231 Front Street, Lahaina, HI 96761 info@givingpress.com 808.123.4567

Guidelines for Writing Software Copyright

Software copyright is an important issue nowdays, with all the companies that invest serious amounts of money in developing applications that are meant to ease people's work. Therefore, if human and financial efforts are involved, it is only natural that any piece of software should be protected against unlawful use.

The solution for this thorny problem is writing the software copyright. Fail to do this, leave your product unprotected, and you may find sooner or later some other person featuring with all your hard work and taking all the credit (including, most likely, financial benefits).

A Definition

Copyright Practically indicating the right of a certain individual or business entity to make copies of a particular work and use these copies according to wish or necessity. When it comes to software, it refers to the right to copy and use the relative software, or portions of it, according to some very well defined rules, while respecting the software author's intellectual rights on its work.

Software copyright is backed by the EULA (End User License Agreement), in which the user's rights regarding the software are strictly specified, as opposed to the rights of the legal and rightful owner of that particular software. The software copyright laws indicate that it is illegal for any other individual or business entity to run, copy, modify in any way or distribute a program without the express consent of the rightful owner.

Most of the times, this consent comes under the form of licenses, which mainly grant the right to use, with certain limitations, the software in cause. Copyright issues are usually stated within the EULA.

What You Need to Know About Software Copyright

The first and most important thing to know about copyright is that it only applies to script software and not to ideas behind it. Just because you had an idea or said something does not mean you are entitled to copyright. But, when you put your pen on the paper, (fingers on the keyboard, in our case) the result automatically becomes your property.

Technically, the author of the software code is the rightful owner of the copyright. When software is created by a company's employee during the official work hours and in keeping with the job description, the copyright automatically goes to the company.

But when software is created as a result to commissioned, specifically ordered work, or by a company's employee outside the normal work hours or at a special request, additional documents have to be created in which it is right owner of the software, and, therefore, who can raise copyright claims.

If your software will be distributed (ie sold by retailers), then make sure you give the licensing section of the EULA as much attention as possible. This is where the information about software copyright is included.