Copyright Laws

Computer software, data and information is easily copied, and the copy is identical to the original. This is not the case with most other products. As a consequence special amendments to the Copyright Act have been enacted:

  • One copy made be made for backup purposes.
  • All copies must be destroyed if the is sold or otherwise transferred.
  • Decompilation or reverse engineering is not permitted. The only exception being to understand the operation of the software in order to interface other software products.

In regards to compilations of information (such as collected statistics and databases of information):

  • The information itself is not covered.
  • There must have been sufficient intellectual effort used to select and arrange the information; or
  • The author must have performed sufficient work or incurred sufficient expense to gather the information even though there was no creativity involved.

Consider the following:

  1. An employee takes a copy of a customer database with them when they leave.
  2. A friend gives you a copy of a computer game they got for Christmas.
  3. You create a digital phone book using name, address and phone numbers downloaded from Telstra’s white pages website.

DISCUSS the implications, in terms of Copyright Law, for each of the above scenarios.