This Note will first discuss the complex nature of computer technology and the scope of copyright protection currently available for computer programs. Section III will identify the elements of a copyright infringement cause of action and highlight the critical role of the test for substantial similarity. Section IV will set out the current three-way conflict in the circuit courts regarding the appropriate test for substantial similarity in computer program infringement cases and will examine the origins, underlying justifications and practical ramifications of each test. Finally, this Note will conclude that where the subject matter of a copyright dispute is particularly complex, such as computer programs, an "integrated" approach to the substantial similarity test, where the trier of fact is allowed access to all relevant evidence regardless of origin, is best.
Timothy C. Smith,
Towards A Consistent Test for Substantial Similarity Regarding Infringement of Copyrighted Aspects of Computer Programs, 22 Golden Gate U. L. Rev.