The Copyright (Computer Programs) Regulations 1992

Reference: UK/1992/SI/3233

Under The Copyright (Computer Programs) Regulations 1992, board directors can be prosecuted for permitting the illegal copying of software or its use in their company.

Legal protection of computer programs directive

The Copyright (Computer Programs) Regulations 1992 implement the provisions of Council Directive No. 91/250/EEC (O.J. No. L122, 17.5.91, page 42) on the legal protection of computer programs. The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 currently makes provision for the protection of copyright in computer programs.

The Directive harmonises the laws of the member States relating to the protection of computer programs and includes matters for which the Act makes no specific provision or makes different provision. These Regulations amend and modify the Act in order to properly align its provisions with those of the Directive.

Board level liability

The Regulations extended the rules covering literary works under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to include computer programs. Infringement of copyright is now both a civil and criminal offence. Board directors can be prosecuted for permitting the illegal copying of software or its use in their company.