My thesis involves the application of copyright and the relatively new medium of software. The thesis will explore the historical need that brought about the idea of copyright so that society could benefit from enhanced access to new ideas and knowledge while protecting the creative people who provided it. These protections and rational will then be illustrated as to how they apply to software in a modern times, protections that draw heavily upon those traditions to benefit the new virtual, computer-centric society while still protecting the innovators that create it. Lastly I will turn this review of recognition and protection of authorship to an unsavory element that has arrived with the new digital era: software viruses. The ability to disrupt information and the access to it is unique however the unseemly nature has historical roots of its own in freedom of speech arguments long settled. The culmination of the thesis is the presentation that the very protections that society holds dear for savory items, fundamentally applies to those elements which are universally unsavory. My intent is to effectively hold up the mirror to the idea that if everything deserves protection as the laws state, why not then for viruses and their authors who are executing the same degree of innovation as other more beneficial efforts.