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18. What does "programming language" mean?
Programming languages are artificial languages which are not expressed in a natural, but in a symbolic manner and which have their own specific vocabulary and grammar. Programming languages are used in the creation of computer programs in order to describe the way of functioning and the solving of the requests of the program. (see also "source code"). Examples of programming languages: C, C++, FoxPro, Pascal, Pearl, Prolog, Visual Basic, Visual C++, Small Talk, etc.
Dan Livescu, Mircea Badut


19. What does "object code" mean?
For a computer to be able to run a program, the latter must be turned into an object code. After writing the source code for a program, the programmer turns it into an object code, as the result of a translation operation, by means of another program called compiler. By means of this operation, the instructions in the source code are converted into instructions that can be read and carried out by the processor, that is into object code.
This is the usual form in which computer programs are distributed.
Damian Romelu


20. What do "mnemonics" mean? Are they protected by copyright?
Mnemonics are informational entities included in a computer program which are significant for materializing and running the programs and which are symbolically expressed by means of abbreviations- mnemonics. Most of the times they do not have a natural meaning. The language in which mnemonics are written (example: assembling language) is very close to the instructions of the processor. The protection by copyright of mnemonics as expression of a computer program, is controversial because of the difficulties of proving their originality.
Dan Livescu, Mircea Badut


21. What does "microcode" mean? Is it protected by copyright?
The microcode expresses what a microprocessor does when carrying out certain instructions. In order to be processed by the microprocessor, the instructions are expressed by means of a machine code. The machine code does not have a natural meaning, but a numerical expression, which the microprocessor can read. The protection, by copyright, of this expression of a computer program is a controversial issue because of the difficulty of proving its elements of originality. The concrete specific features of each case involving the protection of microcode by copyright determined different rulings of Courts in international practice.
Dan Livescu, Mircea Badut


22. What does "look and feel" mean? Is it protected by copyright?
"Look and feel" represents the combination of more elements such as: visual displays, entry formats, audio elements, and other means of interaction between the user and the computer. The toolbar, the icons, the texts, the photos, the windows, the data entry zones, the menus - they all determine a certain "look" of the program.
"Look and feel" represents, however, more than just the way a program "looks".
The way the data is organized, the degree of user-friendliness, the connections between different sections of the program, the way the program responds to the actions of the user, the way the user is helped when in difficulty - they all generate for the user a certain way of "feeling" the program.
By "look and feel" we understand what the user sees and feels when using a program.
The protection by copyright of what we call 'look and feel" is a controversial issue in the international legal doctrine and practice.
A unitary point of view has not been reached even in the USA, where the legal doctrine and practice in the field of computer program copyright are the most developed.
As far as we are concerned, we consider that the "look and feel" is an expression of computer programs that must be protected. To be more specific:
Between two programs that perform the same tasks, the user will chose that one which creates a certain type of comfortableness, a certain type of user-friendliness, a certain state. It is well known the fact that different text processors or Internet browsers that generally perform the same function have each their "fans". The choice is determined by...the "look and feel" of each program. When a producer offers programs having a "look and feel" identical or highly similar to that of programs already created (even if he use a different programming language), he obviously have an advantage without any costs of investing and creative effort. It is an unfair advantage.
In what concerns the possibility of proving the original nature of the intellectual product which the "look and feel" represents, and also of proving its being counterfeit - such actions are difficult, but possible. The assistance of a legal expert who understands the functioning of computer programs and, even more, is creative and imaginative, is required.
Dan Livescu


23. What do "visual displays" mean? Are they protected by copyright?
The visual displays are what the user sees when using the program. They serve as intermediary for the interaction between the user and the computer. The visual displays are unquestionably protected by copyright. The only condition is that they must be original creations - a condition for all the works of intellectual creation.
Dan Livescu
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