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COMPUTER LAW ------------------------------------------------------------------ Introduction The explosive growth of the Internet has already impacted the way society functions and has left us with many new laws The laws involve Intellectual Property Rights copyright Cyberspace Law Privacy Commerce Computer Fraud Hacking as well as International Law Below are a few examples Copyright law Typically the primary means of affording legal protection for producers of computer programs computers computer systems etc is by copyright law Copyright Issues Copyright law attempts to balance various interests provide protection of the creators intellectual property so that heshe will have a financial incentive to create and innovate but not so much protection that will too severely inhibit or prevent others from building on the art form Copyright law attempts to balance the rights of the creators users competitors licensees etc Copyright Requirements Copyrights apply to original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression Original means basically not copied The work need not be too original but may not be merely a trivial variation of another work Works of authorship specifically excludes an idea procedure process system method of operation concept principle or discovery So for example an idea cannot be protected by copyright law only the expression of the idea This prevents an author from obtaining a monopoly on an idea merely by writing it down Fixed in any tangible medium of expression includes a piece of paper and computer disk or tape Even though RAM is volatile RAM is included Authorship applies to either the individual creator or to a work for hire eg an employee When an individual creates an original work that individual owns all the rights under copyright law An employer owns the rights when an employee working within the scope of hisher employment creates a work If more than one
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