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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject Decision in SAS Institute v World Programming
Date Wed, 02 May 2012 22:59:06 GMT
For those of you who haven't seen the latest copyright decision in Europe,
here is the court's summary of its ruling in SAS Institute Inc. v. World
Programming Ltd. This ruling, with the possible exception of item 3 that was
remanded to the national court, is a victory for World Programming and for
software developers in Europe:

1.      Article 1(2) of Council Directive 91/250/EEC of 14 May 1991 on the
legal protection of computer programs must be interpreted as meaning that
neither the functionality of a computer program nor the programming language
and the format of data files used in a computer program in order to exploit
certain of its functions constitute a form of expression of that program
and, as such, are not protected by copyright in computer programs for the
purposes of that directive.

2.      Article 5(3) of Directive 91/250 must be interpreted as meaning that
a person who has obtained a copy of a computer program under a licence is
entitled, without the authorisation of the owner of the copyright, to
observe, study or test the functioning of that program so as to determine
the ideas and principles which underlie any element of the program, in the
case where that person carries out acts covered by that licence and acts of
loading and running necessary for the use of the computer program, and on
condition that that person does not infringe the exclusive rights of the
owner of the copyright in that program.

3.      Article 2(a) of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and
of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of
copyright and related rights in the information society must be interpreted
as meaning that the reproduction, in a computer program or a user manual for
that program, of certain elements described in the user manual for another
computer program protected by copyright is capable of constituting an
infringement of the copyright in the latter manual if - this being a matter
for the national court to ascertain - that reproduction constitutes the
expression of the intellectual creation of the author of the user manual for
the computer program protected by copyright.

The entire decision can be found here:




Lawrence Rosen

Rosenlaw & Einschlag, a technology law firm (www.rosenlaw.com)

3001 King Ranch Rd., Ukiah, CA 95482

Office: 707-485-1242


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