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Brigham Young University Prelaw Review

Article Title

Forty-five Years Later: Redefining and Reclassifying Computer Code Under the Copyright Act of 1976

Keywords

copyright, computer code, software, intellectual property, fair use

Abstract

Congress passed the Copyright Act of 1976 more than 45 years ago. However, despite the foresight to include a definition for computer code in the original version of the Act, the definition Congress provided has proven difficult for courts to interpret. This article proposes a new definition of computer code for the Copyright Act, which is not only more inclusive, but also more accurate. It then discusses the direction this new definition provides to the courts and software creators. It also proposes that computer code be granted its own category within the Act, based on the precedent set by the formation of an Architectural Works category by the Copyright Amendments Act of 1990.

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