Washington — The Computer & Communications Industry Association has filed an amicus brief today in the Federal Circuit supporting World Programming Limited (WPL) in a software copyright case brought by SAS Institute. WPL offers software that runs programs written by users in the SAS Language, ensuring that users are not locked into the SAS platform. A lower court found SAS’s complaint that WPL infringed SAS’s copyright by providing the same functionality to be without merit and CCIA is asking the appeals court to uphold that decision.
The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:
“Our brief supports rulings by U.S. courts and Europe’s highest court that SAS has failed to establish that the material in question was copyrightable. The district court correctly concluded that SAS input formats and output designs are uncopyrightable. The outcome of this is important to the tech industry as the appropriate scope of copyright law is key to competition and innovation.”
According to the brief filed:
“CCIA members have a large stake in the rules of software copyright being properly designed: effective intellectual property protection encourages developers to create new applications, but the improper extension of copyright law to functional elements will discourage innovation, inhibit competition in the industry, and harm consumers.”
“Imposing copyright liability on a developer merely for replicating the functionality of another program would have dire consequences for competition in all technology industries.”