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International Software Copyright
International Software Agreement is a Matter of National Security
Is there one governing law concerning international software copyright? According to agreements by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIP) any software written has an automatic copyright. This is a pretty conclusive consensus as far as an international copyright goes. The short answer would have been yes, but this was so much more informative.
An international software copyright should not however be confused with a patent. Copyrights provide creators with the ability to prevent others from directly copying the code involved. A patent can actually limit the use of the software. Because of this, I'm sure you'll understand that patents are a hotly debated topic when it comes to software.
The biggest thing to know about international software copyright is that your code is essentially protected the moment you create it. This is, unless you have some kind of contract through your employer that all code created by your belongs to them (these cases have been known to happen and provide excellent incentives for employees to always read the fine print).
The problem that many companies are running into when it comes to enforcing international software copyright is that computers are not permanent fixtures in a company. Computers are rather disposable hardware when it comes to keeping up with evolving technologies and software needs to be updated when new computers are purchased. Rather than purchasing new copies of software when the computers are replaced companies are notorious for reusing old copies of the software. They are also famous for replacing 10 computers with the software installed with 40 new computers and installing the 10 copies of the software on all 40 computers. This is not in keeping with international software copyright. This is stealing and you'd be surprised at some of the good upstanding companies that do this on a regular basis.
There really are no major differences between traditional policies for American copyright and international software copyright which makes legal issues, troubles, and woes that much easier to deal with. By having a unified international front thee are ramifications and legal actions that can be taken around the world without going through a great deal of international red tape. If you think dealing with the American government is bad, you should see how much fun it is to deal with the American government and another government for a legal action.
The agreement between nations for international software copyright is probably one of the soundest possible decisions that can be made as military secrets of all governments have some degree of software in order to keep them operating. While it isn't quite as simplistic as stealing a computer program to unlock the defense secrets of a nation, having access to certain source codes could be problematic in the absolute best-case scenario. Keeping secrets isn't the only thing that makes this agreement so valuable, it is however, one of the most vital.
Perhaps one of the greatest things to come about as the result of the international agreement to protect and honor software copyright is the peace of mind that is available to software developers in America and other technologically advanced countries that their source code won't be allowed to be stolen and used against them at a later date by someone in a developing nation with cheap labor and other overhead costs that American corporations simply cannot compete with. This could be devastating to the economies of technological societies if it were allowed to happen and the agreement for an international software copyright prevents that from being allowed to occur.
How to Choose Writing Software and a Few Suggestions (writing software) There are many choices available to today?s writers. From the cheapest to the most expensive the choice is entirely yours. Writing software can make you life easier and more organized. Whether you are an established writer or just starting out there is writing software available for you. First, you need to figure out what features you are looking for in the writing software. You do this by first accessing your needs as a writer. What kind of writing do you do? Do you write screenplays, novels, technical writings, or a collaboration of things? By knowing what you are going to expect from the writing software will make it much easier to pick out. From writing poems, to advertisements, to novels there is writing software out there for you. Here are a few that you can consider: Write That Down is software that is geared towards agents, publishers, freelancers, and screen writers. The application has tabs for contests, publications, submissions, accounts, and many more. It offers features from both sides of the writing world, for the writers and publishers. This may be a little too much for some. The Wizard of Words is pretty much a one size fits all as far as writing software goes. It has formatting for novels, articles, short stories, term papers, and so much more. For book writers is has a repair editing wizard that reformats just about any aspect you need it to. It even has tools for creating book proposals and query letters and mass mailing them. It requires Microsoft word 97 and higher. Style Writer is a style and grammar checking. It checks your writing against over 35,000 common language problems. You can change the type of writing it is checking and it adapts to the document type. It has 15 specialized features that will help you in your writing ventures. You can add and delete the grammar and style advice. It will track your progress and show you as you learn to stop making these mistakes on your own. When you install the software it merges itself with your own word processor. Writers Block is a replacement for Microsoft word. This software is a word processor and spread sheet rolled into one. It allows you to write in blocks and then arrange them how you want. It has a power panel in which you enter the writing for the current block. It floats above other programs so you can easily read from one page and type into the power panel. Rough Draft is a free download program. Well they would like donations but that is your choice. It is similar to Microsoft word but is more user friendly. It has special modes for plays and screenwriting. And it has an instant back up feature. Unfortunately, it does not have a grammar checker, tables, pictures, or footnotes. A popular choice for written media publishing is Adobe Page Maker. You can type your text right into the formatted layout and has a new data merge feature that you can merge previously saved spreadsheets or other databases to create new projects. That is just a brief overview of a few of the writing software products out there that looked interesting to me. During your writing journey, search for writing software that have multiple purposes, such as those software titles that create congressional letter, name generators, poetry, and jokes. Whether you are an inspiring new writer, an accomplished novelist that has been writing for years, or maybe a publisher or editor there is software out there for you.
Copyright Infringement Play It Safe: Making Sure You're Not Committing Copyright Infringement Copyright infringement is not an easy thing to explain. While it may seem as simple as not using someone else?s work, it?s not that easy. Thanks to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and many other organizations, we have the ability to use others? works ? as long as we use it under ?fair use? laws. So what does fair use have to do with copyright infringement, and how can you utilize it? Fair use laws are the conditions in which you can use a copyrighted work without having to pay someone royalties. This includes when you use a copyrighted work for educational or instructional uses, criticism of the work, commentaries on the work, news reporting about the work, teaching on the work (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship uses, and research. This is talked about fully in Section 107 of the Copyright Code (commonly called Fair Use) and is available for you to read at your local library. Copyright Infringement in day-to-day life Sometimes, if you?re writing a paper for work or school, or if you are creating a Power Point presentation, you need to use someone?s work that is already in copyright. So how do you use it without committing copyright infringement? All you have to do is ask ? the worst they can say is no, right? But, if they do say no, there are several items in the public domain which may help you to finish your project without having to commit copyright infringement. What is the public domain, and how does it relate to copyright infringement? Material that is not copyrighted is considered in the public domain ? you cannot commit copyright infringement on works in the public domain. These works include things that the copyright has expired on, or is not copyright-able ? such as government publications, jokes, titles, and ideas. Some creators (writers, musicians, artists, and more) deliberately put their work in the public domain, without ever obtaining copyright, by providing an affiliation with Creative Commons. Creative Commons allows people who create materials to forfeit some, or all, of their copyright rights and place their work either partially or fully in the public domain. So, how do I ensure I?m not committing copyright infringement? First of all, if you?re going to use someone else?s material, you may want to check the public domain to see if something is suitable for use, instead of trying to use someone else?s copyright. However, if you can?t find something suitable (and you can?t create something yourself), the next best thing (and your only legal course of action) is to find a piece that is in copyright, and contacting the copyright holder. When you contact the copyright holder, make sure you tell them what you want to use their piece for ? whether it?s for your blog, podcast, or report ? and ask them if you can use it. You may have to pay royalties, or an attribution in your piece, or a combination of both. The creator may also place many limitations on when and how you can use their material. Follow all these instructions they give you, and you?ll be free and clear to use their work as you want. Once you have permission to use a copyrighted work, you need to make sure you stay within the agreed-upon boundaries - if you veer outside their agreed terms, you may open yourself up for a copyright infringement lawsuit ? which can be nasty, costly, and time consuming. If you?re in doubt, before contacting the copyright holder, contact a copyright lawyer to ensure you?re following the law ? and protect yourself!