Apple Computer, Inc. v. Franklin Computer Group, 714 F.2d 1240 (1983) p202
Copyrightable material - computer ROM
Copyright holder appealed from an order of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Clarence C. Newcomer, J., 545 F.Supp. 812, denying its motion to preliminary enjoin competitor from infringing copyrights on computer programs.
Whether Franklin's programs contained copyrightable subject matter.
Computer program, whether in object code or source code, is "literary work" within meaning of Copyright Act of 1976 and is protected from unauthorized copying, whether from its object or source code version.
The preliminary injunction is reversed and remanded.
The Court of Appeals, Sloviter, Circuit Judge, held that: (1) computer program, whether in object code or source code, is "literary work" and is protected from unauthorized copying, whether from its object or source code version; (2) computer program on object code embedded in ROM chip is appropriate subject of copyright; (3) computer operating system programs are not per se precluded from copyright; and (4) even without presumption of irreparable harm generally applied in copyright infringement actions, jeopardy to copyright holder's investment and competitive position caused by competitor's wholesale copying of many of copyright holder's key operating programs would satisfy requirement of irreparable harm needed to support preliminary injunction.
Reversed and remanded.