From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...
Vault Corp v. Quaid Software Ltd.
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
847 F.2d 255 (1988)
Vault Corporation (Vault) (plaintiff) manufactured computer disks that contained PROLOK, a system aimed at preventing the unauthorized copying of software programs contained on the disks. Vault sold PROLOK disks to computer-software producers, who installed their own programs onto the disks. Each PROLOK disk contained an irremovable fingerprint on the magnetic surface of the disk. After a user installed the program, PROLOK software would run only if the disk containing the specific fingerprint for the software was inserted into the computer’s disk drive. Together, the PROLOK software and the fingerprint on the physical disk prevented the owner of a computer program from making a fully functioning copy of the program. Quaid Software Limited (Quaid) (defendant) sold a disk that contained a program called RAMKEY. RAMKEY allowed a user to circumvent PROLOK’s protective functions by allowing copies of PROLOK disks to fool the PROLOK software into believing that the copies contained the unique fingerprint of the original disks. As a result, a user could make fully functional copies of the computer programs contained on PROLOK disks. Vault brought a copyright-infringement suit and sought an injunction against Quaid’s use and sale of disks containing RAMKEY. The district found for Quaid, holding that the RAMKEY program was authorized under § 117 of the Copyright Act. Vault appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Reavley, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 221,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.