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Copyright in Software and Data

  • Moshe Shalgi


The advent of a new brand of intellectual creativity, which followed developments in computer technology, created a considerable body of proprietory interests in computer software and data. There was therefore a search for legal instruments to provide protection against unauthorized exploitation of the intellectual property in them.

Several legal paths were attempted: contractual protection, patent law, trade secrets law and copyright. Of these, the current opinion is that copyright law is the most suitable instrument to protect rights in software and data.



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1 Cf. Durham, W. Cole Jr., “The Modification of Law Under the Influence of Computer Technology” (Supplement, 1982) 30 Am. J. Comp. L. 605.

2 Legal Protection of Computer Programmes (London, Oyez Longman, 1980) 51.

3 Data Cash Systems Inc. v. JS & A Group Inc. (not reported), mentioned in Brett, Hugh and Perry, Lawrence (eds.), The Legal Protection of Computer Software (Oxford, 1981) 132.

4 This issue was not appealed and the case was decided on a different ground.

5 Final Report of the National Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works, July 31, 1978 (Washington, Library of Congress, 1979) 109.

* Former Judge, District Court of Jerusalem.

Copyright in Software and Data

  • Moshe Shalgi


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