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mrbarty
19-07-2002, 04:47 AM
How does one go about registering or copyrighting a software program they have created. I've made a little program for work which has received promising feedback and am considering selling it, but I have no idea where to start. Can anyone steer me in the right direction?

Pauline
19-07-2002, 09:19 AM
You will have get in touch with your closest patent office. They are listed in the phone book & will be in most cities.

Graham L
19-07-2002, 04:38 PM
Copyright exists already. It belongs to you, unless you have sold it to someone else, or you have created the work as part of your paid employment.

It's usual to have a prominent comment early in the source code, with your name and even the words "Copyright My Name 2002", but I think that that is not totally necesary. It might be a good idea to add something like "The moral right to ownership of this work has been asserted by My Name", for the Brits and Europe. (You can see the "proper" form for that on the back of the title page of a recent book).

It would also be prudent to have similar words inserted in the object code. If you want to be sneaky, include it again, in an encrypted form.

But if it's brilliant and of worldshaking significance, the big buggers will buy you out. Or steal it. Who can afford more lawyers, MS or you?

Before you see a lawyer, try the Commerce Dept. They are paid to help you. Or look at the government web sites for "intellectual property".

godfather
19-07-2002, 04:52 PM
"I've made a little program for work"

I can speak from experience, that if the program was created while you were in paid employment, your employer *may* consider they have rights over your thoughts...especially if it was created for their needs.

I don't tend to agree, however if you do assert ownership then get a waiver of claims from your "work" if that is the situation.