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31 J. Marshall L. Rev. 1 (1997-1998)
Legal Aspects - Software Reverse Engineering and Copyright: Past, Present and Future

handle is hein.journals/jmlr31 and id is 11 raw text is: ARTICLES
LEGAL ASPECTS - SOFTWARE REVERSE
ENGINEERING AND COPYRIGHT: PAST,
PRESENT AND FUTURE
BRIAN C. BEHRENS*& REUVEN R. LEVARY**
With technological advances in the field of computers, the le-
gal world is discovering that the laws that apply to this field must
advance as well. Copyright laws that currently govern the devel-
opment of computer software are still quite ambiguous, with diffi-
culties in their application and debates over the scope of the law.
In light of conflicting case law, it is troublesome for an attorney to
give clients advice on whether certain software development tech-
niques violate copyright laws or carry other legal consequences.
What is certain is that the courts are deciding more and more
computer software cases.' As a result, future law regarding copy-
right infringement in this area is still subject to change. However,
this does not make understanding how copyright laws apply to
software any easier today. Courts continue to have difficulty un-
derstanding the computer technology, which is often the subject of
this type of litigation, and judges are unfamiliar with the methods
* Brian C. Behrens is an attorney with Suelthaus & Walsh, P.C., in St.
Louis, Missouri, practicing in the Corporate, Business, Securities and Intellec-
tual Property Law departments. He earned both his J.D. (cum laude) and his
M.B.A. from Saint Louis University, after graduating from the University of
Missouri - Columbia with a bachelor's degree in business administration
(B.S.B.A. cum laude).
** Reuven R. Levary is Professor of Decision Sciences at Saint Louis Uni-
versity. He received a Ph.D. in operations research from Case Western Re-
serve University. Dr. Levary is co-author of Quantitative Methods for Capital
Budgeting, South-Western Publishing Co., 1990, and editor of Engineering
Design: Better Results Through Operations Research Methods, North-Holland
Publishing Co., 1988. He has published widely in a variety of professional
journals. Dr. Levary serves on the editorial boards of several journals. He is
a Fellow of AAAS and a member of INFORMS, IEEE, and the Society for
Computer Simulation.
1. Note that throughout this article the terms software and computer pro-
gram are used interchangeably. These terms both refer to the written lan-
guage that instructs a computer as to what functions and actions to run.

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