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12. Sponsoring Organization Name and Complete Address (Street, City, State, ZIP)

National Science Foundation

Division of Science Information

1800 G Street, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20550


Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 77-14143

5. Publication Date

October 1977

6. Performing Organization Code

8. Performing Organ. Report No.

10. Project/Task/Work Unit No.


11. Contract/Grant No.

13. Type of Report & Period


14. Sponsoring Agency Code

16. ABSTRACT (A 200-word or less factual summary of most significant information. If document includes a significant bibliography or literature survey, mention it here.)

The findings, recommendations, and conclusions of a policy-oriented, multi-disciplinary study of copyright in computer-readable works are reported.

The foundations of copyright are examined for basic principles, and the theory of public goods is applied to develop the rationale for copyright protection. The judicial history of copyright in the twentieth century is reviewed with respect to advances in information technology. The impact of technological change on judicial decisionmaking in copyright is analyzed.

The problem of transaction costs in the marketplace for copyrighted works is examined and methods for the reduction of such costs are described. Models of policymaking are developed which clarify the roles of interest groups and the branches of Government, demonstrating their interactions and providing insights into possible futures.

Recommendations on the conditions of copyrightability for computer-readable data bases and computer programs are presented and are based on findings of basic principles developed during the study and described in the report.

17. KEY WORDS (six to twelve entries; alphabetical order; capitalize only the first letter of the first key word unless a proper name; separated by semicolons)

Computer; computer program; copyright; data base; economic efficiency; information technology; policy analysis; policymaking; public goods; technological change; transaction costs.

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