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Program Functions Can't Be Copyrighted, EU High Court Says

Law360, New York (May 2, 2012, 5:17 PM EDT) -- Europe's top court ruled against software company SAS Institute Inc. on Wednesday in its copyright suit against World Programming Ltd., holding that the functionality and programming language of computer programs are not entitled to copyright protection.

The functions, programming language and format of data files used in a computer program don't constitute a form of expression and thus don't enjoy copyright protection, the Court of Justice of the European Union said.

“To accept that the functionality of a computer program can be protected by copyright would...
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