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What do Software Copyrights Protect?

February 18, 2021 by in Hot Issues

  1. Software

A. Source code.

B. Compiled code.

C. Screen Displays (e.g., User Interface [UI] (including look and feel)).


  1. Protection Against Literal and Non-Literal Copying

A. Protection from identical copying.

B. Protection from copying that is substantially similar or strikingly similar to original.

C. Protection from non-literal copying, including the sequence, organization, and structure of the copyrighted software is also protected.


  1. Standards for Copyright Infringement

A. Substantial Similarity with proof that copier had access to original work (hacking, theft, authorized access).

B. Striking Similarity without proving access, where copied software is so similar and so “striking” that there could be no possible way for the infringer to have come up with the infringing work without copying it.


SLG has extensive experience representing U.S. and international clients on U.S. Software Copyright matters, including counseling, registration, enforcement, and litigation.  Contact SLG today for a complimentary consultation at For more information about Software Copyright registration, please see our got protection? video at


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