what is software and how it is protected (was Re: GFDL (was: EU Copyright..))

Alexandre Dulaunoy alex at conostix.com
Mon May 20 09:25:28 UTC 2002

On 20 May 2002, Giovanni Biscuolo wrote:

> Anyway, EUCD clearly states that the whole directive (2001/29/EC) does
> in no way affect the legal protection of *computer programs* (art. 1:
> scope).
> Furthermore, "whereas # 50" states that the legal protection of tech
> measures (provided in EUCD) should not apply to the protection of tech
> measures used in connection with computer programs, which is exclusively
> addressed in that Directive (91/250/EC). Also EUCD should neither
> inhibit nor prevent the development or use of any means of circumventing
> a tech measure that is necessary to enable acts to be undertaken in
> accordance with Art. 5 (exceptions to restricted acts) or Art. 6
> (decompiling). [1]
> It seems that in USA, with DMCA, the situation is a little bit
> different.

It's not so easy. As a directive, the national law implementation of EUCD 
(for example the belgium project law (update of the author right law)) is 
on all author right production. (including software) 

Yes for the objective of the Directive you are right. But it's quite 
dangerous and ambiguous because they say : 

"This Directive concerns the legal protection of copyright and related 
rights in the framework of the internal market, with particular emphasis 
on the information society."

and as you say : 

"2. Except in the cases referred to in Article 11, this Directive shall 
leave intact and shall in no way affect existing Community provisions 
relating to:
(a) the legal protection of computer programs; 
(b) rental right, lending right and certain rights related to copyright in 
the field of intellectual property;
(c) copyright and related rights applicable to broadcasting of programmes 
by satellite and cable retransmission;
(d) the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights;
(e) the legal protection of databases."

Where is the ambiguous part ? Information society versus all the point.

information society MINUS (a)(b)(c)(d)(e). 

What is the rest ?

I think the directive is creating a legal space for limiting freedom. 

"We don't need such type of Directive". 

> > So no, software is not just
> > another written work, nor in copyright law, nor in its own nature.
> > -- 
> >					João Miguel Neves
> [1] I argue that, for example, DeCCs (please forget upper/lowercase)
> should be legal in Europe even with EUCD enacted. Where I am wrong!?!?

Alexandre Dulaunoy			adulau at conostix.com

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