Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Property Rights in Computer Software

I think that copyright is one of the software ownerships, which is protected by a form of computer software ownership, (this means that you are not allowed to distribute copies of it, not allowed to reproduce a copyrighted work and not allowed to perform or exhibit the copyrighted work to public) and obtained that you can own the expressions of ideas, but not own the ideas themselves. It means that software developer or any software company can get the idea of the software and produces a kind of copy of it. It is legal to it, because it was the copied idea.

According to the copyright laws only protect the program, but both source code and object code are understood in copyright law to be literary works, that is formal expression of ideas. It is not mainly to protect the software as well, because the code of the software is in reality of only a piece of the software. This is a problem similar to what I mentioned above; your competitor can study idea without directly coping, make comparable and create better software sometimes, because it was idea that they copied, there is nothing you can do about it. The behaviour of software is another aspect that is not protected by copyright. This is a quite interesting example which was happened a conflict between Linux and Windows Microsoft for a couple of years ago. When Linux was produced a new version of operative system, is called Lindows. The Lindows operative system from Linux looked and behaved like Windows operative system of Microsoft. Microsoft got a risk on head and was afraid this could be reason to lose customers. That was why Microsoft took to court against Linux, but this complicated problem was solved at the court, as it did not actually infringe any copyright laws. I think that this is a opened problem which will often be in the future, if we do not have any copyrights law that can protect the behaviour.

Trade secrecy laws are another form of protection. The trade secrecy laws seem to me that it involves an aspect of people doing. You are an employees in the computer software company (whatever company) and have job like; software designer, software developer etc. You know that you are not allowed to give away or disclose information about how the company created the software or any kind of trading of secrets.

Patent laws are another form of protection which is one of the tree protections and has a strongest form of protection for computer software. When you found out something new and proof that you was only one to invent. This means that you have a patent with rights to exclude others from making, using or selling the invention and the right to license others to make, use or sell it.

I am not defending arguments to bring up against ownership of computer software, because I know that the owner of the software or some software development companies use a lot of money to create software. I also know that the owners have to use much time to test, design, redesign, and evaluate the software, before it is out for using. I believe that we have to pay the software we use, is a kind of owner’s payment. Except some software are like Novell Server, Microsoft Windows Server etc. too expensive. You do not have chance to own one, but those expensive software are special for company or for who are very interested. As you know that some software has a period of trial which normally gives users 30 days trial duration. If you keep on to use the trial software after finishing 30 days trial, so you are able to pay the owner for a licence.

In conclusion I think that we users have to respect ownership, because if you do not give owner respectfully and use software for free that is a kind of stealing. Ok, now you image that you own a car, or bicycle which is parking outside your house or on street. Someone walks through the house and take it away without asking you that is stealing. If you say that you do not own the car or the bicycle. What can you do to stop someone taking the car?

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