Emerging Copyright Trends:
Software Usage and
Most cutting-edge copyright issues relate to two distinct fields: computer programs and the Internet. Courts have struggled with some of the newer copyright issues, and the law continues to shift and evolve with technology. Similarly, the use of the Internet and computer programs can lead to liability for a company that allows employees to disseminate the company's or others' information on the Internet or to use unlicensed software. Although companies cannot protect themselves against every electronic threat, establishing and enforcing software and Internet usage policies affords significant protection. Sample policies are found throughout this chapter.
Computer programs are protectable under copyright law and can be registered with the Copyright Office as literary works, regardless of their medium. Thus object code, source code, disks, and CD-ROMs can all be