22 September 2005

Software Copyright Overview

To accompany the Software Patent Overview which I mentioned on Tuesday, I have now uploaded a new overview on software copyright law in the UK. It is not quite the same deal that it once was with cases like IBCOS v Barclays Highland [1994] FSR 275 and TIPS v Daman [1992] FSR 171, Whelan v Jaslow [1987] FSR 1 in the USA and Autodesk v Dyason [1992] HCA 2 in Australia, but there is still the off scrap over title to copyright as in Cyprotex Discovery Ltd v University of Sheffield [2004] EWCA Civ 380 (1 April 2004).

As I have lived through this period, wrote the first Atkin Court Forms on computer supply litigation in 1986 and actually appeared as counsel in some of the English cases, I have traced the history from the days of Gates v Swift [1982] RPC 339 through the Copyright (Computer Software) Amendment Act 1987, the early "look and feel" cases on both sides of the Atlantic, the various EC copyright directives, right up to the WIPO Copyright Treaty of the present.

I have also put in a few links to some of the cases that are now on the internet and the UK and US statutes and the directives. There should be plenty of scope for nostalgia if nothing else.

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