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April 5, 1987

US COPYRIGHT OFFICE SAYS “TEXTUAL SCREEN DISPLAYS ARE COVERED BY THE REGISTRATION FOR THE PROGRAM”

By CBR Staff Writer

Although Judge O’Kelley’s ruling in the Digital Communications Associates-SoftKlone Distributing Corp suit clearly sets an important precedent (CI No 655), it does not go very far to resolve the issue: the judge ruled that the Mirror program infringed copyright in Crosstalk specifically because copyright had been expressly obtained for the placement, arrangement and design of words on the screen – yet Lotus Development Corp was refused leave to register separately the designs of its screens, and was told by the US Copyright Office that absent any conclusive judicial guidance, we currently believe that textual screen displays are covered by the registration for the program.

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