Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


The large and growing installed base of computer products is quickly giving rise to a large secondary market for computer add-ons that add new features to or enhance the performance of primary computer products. This article discusses how copyright doctrines, including the derivative works and fair use doctrines, have been-and should be-applied to computer add-ons. After analyzing the current state of the law under the Ninth Circuit's decision in Lewis Galoob Toys, Inc. v. Nintendo of America, Inc., and other decisions, the authors argue that copyright doctrines should be construed to encourage the use of add-ons that add new features which are not present in the primary copyrighted work.