To encourage the development of computer programs, the law grants a monopoly on their exploitation to those who have invested time and money in the creation of computer programs. Therefore, the author (or his successors) will be able to control the exploitation and distribution of the computer program he created.
This is why computer programs are protected by copyright.
The IT solutions in which a computer program is contained can also be protected by a patent.
Use of software
Computer programs have become common consumer goods, present in numerous everyday applications. For example, not only do they make our computers run, they are also integrated into mp3 players, printers, coffee makers, cars, GPS devices, electronic household appliances, etc.
When someone purchases a computer program, that person acquires the right to use it. Often, however, this use is subject to a number of limitations. After all, computer programs can be protected by copyright.
- What can one do and not do with a computer program?
- What is a licence?
- Can one copy a computer program?
- What is "free software"?
- What can one do with computer programs which are available for free on the Internet?
You can find the answer to these questions on the following page: Software user: What are my rights and their limits?.
The development of computer programs
Suppose you have developed a computer program. While creating your program, can you draw inspiration from elements of other computer programs? Or may you even reuse them? Or does this amount to counterfeiting?
After having spent time and energy developing your computer program, you obviously want to protect the result of your efforts.
- To what extent is your computer program copyrighted and what benefits does it bring?
- Or perhaps you want to make your computer program freely available, so that other programmers can improve it?
- However, how to avoid someone taking advantage of your efforts and turning a profit?
You can find the answer to these questions on the following page: The creation of a computer program.