ERIC Number: ED310747
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988
Reference Count: N/A
The Production of Software for Distribution in EEC Countries. Copyright and Contract Issues.
This pamphlet begins by discussing two legal issues to be considered when negotiating and formalizing the production of computer programs for distribution within ECC (European Economic Community) countries: protection of the program against unauthorized copying, and the nature of the contracts to be prepared. It is noted that all member states of EEC have distinctive copyright laws designed to meet their own needs, and that, as signatories of the Berne convention, they are required only to protect the works of other member states to the same extent as their domestic product. The producer is advised to accept that, although software is likely to be protected in every EEC state, the character and extent of protection will vary from one to another, and that any attempt to protect software by preventing the transfer of tapes or discs across frontiers may be unenforceable under Treaty of Rome provisions. Discussion of the preparation of enforceable contracts acceptable to all parties emphasizes that this is a complicated issue, especially where parties are established in different countries. The producer is advised to seek advice from a lawyer familiar with international contract law, and to settle the various issues that make up the agreement in advance so that the lawyer is required only to prepare a document reflecting the deal and to advise on any outstanding problems. An outline of 12 main points that should be agreed upon and included in the agreement concludes the guide, and a list of the EEC countries with a brief note on protection of computer software in each country for which the information is available is appended. (BBM)
Publication Type: Guides - General
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council for Educational Technology, London (England).