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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

When your computer needs a lawyer

Possible liability for negligence, for other torts (such as slander of credit) and for liability under theories of express or implied warranty (guarantees) are discussed, and legal complications are explained, so that users, operators, owners, and leasors of computers may be alerted to potential legal problems. Focus is also on troublespots in contracting for data processing services, in automating record keeping operations, in deciding whether or not to automate certain operations, and in complying with statutes and regulations relating to record keeping. Information is given on patents, copyrights and trade secret protection for programs, and the problem of using copyrighted material in information storage and retrieval systems, including the pending copyright and patent revision bills.

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