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What are related rights in terms of computer software?

What are related rights in terms of computer software?

Owner of the computer programme has all rights associated with it. Computer programme can be protected in literary work under the Indian Copyright Act. In addition, other related rights are exceptionally provided to the owner of the computer programme which includes right to sell and right to rent copies. However, right to rental is not allowed for computer programme/code which is not configured as a substantial part of the object to be rented.

Example: Say X has developed a computer software, Quick SPLIT-JOIN, used to spilt large size files to small size files so that files can be easily emailed and later on, small size files can be joined together to generate the original large size file. In this case X is the author as well owner of this software and has following rights:

  • Reproduce the software in any material form and store the same in any electronic format: X can store the software in CD-ROM, DVDs or a USB drive and can also upload the software on his personal website.
  • Issue copies to public: X can provide the copies to public. For example: a CD of the software with a computer book so that any person buying the book will have the Quick SPLIT-JOIN software or by uploading the software on his/her personal website so that public can download the software from the internet.
  • To perform the work:  X can make a user guide on how to use the Quick SPLIT-JOIN software.
  • To make any cinematograph film or sound recording in respect of the work: A presentation or a simple audio recording or both can be made on how to use the Quick SPLIT-JOIN software.
  • To make any translation of the work: X can make this software in different languages for example in Chinese, Hindi and Arabic. In simple terms, X can change the supported menus and user guides, audio language and presentation-content in different languages as X wishes to.  Conversion of source code into object code is considered translation.
  • To make any adaptation of the work: X has written the Quick SPLIT-JOIN software in C++ computer language and later on decides to create this software in VC++ computer language for  integrating this software to another existing VC++ application.
  • The same rights are also applicable in case of translation or adaptation of any software work as pointed out in aforementioned points.
  • To sell, commercially rent, or offer for sale any copy of the computer programme: X has exclusive rights to sell the Quick SPLIT-JOIN software by uploading on a website, selling it online and receiving the payment online. Further, X can make a deal to some software seller and sell software on profit sharing basis. (Specifically for computer programme).

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