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Is Copyright Law Steering the Right Course?
September/October 1988 (vol. 5 no. 5)
pp. 78-86

The Whelan decision, a landmark copyright decision, has questioned the legality of reusing the abstractions and structures underlying software. The author argues that this is a flawed decision that could harm software-engineering practice. She discusses copyright versus patent protection, describes the Whelan case, and critiques the decision. She addresses the legal handling of software in general, arguing that it more reasonably ought to be protected by patent than by copyright.

Index Terms:
copyright law; Whelan decision; software-engineering; patent protection; legal handling; computer software; industrial property; legislation
Citation:
Pamela Samuelson, "Is Copyright Law Steering the Right Course?," IEEE Software, vol. 5, no. 5, pp. 78-86, Sept.-Oct. 1988, doi:10.1109/52.7945
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