Performance Rights for Software

M. Perry and S.M. Watt (Canada)


Copyrights, performance rights, software.


As we use software in increasingly varied contexts, the concept of a software license has become progressively more complex. Software is embedded in devices that do not obviously resemble computers. Web services make software on one computer available to anyone with internet access. An individual may use several computers over the course of the day so the concept of a node locked or indi vidual license is no longer clear. How should time based and single use and consumptive licenses be governed and interact? This paper examines how these and other issues in software licensing can be seen as instances of the gen eral concept of performance rights, rather than simply re production rights. Licenses involving finely specified performance rights are common in the entertainment indus try for music, film, stage and television. We describe how, as software and our use of it becomes more sophisticated, we see performance rights as becoming an apt basis for software licensing.

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