumers. In such a scenario, parties like S, W and S Corporation would be liable to bring suit against the XC Corp.

Refer to "Copyright Law of the United States" for part a and b, this publication is downloadable from www.copyright.gov to answer questions as below. These answer used the 2011 version. a) True. Refer to section 117 "Limitations on Exclusive Rights: Computer Programs" a2, allows for the copying of a purchased software for back up and in case of machine needed for repair. b) True. Refer to chapter 3 Duration of copyright. Most of the copyright of software works created after January 1, 1978 (section 302) gives life of author + 70 years. These are sufficient for 75 year duration. c) False. Refer to ruling on Feist v. Rural (499 U.S. 340). While, a database itself is generally not copyrightable it doesn't exclude all databases from copyright protection. There just need to be some sort of creativity in displaying the database. d) True. Computer programs that are original works can be copyrightable.

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