Unión Europea
Derecho de autor y derechos conexos
2. Are computer programs protected “as literary works” (Article 10 of the TRIPS Agreement)? If not, how are they protected and is the scope of protection the same?
Computer programs, which prior to the amendment of the Copyright Act in 1992 were a species of literary work, currently enjoy protection under the Copyright Act 1978, in the same way as literary works but constitute a separate category of works. In terms of Section 43(a)(ii) of the Copyright Act, this principle does not apply however to any computer programs made prior to September 1965. The term "computer program" is defined to mean: "a set of instructions fixed or stored in any manner and which, when used directly or indirectly in a computer, direct its operation to bring about a result". A "computer program" is by definition excluded from being a "literary work". This means that once a work falls within the definition of "computer program" it ceases to be (insofar as it may have been) a literary work. At present the following acts are comprised in the copyright in a computer program: (a)reproducing the computer program in any manner or form; (b)publishing the computer program if it was hitherto unpublished; (c)making an adaptation of the computer program; (d)reproducing or publishing an adaptation of the program; (e)letting or offering or exposing for hire by way of trade, directly or indirectly, a copy of the computer program. A Bill to amend the Copyright Act presently pending before the legislature will add the following restricted acts to the above mentioned list: (a)broadcasting the computer program; (b)causing the computer program to be transmitted in a diffusion service, unless such service transmits a lawful broadcast including the computer program, and is operated by the original broadcaster; (c)doing, in relation to an adaptation of a computer program, any of the other restricted acts. Once the aforegoing amendment is made to the Copyright Act, the protection enjoyed by computer programs will be broader than that enjoyed by a literary work and will incorporate all the restricted acts applicable to a literary work.