A well-known case that has maintained such a disclaimer is Mortenson v. Timberline. Developers release software for a number of reasons, whether it`s to demonstrate a new idea, to benefit as many people as possible, or to make financial and economic gains. To ensure that all parties involved in the process can benefit from the software, the terms of its use must be clearly defined. A software license is a legal instrument (usually contractual, with or without printed material) that regulates the use or redistribution of software. Under U.S. copyright law, all software is protected by copyright in the form of source code and object code, unless such software was developed by the U.S. government, in which case it cannot be protected by copyright.