Legal Protection

Although there is an international consensus even on the protection that should be given to computer programs (in United States and Japan, for example, are protected by patents), Spanish legislation are protected by intellectual property law, in Title VII of computer programs. There is no doubt that the software is a product of the intellect, and part of the creative activity of the author, although it is difficult to raise the concept of originality against other types of works. Thus, it covers under intellectual property and not industry, enjoying a number of benefits. The term of protection of copyright is 70 years after the author’s death (where it is a legal person is 70 years after the disclosure), against 20 that are established in the patent. Moreover, this protection is automatic, it is born at the moment when a person creates a work, and covers the preparatory documentation, the possible versions and derivative programs. However, a computer program can be protected patent through its registration, but raises the inconvenient that everyone can access the source code. Intellectual property gives to the author rights of exploitation that can be transmitted. These include being able to exploit a series of licenses as use or reproduction, distribution or commercialization licenses (excludes except rent agreed) or license of transformation, which allows the adaptation of the programme to the needs of the user or its translation.

However, even if holder’s authorization is not available, the law allows a lawful user reproduction, transformation and error correction required for the programme, the necessary backup, the in-depth study of the principles of the program and playback. In the so-called information society it does not doubt of the importance of these values and intangible goods in the company. About the software, not to be a tangible product and be developed in small computer media, the rights of the intellectual property can be infringed easily, so it must be in mind as regards its legal protection, since in many cases they have a value higher than the active materials of the company.