After 30 Years, the Debate Over Software Protection is Still Noisy


Copyright Act, CONTU, software

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Nearly 30 years ago, Congress established the National Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works (CONTU) to study whether the Copyright Act should apply to software. Today the basic issue of whether copyright law should protect software seems rather quaint-not only copyright, but patent, trade secret, trademark and contract law can all protect software. Yet, the debate about the scope of legal protection for software is just as noisy, vigorous and important today as it was 30 years ago.