The relevance of software rights: An anthology of the divergence of sociopolitical doctrines [Book Review]

AI and Society 15 (1-2):128-148 (2001)

Abstract

The relevance of different concepts of computer software (henceforth SW) rights is analysed from the viewpoint of divergent sociopolitical doctrines. The question of software rights is considered from the ontological assumptions, on one extreme, to the relevance of current practical applications of SW rights (such as copyright and patent), on the other extreme. It will be argued (from a non-descriptive/non-cognitive account) that the current expression of SW rights in Western societies (namely copyright, excluding patent) can be seen to be fair from the viewpoint of the theses of agreed rights and universalisability. Finally, given that such practice is neither immoral, nor irrelevant-but fair (based on the ad ignorantiam argument)-we have good reason to respect it rather than violate or demolish it

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Mikko Siponen
University of Jyväskylä

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