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

Arnoud Galactus Engelfriet galactus at stack.nl
Mon May 20 09:45:54 UTC 2002

Giovanni Biscuolo wrote:
> Il lun, 2002-05-06 alle 22:50, João Miguel Neves ha scritto:
> > On Seg, 2002-05-06 at 18:22, MJ Ray wrote:
> > > goes far beyond that.  Why?  To copyright law, isn't software just another
> > > written work?  We still need to say how software can be used and who can
> > > republish it.
> > > 
> > No, to copyright law software is not just another written work.
> In Europe, the Council Directive 91/250/EC on the legal protection of
> comuputer programs states (art. 1) that computer programs are protected
> al literary works within the meaning of the Berne Convention.

Right, but it doesn't categorize computer programs as "written works".
The Berne Convention gives different rights for certain types of
rights. For example, the scope of copyright protection on designs
and models may vary from country to country (art. 2(7) BC).

> Databases are not software and are not "protected" by the same laws.

The database Directive (96/9/EC) declares original databases to
be protected by copyright.

Article 3 

1. In accordance with this Directive, databases which, by reason of the
selection or arrangement of their contents, constitute the author's own
intellectual creation shall be protected as such by copyright. No other
criteria shall be applied to determine their eligibility for that



Arnoud Engelfriet, (almost) Dutch patent attorney - Speaking only for myself
Patents, copyright and IPR explained for techies:  http://www.iusmentis.com/

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