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How to copyright software
How to Copyright Software Sanely
If you're wondering how to copyright software the good news is you've probably already done it. At least you have if you have ever written software. Most people however get confused over exactly what having a copyright for their software means and this is the trickier question to answer. First of all, thinking it isn't going to do it and you can't really copyright the things you think.
Second, only those things that can be seen (when it comes to software) can be copyrighted. If you want to protect the abstract, look into patents. Otherwise if it is original, fixed, and tangible you can copyright it. Essentially you already know how to copyright software if you've put it into a finished form. Once you've written the source code the copyright belongs to you.
Copyrighting software doesn't offer the protection that many people hope it will. The idea of the software and anything about the finished product that wasn't available in a tangible (visible) form isn't protected by the copyright. In fact the only thing that is undeniably protected by copyright when it comes to software is the source code. The question you should be asking is now how to copyright software, it is how to patent your software and that requires a much more involved and prolonged explanation.
To obtain a patent for your software you must apply for a patent in each country that offers patents for software and in which you wish to have the protection a patent can offer. I warned you this was much trickier than how to copyright software. Then it gets trickier still. There is no universal legal definition of what a software patent is so each country that offers patents also has a different definition for what is protected by that patent as well as for why a patent will be granted. If you want to add to the confusion a little more while wondering how to copyright software, also consider the fact that your software may be given a patent in one of the countries where you applied and none of the others.
Of course, if this is not enough fun for you, you can try to deal with the red tape involved in dealing with multiple governments in order to resolve any issues or disputes that may have arisen from the result of the software patents you hold. If you've forgotten the original question it was: how to copyright software? I told you that one was much easier.
The main thing you need to do if you're going for international patents (which can secure a profitable future for you and your business) is to get a really good patent lawyer and have him walk you through and hold your hand for the entire process. In fact, I would say that's probably the best advice you can get. Patents are complicated and when you're not exactly sure of what you're doing, whom you need to talk to, and what the next step is you stand to waste a lot of time while taking a bigger risk. It is much easier to deal with how to copyright software on your own than it is to work out the complicated world of software patents.
If this is your first time designing your own software you have every right to be nervous and excited and scared to death at the same time. Remember lawyers went to school much longer than you in order to know what to do in this situation so you should not be expected to know how to copyright software when you've never done it before.
Software copyright sample Software Copyright Sample Builds Loyal Customer Bases When choosing software copyright sample many before focusing on one or two. It is impossible to try every piece of software that exists in the world of software today. There are so many pieces of software currently on the market and new software being created as I type this. With so many new and different, competing and interesting software programs so widely available you might find something wonderful and unique available at a wonderful price or better yet, for free in the open source arena. Open source software isn't exactly software copyright sample material. This software is occasionally used as a testing ground for unproven versions of software, for software testing, or simply to determine the demand for a particular type of software. Chances are pretty good however; that if you've ever thought, "I wish I could find a program that did (insert whatever here)" someone else has had the same thought and created a program that will do just that. Perhaps the greatest beauty of a software copyright sample is that you get a taste of what the software can do without the expense of purchasing to find out whether it is right for you or your needs. There are actually many ways that companies both for profit and open source companies allow potential customers or converts to sample their products. Linux is a great example of this. They have gone from an open source nuisance to a viable competitor to many larger software companies by providing free software or a software copyright sample to consumers in order to whet their appetites for future offerings designed with profit in mind. What has developed is a viable (and growing) source of competition for Microsoft. Many open source developers are operating very much like Linux and starting out by offering a free software copyright sample to those who will try them out and give them feedback. They use the feedback to make improvements and build better products while making a name for themselves, their customer service, and the quality of the products they build. It's a win-win situation for many consumers and businesses that are just starting out and operating on a shoestring on both the part of those that offer the software copyright sample and those that are benefiting from the sample. Other companies are not as altruistic or are not as willing to wait for the payoffs. Instead of offering a completely free software copyright sample, they will offer you a free trial to their software that will either end at the end of the trial period and require a new subscription or automatically begin charging your credit card. Both of these practices have proven themselves to be highly effective methods of winning not only new customers but also seemingly unshakeable customer loyalty on the part of those that purchase software from these developers or companies. If you do an Internet search for open source software I think you will be astounded at the quality and selection that exists. There are programs that exist to do almost anything. My favorite (I must admit) are the game, but there are also many wonderful programs that can do amazing things like track your golf score, convert currency, help you organize your kitchen more effectively, figure out how much tile you need in a room. Almost anything that needs to be done, there is a piece of software that can do it-open source. The important thing to remember is that you won't find these programs in your local software store but you may find something similar to your copyright software sample that will cost considerably more money than the finished and polished version of the software that you are able to sample free.
Copyright law Understanding Copyright Law Copyright law is a set of laws that is used to regulate things such as movies, plays, poems, musical compositions, drawings, paintings, sculptures, software, photographs, sculptures, literary works, choreographic works, radio broadcasts, televisions broadcasts and more. Copyright law is only regulated to cover the manner or form in which the information or material is expressed. For instance, it does not cover the idea or facts which are represented in a work. In instances where a copyright does not exist, patents or trademarks may be in place which can impose legal restrictions. Copyright law states that the holder of the copyright has the right to make copies or reproduce the work to sell. They can also export or import the work, create derivative or adaptation of the original work, display or perform the work publicly and assign or sell the rights to someone else. Copyright law is set up to protect people from having someone do something with their copyrighted work or material. Someone that has a copyright may choose to exploit their copyrighted work, or they may choose not to. Many people debate whether copyright law and copyrights are moral rights or merely property rights. It is important to note that in the U.S. copyright law covers protection for published and unpublished works. Copyright law protection covers a work from the time it is created in a tangible form. The author or creator of the work immediately holds the copyright to the work and it is the property of the author or creator. No one else can claim copyright to it, unless the original copyright holder (the author or creator) gives or sells the rights to another person. Many people fail to understand that merely owning or possessing a work does not give them the copyright to it. Just because you have ownership of a copyrighted work does not mean that you own the copyright. Likewise, if you copy someone?s work and list their name on it, you are undertaking copyright infringement. Many people also fail to understand when copyright protection is secured. The moment a work is written or created and it is in physical tangible form or recorded it falls under copyright law. While it is recommended to register your work through the Copyright Office, if your work is not registered and someone steals your work, they have violated your copyright. Using a copyright notice is not required by law. However, many recommended that the copyright notice or symbol be used so remind the general public that the piece is under copyright. Anything that is created after 1977 is protected by copyright law for the lifetime of the author of the creator, plus an additional 70 years after the creator?s death. The public domain is a good source of information that is no longer under a copyright or work that was never under a copyright to begin with. Virtually all works that were created or published in the United States prior to 1923 are said to be in the public domain. Things that can be found in the public domain that are free of copyright law generally include generic facts and information, works that have a lapse in their copyrights (this encompasses works that were created prior to 1978) and materials and information put out by the United States government. In addition, you may find works in the public domain that are free of copyright law because it has been dedicated to the public domain.