-Software and copyright-
Current copright and patent laws are inapropriate for computer software; their imposition slows
down software development and reduces competition.
From the first computer as we know them, the ENIAC, computer software has become more and more
important. From thousands of bytes on miles of paper to millions of bytes on a thin piece of tin foil
sandwitched between two pieces of plastic, software has played an important part in the world. Computers
have most likely played an important role in all our lives, from making math easier with calculators, to
having money on the go with ATM machines. However, with all the help that has been given to us, we
haven't done anything for software and the people who write it. Software by nature is completely
defenseless, as it is more or less simply intellectual property, and not a physical thing, thus very
easily copied. Copied software does not make money for its creators, and thus they charge more for whats
not copied, and the whole industry inflates.
There are two categories of intellectual property. The first one is composed of writing, music,
and films,which are covered by copyright. Inventions and innovations are covered by patent. These two
categories have covered for years many kinds of work with little or no conflict. Unfortunately, it is
not that easy when dealing with such a complex matter as computer software. When something is typed on
a computer, it is considered writting, as it is all written words and numbers. However, when executed by
the computer, it functions like an invention, performing a specific task as instructed by the user.
Thus, software falls into both categories (Del Guercio 22-24). It is generally covered today by
copyright laws, for most mass market software at least. More advanced software or programming...