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Copyright protects the computer code - not the function of the code


Lawdit Solicitors - Expert Author

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10 November 2012

In the case of SAS Institute Inc v World Programming Ltd, Case C-406/10, the Court of Justice of the European Communities ("CJEC") in responding to a reference from the High Court for England and Wales has provided that functionality of a computer program or a programming language is not protectable by copyright under the Software Directive.

The CJEC has determined that the functionality of a computer program, the data file format and the programming language are not protectable by copyright under the Software Directive.

Therefore, where a company markets and provides its software by way of licence the licensee may study and test the software to determine how it functions to realise the software ideas and principles without any authorisation from the licensee copyright owner once they do not infringe the copyright owner's rights by copying the code itself.

Therefore, they can write their own code which will provide the same results as the code they have licenced. A different method... same results.

By Lawdit Solicitors, Southampton

About the Author

Lawdit Solicitors offer services and advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2013-01-17 09:08:15 in Legal Articles

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