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Full-Text Articles in Law

Surveying The Borders Of Copyright, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 1994

Surveying The Borders Of Copyright, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

The copyright course I teach at Columbia Law School begins with a survey of what copyright is not: it is not a patent, a trademark, or an object of physical property. Nor, as the course examines a little later on, does copyright protect every object of economic value whose worth might be further enhanced were it to be shielded from unauthorized copying. However, the frontiers between copyright and mere commercial value have never been well defined. Not only may the same item be simultaneously the object of copyright and of other legal rights, but copyright increasingly covers – or is …


The Copyrightability Of Nonliteral Elements Of Computer Programs, Julian Velasco Jan 1994

The Copyrightability Of Nonliteral Elements Of Computer Programs, Julian Velasco

Journal Articles

The goal of copyright law is "[t]o promote the Progress of Science and Useful Arts." It is premised on the assumption that "encourag[ing] . . . individual effort by personal gain is the best way to advance public welfare through the talents of authors . . ." In order to "promote progress," however, copyright law must respond to changes in technology.

One issue that has been problematic for the courts is whether and to what extent the nonliteral elements of computer programs are copyrightable. Nonliteral elements are aspects of the computer program other than the written code itself. Although it …