US court rules programming code subject to copyright law | Techday, September 22nd
On this TECHDAY in history, on September 22nd 1986, programmers had a remarkable legal victory. A U.S. court ruled that for computers considers to be intellectual property. They should, therefore, subject to copyright law, just like printed material. This decision shaped the world of the electronics industry and was crucial to software and computer developement.
In the 1986 case of Apple Computer, Inc. v. Franklin Computer Corp., the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that computer software is subject to copyright law. The case involved Franklin Computer Corp., a company that had created a “clone” of Apple’s Macintosh computer, which used a nearly identical version of Apple’s Macintosh operating system software.
Apple sued Franklin for copyright infringement, arguing that the company’s use of the programming code from Macintosh operating system software in its clone computers was a violation of Apple’s exclusive rights under copyright law.
This ruling had a significant impact on the software industry. It established the protection of software code by copyright law. Companies can take legal action to protect their software from being copied or used without permission. It also established a legal precedent that has been followed in subsequent cases involving software copyright.
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