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Website and Digital Content between Material Property and Intellectual Ownership Rights within the Legal Regulation of Internet


Rania S.Azab


Vol. 22  No. 2  pp. 424-435


When the owners of the intellectual property rights of digital content have lost control over it in the digital environment, there emerged fears that the intellectual property laws, especially copyright law, would not be effective as in the material (Offline ) world. The reason is that the digital environment helps to reproduce copies in high quality and at almost no cost, while copyright law protection has been limited to programs embedded in CDs. According to copyright laws, the owner of the program did not have the right to prevent buyers of the initial physical copy of the program from copying and reselling it to more than one individual without the permission of the original owner. As a result, business owners have invented the idea of licensing digital content and programs instead of selling them. They set out terms that serve their commercial interests regardless of their abuse to intellectual property laws or even the rules of the traditional contract to sell a material property. The abuse has resulted from the way those terms are concluded and the heavy rules that are unfair to consumer rights. Therefore, business owners insisted on dealing with the website and its programs and digital content as material property. Here raises the question of whether the website and its digital content are subject to the protection of copyright law or the rules of the traditional contract or licensing contracts. As the answer to this question affects the protection of consumer rights, is it possible to find a balance between it and the protection of the owners of digital programs' rights.That is what we will discuss in this paper.


Intellectual property - Copyright - Contract ? Computer software ? Licenses agreements