Computer Software Rental Amendments Act of 1990

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Judicial Improvements Act of 1990  (1990) 
Title VIII - Computer Software
This act originated from Title VIII of Pub.L. 101−650, Dec. 1, 1990, 104 Stat. 5133

==TITLE VIII — COMPUTER SOFTWARE==

Sec. 801. Short Title.[edit]

This title may be cited as the ``Computer Software Rental Amendments Act of 1990´´.

Sec. 802. Rental of Computer Programs.[edit]

Section 109(b) of title 17, United States Code, is amended—
(1) by redesignating paragraphs (2) and (3) as paragraphs (3) and (4), respectively;
(2) by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:


``(b)(1)(A) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), unless authorized by the owners of copyright in the sound recording or the owner of copyright in a computer program (including any tape, disk, or other medium embodying such program), and in the case of a sound recording in the musical works embodied therein, neither the owner of a particular phonorecord nor any person in possession of a particular copy of a computer program (including any tape, disk, or other medium embodying such program), may, for the purposes of direct or indirect commercial advantage, dispose of, or authorize the disposal of, the possession of that phonorecord or computer program (including any tape, disk, or other medium embodying such program) by rental, lease, or lending, or by any other act or practice in the nature of rental, lease, or lending. Nothing in the preceding sentence shall apply to the rental, lease, or lending of a phonorecord for nonprofit purposes by a nonprofit library or nonprofit educational institution. The transfer of possession of a lawfully made copy of a computer program by a nonprofit educational institution to another nonprofit educational institution or to faculty, staff, and students does not constitute rental, lease, or lending for direct or indirect commercial purposes under this subsection.
``(B) This subsection does not apply to—
``(i) a computer program which is embodied in a machine or product and which cannot be copied during the ordinary operation or use of the machine or product; or
``(ii) a computer program embodied in or used in conjunction with a limited purpose computer that is designed for playing video games and may be designed for other purposes.
``(C) Nothing in this subsection affects any provision of chapter 9 of this title.
``(2)(A) Nothing in this subsection shall apply to the lending of a computer program for nonprofit purposes by a nonprofit library, if each copy of a computer program which is lent by such library has affixed to the packaging containing the program a warning of copyright in accordance with requirements that the Register of Copyrights shall prescribe by regulation.
``(B) Not later than three years after the date of the enactment of the Computer Software Rental Amendments Act of 1990, and at such times thereafter as the Register of Copyright considers appropriate, the Register of Copyrights, after consultation with representatives of copyright owners and librarians, shall submit to the Congress a report stating whether this paragraph has achieved its intended purpose of maintaining the integrity of the copyright system while providing nonprofit libraries the capability to fulfill their function. Such report shall advise the Congress as to any information or recommendations that the Register of Copyrights considers necessary to carry out the purposes of this subsection.´´; and


(3) by striking paragraph (4), as redesignated by paragraph (1) of this section, and inserting the following:


``(4) Any person who distributes a phonorecord or a copy of a computer program (including any tape, disk, or other medium embodying such program) in violation of paragraph (1) is an infringer of copyright under section 501 of this title and is subject to the remedies set forth in sections 502, 503, 504, 505, and 509. Such violation shall not be a criminal offense under section 506 or cause such person to be subject to the criminal penalties set forth in section 2319 of title 18.´´.

Sec. 803. Public Display of Electronic Video Games.[edit]

Section 109 of title 17, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:


``(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106(4) and 106(5), in the case of an electronic audiovisual game intended for use in coin-operated equipment, the owner of a particular copy of such a game lawfully made under this title, is entitled, without the authority of the copyright owner of the game, to publicly perform or display that game in coin-operated equipment, except that this subsection shall not apply to any work of authorship embodied in the audiovisual game if the copyright owner of the electronic audiovisual game is not also the copyright owner of the work of authorship.´´.


Sec. 804. Effective Date.[edit]

(a) IN GENERAL.—
Subject to subsection (b), this title and the amendments made in section 802 shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act. The amendment made by section 803 shall take effect one year after such date of enactment.
(b) PROSPECTIVE APPLICATION.—
Section 109(b) of title 17, United States Code, as amended by section 802 of this Act, shall not affect the right of a person in possession of a particular copy of a computer program, who acquired such copy before the date of the enactment of this Act, to dispose of the possession of that copy on or after such date of enactment in any manner permitted by section 109 of title 17, United States Code, as in effect on the day before such date of enactment.
(c) TERMINATION.—
The amendments made by section 802 shall not apply to rentals, leasings, or lendings (or acts or practices in the nature of rentals, leasings, or lendings) occurring on or after October 1, 1997. The amendments made by section 803 shall not apply to public performances or displays that occur on or after October 1, 1995.

Sec. 805. Recordation of Shareware.[edit]

(a) IN GENERAL.—
The Register of Copyrights is authorized, upon receipt of any document designated as pertaining to computer shareware and the fee prescribed by section 708 of title 17, United States Code, to record the document and return it with a certificate of recordation.
(b) MAINTENANCE OF RECORDS; PUBLICATION OF INFORMATION.—
The Register of Copyrights is authorized to maintain current, separate records relating to the recordation of documents under subsection (a), and to compile and publish at periodic intervals information relating to such recordations. Such publications shall be offered for sale to the public at prices based on the cost of reproduction and distribution.
(c) DEPOSIT OF COPIES IN LIBRARY OF CONGRESS.—
In the case of public domain computer software, at the election of the person recording a document under subsection (a), 2 complete copies of the best edition (as defined in section 101 of title 17, United States Code) of the computer software as embodied in machine-readable form may be deposited for the benefit of the Machine-Readable Collections Reading Room of the Library of Congress.
(d) REGULATIONS.—
The Register of Copyrights is authorized to establish regulations not inconsistent with law for the administration of the functions of the Register under this section. All regulations established by the Register are subject to the approval of the Librarian of Congress.