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April 2, 1987

PROGRAM LOOK AND FEEL “IS COPYRIGHTABLE” – US JUDGE

By CBR Staff Writer

In a landmark decision, Judge William O’Kelley, sitting in Federal Court in Atlanta, ruled that the look and feel of a program is copyrightable, and upheld Digital Communications Associates’ complaint against Softclone Distributing Corp of Tallahassee, Florida, saying that the Mirror program came up on the screen with a presentation recognisably similar to that of Crosstalk, and therefore infringed Digital’s copyright – specifically because the latter had applied for and been granted protection for the look and feel of Crosstalk. It appears that Softclone does not intend to appeal the decision, but instead intends to rewrite Mirror so that it no longer infringes the Crosstalk copyright, so that the decision will stand as precedent.

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