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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.
Copyright Law Plagiarism Plagiarism Is Simply Unethical Anyone who is a writer is concerned with plagiarism. Copyright Plagiarism Laws protects copyright holders from having their works plagiarized. Many people think it is ironic that the word plagiarism derives from ?kidnapper? in Latin. However, it is true. If a person uses another person?s words without permission, they have indeed stolen or kidnapped something that was owned by another and is in violation of copyright law. Plagiarism is a very bad word in the writing world. Crediting the author of the work will not keep someone immune from being in violation of copyright law. Plagiarism is plagiarism, even if the author is cited if the author did not give permission for the work to be used. One of the most common areas that copyright law plagiarism is violated is in the academic world. Many students will copy and paste the information they need for their research papers and essays straight off the Internet and turn it in to their professors. However, this type of cheating is easily detected now with special programs that professors can use. Plagiarism is unethical, not only in the writing world, but in the academic world, as well. Did you know that you could plagiarism a work but not be in violation of the copyright? Likewise, you can be in violation of a copyright and not have been plagiarizing. It is really not that hard to understand. Let?s say you are using Abraham Lincoln?s exact words in a paper and you did not cite him as the source or give him credit. Well, Lincoln?s words aren?t copyrighted because they are in the public domain. But, you did plagiarize because you tried to pass off his words as your own. Alternatively, if you use a picture in a book and you did not gain permission to use the book, you have violated copyright law because you did not source the artist and you did not get permission from the artist to use the picture. If you are in school, the best way you can get around committing plagiarism is to simply list your sources. If you use someone?s word, list it in an endnote or in a footnote. List the resource you found it in the bibliography. Another way around copyright law plagiarism violations is to take notes when you are reading. Take notes in your own words and put the resource away. Write your paper from your own words. No one wants to be singled out for plagiarism, especially a student who is concerned about their reputation at school and writers who need to keep their credibility in good standing. With today?s technological advances, it is not too hard to pinpoint plagiarized work. Even webmasters who run websites are on to the plagiarism crowd. They can run their entire sites through a special program to see if their content has been stolen and duplicated elsewhere on the Internet. If you are dealing in the written word, either academically or as a profession, it is a good idea that you only use your own words. It was probably easier to get away with plagiarism 100 years ago, but it is not that easy today. The changes are very high that if you are caught violating copyright law plagiarism laws you will be caught. Not only is it embarrassing, but it can cost you a bundle in a lawsuit.