MAI Systems Corp. v. Peak Computer, Inc.

991 F.2d 511 (9th Cir. 1993), cert. dismissed, 510 U.S. 1033 (1994)

In this case, the court held that when a computer loads a program into RAM, a copy of that program is created, which constitutes copyright infringement. This copy is "fixed" in a tangible medium of expression inside the memory. How can something in RAM be fixed? A guide to how computer memory functions is useful in answering this question. (If you're ambitious, you can learn even more).

The case is unclear on exactly what computer equipment and software Peak was using. However, here is an example of a MAI computer system from the period. MAI computers used a variant of the BASIC programming language known as Business BASIC, which was specialized for writing business-oriented applications.

MAI Systems has now transformed into Hotel Information Systems, which creates software for the hospitality industry. Peak Computer, Inc. appears to have been absorbed into PCS group.