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Intellectual Property And Computer Software The

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Intellectual Property and Computer Software: the Ongoing Controversy Introduction Ever since the computer software industry began during the mid-1970’s with the personal computer revolution, using intellectual property rights (IPR) to protect software has been controversial. Presently, software can be protected using both copyright and patents. The issue of software patentability is particularly contentious. On one side there are the large, mainly U.S. based corporations, such as IBM, Microsoft and Apple, who dominate the software market and have traditionally been are advocates for strong intellectual property protection for software. On the other side there is the open-source/free software movement who believe software should not be patented and that the source code should be freely available for use, improvement and adaptation by users. The free software movement argue that software should not be patentable for a variety of technical and moral reasons. There are considerable...

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