CCIA Files Amicus Brief On Copyright, Interoperability Issues In Software Case

BY Heather Greenfield
February 22, 2017

Washington — The tech industry weighed in on issues of copyright and competition with an amicus brief today in the SAS v. World Programming Limited case.  The Computer & Communications Industry Association filed an amicus brief along with the Internet Association and Engine arguing copyright should not interfere with interoperability.

CCIA represents companies that are both copyright holders and which rely on limitations and exceptions to copyright and has advocated for balanced copyright policies for more than 40 years. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“Using copyright to lock in users and prevent competition was not the aim of copyright protections — and allowing companies to misuse the law invites higher prices for consumers and blocks innovation.”

“Modern copyright law supports software interoperability generally and prevents software vendors like SAS from locking in customers. Court cases for the past 25 years involving some of the biggest names in video gaming have repeatedly found that copyright does not protect interfaces needed for interoperability.

“There are two questionable practices that the court must consider in this case regarding how SAS is trying to use copyright: their efforts to lock users into the SAS interface; and their efforts to prevent a competitor, World Programming Limited, from using the SAS interfaces to ensure its offerings are compatible.

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