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November 8, 2005

Supreme Court Will Not Hear Programmer's Appeal in Infringement Case

The Supreme Court declined to hear a programmer's appeal over alleged copyright infringement of computer code.  William Krause alleged that Titleserv, a title insurance firm, had infringed on his copyrights when it changed code that he developed over years of work for the company.  Krause left the software on the Titleserv servers and placed locks on the code and said Titleserv can run the software but not edit.

Titleserv broke the software locks and did edit the code and was sued by Krause.  Both a federal trial court and court of appeals held for Titleserv.  The Supreme Court declined further appeal.  The courts reasoned that it was legal for Titleserv to manipulate the software provided they owned a physical copy of the program, the changes constituted an essential step in utilization, and the software was used in no other manner.

Read about it on CNET here.  Read the Second CIrcuit opinion here.

November 8, 2005 | Permalink

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