Computer programs are protected by the copyright rules and have declaratory features. Their expiration date is international, therefore, the programs duly submitted to the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) do not need to be registered in the other countries, provided that the foreign ones are granted equivalent rights in such countries. Likewise, foreign computer programs do not need to be registered in Brazil, except in cases of assignment of rights, for guarantee of the parties involved. Since the protection of computer programs affects the Copyright, it encompasses moral and property rights, which are nontransferable and unassignable.
Moral rights applying to computer programs consist of the right by the author to claim ownership of the program and the right to deny unauthorized alterations, when they result in distortion, mutilation or damage to the honor or reputation. Hence, if the author is not the creator, to obtain authorization from the creator for future changes is recommended.
Property rights applying to computer programs consist of the exclusive right to use, enjoy and dispose of the work, and those who, by any means, wholly or in part, reproduce, sale, expose to copy, import, acquire, conceal or hold for commercial purposes any original of the computer program or copy thereof, produced in violation of copyrights, that is, without the previous consent of the author or those who represent them, are against such rules.