What legal protections are offered in relation to the creators of computer software?
The Copyright Act, Chapter 415 of the Laws of Malta (the ‘CA’) provides that computer programs are protected as literary works. It is the expression of the idea which is protected by copyright and not the idea itself. Therefore, it is the source code of a computer software which is protected by copyright.
The main rule under Norwegian law prescribes that the person who creates intellectual property has copyright to the work, cf. Act no. 2 of 12 May 1961 relating to Copyright in Literary, Scientific and Artistic Works (the Copyright Act) Section 1. The aforementioned Section first paragraph no. 12 specifically defines computer software as falling under the act’s definition of intellectual property.
Where an employee creates a computer software during the performance of tasks for, or in accordance with the instructions of, an employer, the copyright to such computer software shall befall the employer unless otherwise agreed, cf. the Act Section 39g.
As such, the employer is granted the exclusive right to dispose of the computer software and will be entitled to produce copies of the computer software or otherwise make available, modify or transfer the rights to said software, cf. the Act Sections 39 and 39h.
Computer software are also excluded from the right to produce copies of published copyrightable work for private and non-commercial use or to use such work for commercial educational purposes, cf. Sections 12 first and second paragraph letter b and 21 first and third paragraph.
Computer software are protected as “works” under the Intellectual Property Law w. no 5846. While computer software cannot be patented in Turkey, it is possible to protect computer software as a copyright.
The creators of a computer software (artist) owns all the financial and moral rights to the software and has the right to protect these rights and may request from the court to decide for the following:
- Cease infringement,
- Prevent infringement,
- Damages (Up to 3 times the value of the software if there would be a license agreement)
Further, infringement of moral and financial rights is subject to imprisonment between 1 to 5 years or TRY 182.500 (€ 45.500 approx.) of judicial fine.