I think Sanjeev, has correctly stated the position of software protection. According to some author on Intellectual Property Law in India, Computer software includes many items like the programmed manuals, adapters,punchcards and magnetic tapes or discs required for operation of computers.Programmed mannuals and papers and computer printouts may be considered as literay work. but the concept or idea of algorithms, frequently used in computer programming is not capable of copyright protection. ounched cards which contains certain information in a particular notation may be considered as literary work. programmed devised for the working of computer is generally regarded as literary work. Magnetic tapes and discs including floppy discs which contains information recorded by means of electronic impulses may be considered as databases and accordingly literary work by definition.
Members may also go through the following article:
COURSE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE & COPYRIGHT
Many colleges and universities have begun to use course management software(course manager) not only for online courses, but also as a supplement toface-to-face classes.Such softwareprovides a basic structure or template for faculty members to place someportions of a course or even the entire course online.Examples of these products are Blackboard,WebCT and WebTycho. The software creates a website for a course that can beaccessed by students; some restrict access to students enrolled in thatparticular course while others have features that permit the course pages to beopen to everyone on campus.Most suchsoftware provides standardized templates for the course syllabus, the classroster, announcements, a threaded discussion list, and shared space for studentprojects, and the like.The instructor canalso insert various materials such as lecture notes, outlines and onlineexaminations and exercises. Because the course webpage is web-based, links toother materials on the web provide other resources for students.Additionally, reading material for the coursecan included on the webpage.It is this latter activity that creates the primary copyright concern.Many faculty members appear to be unaware that duplicating copyrighted materials and uploading them into the course management software raises all of the same concerns as multiple copying for the classroom or creating coursepacks for students.
Incorporating copyrighted literary works into course management software canoccur in three ways.(1) The most commonway at present is that the faculty member scans a printed article or bookchapter and creates it as an HTML file and then uploads it into the coursemanager.(2) The material may alreadyexist in digital format which makes it even easier to upload into the coursesoftware package.(3) Most course managersalso have the ability to incorporate links to digital content on the web,including licensed products.For thelicensed titles, only authorized, authenticated users are eligible to accessthat content.In fact, when students clickon the link, often they are required to input their student number or a passwordin order to gain access to the linked content.Each of the three types of incorporatingcopyrighted materials into the course manager raises copyright concerns.
Many teachers seem to be unaware that digitizing articles, book chapters andother copyrighted work to place in the course management software in order toprovide access for students may constitute copyright infringement.Because scanner technology differs from thephotocopier, faculty members may not equate both activities as potentialcopyright infringement.Over the past fewdecades, most faculty members have come to understand that photocopyingmaterials for students has limits such as those detailed in the Guidelines onMultiple Copying for Classroom Useand the limitations on thereproduction of coursepacks the coursepack cases have imposed.Reproducing materials, whether throughphotocopying or digitizing the work, is still a reproduction.If the activity exceeds fair use in either theanalog or digital world, it is infringement.This is not to say that it is never fair use todigitize a work and put it on the course website for students to read.For example, the faculty member could seek andreceive permission to digitize the work and put it in the course manager for thestudents.Or, the faculty member couldfollow the portion, time and other limitations contained in the Multiple CopyingGuidelines but instead of photocopying the works and distributing copies to thestudents, might digitize the works and upload them onto the course webpage.One could argue that this is fair use as theequivalent of photocopying for students within Guidelines.
For material that already exists in digital format, uploading them onto thecourse website is no different than digitizing analog content for the coursemanager.Unless the work is within thepublic domain, the faculty member should seek permission or follow the ClassroomGuidelines.Some faculty members prefer toreproduce articles and other materials for which the institution has a licenseand to upload the full text onto the course website.This may be permissible under the institution’slicense agreement, but not all licenses permit such uploading.
Linking to web content causes the fewest copyright problems.For linking to works on the open web, there areno restrictions.For licensed content,however, there may be restrictions.Somelicense agreements for the online materials do not permit linking into thecontent from course webpages.The facultymember should consult the college or university librarian to ensure that theinstitution’s license permits this linking.Another linking concern with course managementsoftware is that the default setting seems to be for in-line links as opposed toout links.An in-line link brings anotherwebpage into a frame or window created on the webpage as opposed to going outonto the web.Most experts opine thatthere is less difficulty with out links since there is no likelihood ofconfusion as to sponsorship as to which entity created the content.
Of even greater concern is reproducingnontext works such as sound recordings, motion pictures or portionsthereof.While digitizing small portionsof such works is likely to be fair use, using entire works probably is not, noris it permitted under the newly enacted TEACH Act absent permission from the copyrightholder.
Although course management software makes it very easyfor faculty members to create online courses or portions of courses, that veryease could mislead teachers into believing that what is technological possibledoes not infringe copyright.Thus,colleges and universities that make course managersavailable to faculty may want to provideinformation about copyright law to assist faculty in making appropriatedecisions about materials to include on course webpages.