The Computer Program as a Functional Whole [chapter]

C. Maria Keet
2020 Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications  
Sharing, downloading, and reusing software is common-place, some of which is carried out legally with open source software. When it is not legal, it is unclear how many infringements have taken place: does an infringement count for the artefact as a whole or for each source file of a computer program? To answer this question, it must first be established whether a computer program should be considered as an integral whole, a collection, or a mere set of distinct files, and why. We argue that a
more » ... rogram is a functional whole, availing of, and combining, arguments from mereology, granularity, modularity, unity, and function to substantiate the claim. The argumentation and answer contributes to the ontology of software artefacts, may assist industry in litigation cases, and demonstrates that the notion of unifying relation is operationalisable.
doi:10.3233/faia200673 fatcat:yujvkjoeibfa5dqxu2mx5rv75q