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17 USC 117
Limitation on exclusive rights: computer programs

Executive summary:

This document contains one section of the U.S. Copyright Act (found in Title 17 of the United States Code). This page was last updated in October 2005. All of the sections of the Copyright Act are listed on the Index page.

For more information on copyright law, please see the Copyright Section of BitLaw.

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§117. Limitation on exclusive rights: computer programs

(a)

Making of additional copy or adaptation by owner of copy. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106 [17 USC 106], it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided:

(1)

that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner, or

(2)

that such new copy or adaptation is for archival purposes only and that all archival copies are destroyed in the event that continued possession of the computer program should cease to be rightful.

(b)

Lease, sale, or other transfer of additional copy or adaptation. Any exact copies prepared in accordance with the provisions of this section may be leased, sold, or otherwise transferred, along with the copy from which such copies were prepared, only as part of the lease, sale, or other transfer of all rights in the program. Adaptations so prepared may be transferred only with the authorization of the copyright owner.

(c)

Machine maintenance or repair. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106 [17 USC 106], it is not an infringement for the owner or lessee of a machine to make or authorize the making of a copy of a computer program if such copy is made solely by virtue of the activation of a machine that lawfully contains an authorized copy of the computer program, for purposes only of maintenance or repair of that machine, if--

(1)

such new copy is used in no other manner and is destroyed immediately after the maintenance or repair is completed; and

(2)

with respect to any computer program or part thereof that is not necessary for that machine to be activated, such program or part thereof is not accessed or used other than to make such new copy by virtue of the activation of the machine.

(d)

Definitions. For purposes of this section--

(1)

the "maintenance" of a machine is the servicing of the machine in order to make it work in accordance with its original specifications and any changes to those specifications authorized for that machine; and

(2)

the "repair" of a machine is the restoring of the machine to the state of working in accordance with its original specifications and any changes to those specifications authorized for that machine.