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Copyright law in the Federal Republic of Germany regulates the protection of so-called 'personal intellectual creations'. These include works of literature, science and art, such as books and other linguistic works, pieces of music, pictures, sculptures, installations, dance pieces, photographs, films, but also maps, plans, sketches or models/plastic representations.

Section 69a et seq. of the Act contains "Special Provisions for Computer Programs". It is emphasized here that these must be individual works, i.e. "the result of the intellectual creation of their author" (ebda.) - as long as they are merely "ideas and principles" (ebda.) of programs, they are expressly not protected by copyright.

The exhaustion of the copyright for computer programs is laid down in § 69c (3): "If a copy of a computer program is placed on the market in the territory of the European Union by way of sale with the consent of the right holder, the distribution right shall be exhausted in respect of this copy with the exception of the rental right".