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Catholic University Journal of Law and Technology

Catholic University Journal of Law and Technology

Abstract

In today’s technological landscape, computer programs are one of the most highly complex and popular inventions. However, they still receive little or sometimes no legal protection. As a consequence, programmers are reluctant to create new programs, discouraging innovation and preventing the public to benefit from using these inventions. If the court does afford them copyright protection, they may still not receive legal damages for copyright infringement because the court would not consider their program registered under the Copyright Act of 1976.

This Comment argues for greater copyright protection for programs by disregarding the merger doctrine, which does not provide protection to the expressions of a program, and advocates for the adoption of the application approach, which registers a programmer’s work upon filing the application with the Copyright Office. Without new legislation, programmers would not have an incentive to create programs and would have to wait for the Copyright Office to make a determination on their application while the infringer would continue to profit. This Comment concludes Congress must provide more copyright protection to programs and must adopt the application approach.

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