Peak performed routine maintenance and made emergency repairs. When providing maintenance or making emergency repairs, Peak usually booted the MAI computer, causing the MAI operating system to be loaded in RAM. MAI also alleged that Peak ran MAI's diagnostic software during Peak's service calls.
MAI contended that Peak's use of the MAI operating system constituted copyright infringement; the federal court agreed and prohibited Peak from continuing this work. The court determined that a copy of a program made into RAM was "sufficiently permanent or stable to permit it to be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated for a period of more than transitory duration." The court further found that even though section 117 allows copies to utilize the software to be made without permission of the copyright holder by the 'owner' of the copy of software, Peak Computer was not the owner of the software and thus was guilty of copyright infringement.
NB: The US Copyright section 117 was amended in 1998 to allow the exception of making copies of software to repair machines.