The Future of Software Copyright Protection: Arbitration v. Litigation


The legal profession and computer industry have expressed dissatisfaction with the existing copyright protection provided computer software and its traditional means of enforcement by litigation. These criticisms are exemplified in the protracted NEC Corp. v. Intel Corp. litigation. After examination of the current copyright laws and the recent NEC/Intel decision, the author analyzes the IBM/Fujitsu settlement, which created a new hybrid form of commercial arbitration. By relinquishing extensive control over their businesses to the arbitrators, IBM and Fujitsu established a sophisticated mechanism to resolve future conflicts and forestall future litigation. The author concludes that this hybrid method of arbitration is a viable and realistic alternative for the resolution of complex computer copyright disputes

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