Thursday, August 21, 2008

Copy Right Act_28

What are the major provisions in the amended Copyright Act, 1999 with regards to computer programs?

The major provisions are :
(i) the doing of any act necessary to obtain information essential for operating inter-operability of an independently created computer program with other programs by a lawful possessor of a computer program provided that such information is not otherwise readily available;

(ii) the observation, study or test of functioning of the computer program in order to determine the ideas and principles which underline any elements of the program while performing such acts necessary for the functions for which the computer program was supplied;

(iii) the making of copies or adaptation of the computer program from a personally legally obtained copy for non-commercial personal use.

Copy Right Act_27

What notice needs to he put on computer program copies to seek copyright protection?

When a work is published by authority of the copyright owner, a notice of copyright may be placed on publicly distributed copies. As per the Berne Convention for protection of literary and artistic works, to which India is a signatory, use of copyright notice is optional. It is, however, a good idea to incorporate a copyright notice.

Copy Right Act_26

In some of the programs, the screens could be the most commercially significant aspect. Is it necessary to register the program screen separately from the underlying code?
Generally, all copyrightable expressions embodied in a computer program, including screen displays, are protectable. However, unlike a computer program, which is a literary work, screen displays are artistic work and cannot therefore be registered in the same application as that covering the computer program. A separate application giving graphic representation of all copyrightable elements of the screen display is necessary.

Copy Right Act_25

In order to further ensure that secrets are protected, is deposition of computer program in object code permissible?

Although the recent amendment (1994) in the Copyright Act enlarges the meaning of a computer program, it is still not very clear as to whether it includes both object code and source code. However, keeping in mind the proclaimed object of the amendment, presumably the benefit of the Copyright Act will be available to both. As per experts' opinion, it is easier to determine from source code whether the deposit represents copyrightable material. Deposit of object code may be possible, but registration presumably would be accepted pending on assurance that the code does represent copyrightable material. Procedures for these do not exist at present with the Copyright Office.

Copy Right Act_24

What is the rule for the transfer of copyright?

The owner of the copyright in an existing work or prospective owner of the copyright in a future work may assign to any person the copyright, either wholly or partially in the following manner.
for the entire world or for a specific country or territory; or
for the full term of copyright or part thereof ; or
relating to all the rights comprising the copyright or only part of such rights.