Register of Copyrights Says “Who Knows?” on Ownership of Computer Program Copies

5 08 2010

Who owns the firmware on a smartphone, the device manufacturer or the purchaser?  Ownership of copies of computer programs is a thorny issue with which the federal courts have grappled in numerous cases. The issue arose during the most recent round of triennial rulemaking that resulted in the promulgation of a new set of exceptions to 17 U.S.C. § 1201(a), which prohibits the circumvention of technological measures deployed to limit access to copyrighted works.


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