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1 CS 501 Spring 2003 CS 501: Software Engineering Lecture 6 Legal Aspects of Software Engineering II.

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Presentation on theme: "1 CS 501 Spring 2003 CS 501: Software Engineering Lecture 6 Legal Aspects of Software Engineering II."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 CS 501 Spring 2003 CS 501: Software Engineering Lecture 6 Legal Aspects of Software Engineering II

2 2 CS 501 Spring 2003 Administration Project Announcements Assignment 1 Submission report to Lecture 7 postponed to: Wednesday evening, February 12, 7:30 to 8:30, Upson B 17.

3 3 CS 501 Spring 2003 Creative Commons commons.org

4 4 CS 501 Spring 2003 Trade Secrets and Non-Disclosure Agreements Trade Secret "... information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process that derives independent economic value from not being generally known and not being readily ascertainable and is subject to reasonable efforts to maintain secrecy." Uniform Trade Secrets Act Example: Microsoft source code Non-Disclosure Agreement Legal agreement not to disclose trade secrets

5 5 CS 501 Spring 2003 Trade Secrets A trade secret does not expire - as long as it is kept secret Competitors may not use secrets obtained through extraordinary means If you learn trade secrets when working for one employer, you must not disclose them to another employer.

6 6 CS 501 Spring 2003 Your Next Job... Your employment contract may restrict your next job (not working for competitors, etc.) Trade-secret information (non-disclosure agreement) Contamination (knowledge of trade secrets may prevent you working on similar projects for others) Ask when you are interviewed! Read the contract!

7 7 CS 501 Spring 2003 Trademark Specific name or phrase Unique within a line of business, in a specific country (e.g., only one electronics firm called Apple in the USA, but could be a shipping line called Apple in the USA or a different electronics firm called Apple in another country.) Generic terms cannot be trademarked (e.g., Windows is currently under dispute) Trademarks can be lost if they are not defended –Lost trademarks: aspirin, kleenex –Held trademarks: Coke, Pepsi

8 8 CS 501 Spring 2003 Privacy Invasions of privacy: intrusion appropriation of name or likeness unreasonable publicity false light Be very careful about collecting personal data without the knowledge of the individual Special legislation about privacy of children

9 9 CS 501 Spring 2003 Public or Private Information? A lot of public information is considered private An increasing amount of public information available on the Internet –Reverse phone lookups –Campaign Contributions –Housing prices –Driver’s license information and photographs

10 10 CS 501 Spring 2003 Privacy in Legally, is like a postal letter –Expectation of privacy in transit –Mail loses its special protected status once it leaves the letter carrier's grasp For , –Expectation of privacy while signal travels over Internet – loses its protected status at the mail server whether you have read it or not

11 11 CS 501 Spring 2003 Privacy in the Workplace Test for employers/employees - “Do you have a reasonable expectation of privacy?” Work-related material on business machines is definitely not private. Some organizations, e.g., most universities, treat private on business machines as private, but this is not the law. Never send anything by that you would not be prepared for your employer to see. As a software engineer, you may come across other people's private information. Keep it private. If in doubt consult your supervisor.

12 12 CS 501 Spring 2003 Business Electronic Communications Privacy Act (1986) says all business communication belongs to that business. Deleting can be ruled intentionally destroying company records. An archive is worthless if it cannot be indexed effectively (in effect, saving everything can be equivalent to saving nothing).

13 13 CS 501 Spring 2003 Free Speech In the USA, the First Amendment protects many aspects of free speech, including news reporting, religious expression, etc., but their are major exceptions (e.g., state secrets, defamation, obscenity, racial hatred). In the USA, some aspects (e.g., obscenity) are governed by state laws with big differences among states. Laws in other countries may be very different (e.g., blasphemy, criticism of the government).

14 14 CS 501 Spring 2003 Special Situations Internet Service Providers Transmit and store intellectual property that they do not own A special (complex) legal framework protects them If you run such a service, you need a knowledgeable lawyer Ecommerce Ecommerce operates across jurisdictional boundaries Data is subject to various laws of privacy, security, taxation, etc. If you run such a service, you need a knowledgeable lawyer.

15 15 CS 501 Spring 2003 Practical Advice It is often useful to read the text of a law. A good source is the Cornell Legal Information Institute: But do not try to interpret the law by yourself. You may be reading the wrong law, or not know how it has been interpreted by the courts.

16 16 CS 501 Spring 2003 Practical Advice Be aware of the law, but do not pretend to be a lawyer. Use a professional for: Contracts and licenses (unless very simple exchange of letters) Troubles (complaints, injunctions, subpoenas, etc.) Personnel issues When in doubt, ask for help!

17 17 CS 501 Spring 2003 Administration Quizzes The first quiz is on Thursday. Each quiz: 30 minutes open book and notes 2 questions on lectures and required readings to date The best four of the five quizzes will be used in calculating your final grade. Note. Grading of Quiz 1 will be delayed until February 18.


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