back to article Software copied functions, but didn't infringe copyright

A computer program does not infringe the copyright of another one just because it performs the same function as it, but it could do if it copies the means by which the other program works, an advisor to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has said. Advocate General Yves Bot said that computer programs that have the same possible …

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Anonymous Coward

Bot?

Sounds like some nominative determinism is creeping in!

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Coffee/keyboard

"Advocate General Bot"

You should have an "irony alert" tag on this. I'd have put the coffee down before reading it.........

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Go

Hmm...

This seems to be a completely sane judgement.

Have I misunderstood something?

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Indeed. It's like saying I have two books that make me laugh. Book A was published first, so book B must be in breach of copyright, because it does the same thing (makes me laugh), even though they do it in different ways!

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Or trying to apply copyright to plot points of the story, trying to corner a genre/market.

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I wonder how the usual euro bashers are going to spin this. EU stiffles big business?

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> I wonder how the yusual euro bashers are going to spin this

My dear chap, it would be a remarkable feat for any organisation or entity to be wrong *all* the time.

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Anonymous Coward

Stiffling?

I suppose that would make them a Stiffler?

Wasn't there something about his mom?

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Anonymous Coward

how the usual euro bashers are going to spin this?

er, how about: "UK judges quite capable. Why should we defer to the EU?"

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Anonymous Coward

how the usual euro bashers are going to spin this?

UK judges quite capable of doing the right thing. Why should we defer to the EU?

In fact, even if UK judges don't do the right thing, why should we defer to another a non-UK court?

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Joke

Title optional, a bit like reality.

So now they have a bot which can analyse copyright arguments? Wow the wonders of modern technology!

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FAIL

Cheaper, Faster, Better

If you're not prepared for a competitor to come up with a cheaper, faster, better solution in technology, then you're going to go the way of the dinosaur. No tech company is safe from this idiom, so if you haven't planned for it in a business plan, you will become a tech dinosaur. Going to the courts is just band-aiding a gaping wound and just making lawyers rich. The only solution is to evolve and make an even faster and better solution or reprice it competitively.

SAS is just one of those dinosaurs.

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Facepalm

Isn't this the reverse engineering argument all over again?

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Anonymous Coward

"Isn't this the reverse engineering argument all over again?"

No !

This is about reverse engineering the functionality not disassembling the code, analysing the code and copying it.

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Anonymous Coward

Not quite reverse engineering

They're reproducing the functionality, but not by analysing and copying /how/ the original software provides it.

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Pirate

Shame about software patents

"To accept that a functionality of a computer program can be protected as such would amount to making it possible to monopolise ideas, to the detriment of technological progress and industrial development,"

Someone should tell the US patent office before they allow someone to patent keyboard input or addition.

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Anonymous Coward

api?

Judgement seems fair enough, but I'm surprised SAS couldn't copyright its API.

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Anonymous Coward

An API is an idea,

not the expression of that idea, which is in the actual implementation of said API.

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API is an idea

Which is why Google may appreciate this judgement in their ongoing spat with Oracle and JAVA, although that may well have degenerated by now in to an argument of whether Google nicked their code or not.

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Of course

"To accept that a functionality of a computer program can be protected as such would amount to making it possible to monopolise ideas, to the detriment of technological progress and industrial development,"

And besides... monopolysing ideas expressed in a computer program are what Patents are for...

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Lotus SmartSuite, anyone?

Now, if this can apply to the US (and it should, since the USA has had a good, long run of influencing and imposing upon other markets in the name of GAAP, etc.)..

Then, it seems to me that IBM has JUST run out of excuses against revamping Lotus SmartSuite.

Last I heard, the reason IBM could not make SmartSuite into open source or decompile and recompile it to bring the functionality up to date was that an untold/un-locatable number of patent holders of SmartSuite could not be contacted....

Now, out of good will, IBM ought to let there be a fork of SmartSuite, and take a veritable laser scalpel and put down Symphony, which most decidedly is NOT what true SmartSuite users ever, EVER hoped to see.

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Anonymous Coward

Some sense in there, but I don't like how it may criminalise grey-hats who find flaws.

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Halle-fucking-luyah

"The functionalities of a computer program and the programming language are not eligible, as such, for copyright protection," Advocate General Bot said in his opinion.

Best decision, best name.

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