[A2k] Seminar: The copyright challenge to Europe’s software industry -- Brussels, 1 December 2011, 4 pm

European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) info at ecis.eu
Wed Nov 16 02:24:35 PST 2011

 *The copyright challenge to Europe’s software industry

World experts to speak on 1 December at 4 p.m. in Brussels*

Please join us at the elegant Solvay Library in Brussels for a seminar
celebrating the 21st birthday of the European Committee for Interoperable
Systems (ECIS), on Thursday, 1 December, 2011, at 16 00. It will be
followed by a champagne reception.

Two days after the European Union’s highest court issues an opinion on a
key copyright case, some of the world’s top experts will debate what the
case means for the software industry in Europe.  Depending on the final
outcome of the case, some believe Europe’s software writers could face
restrictions that put them at a disadvantage compared to the United States.

University of California, Berkeley, law professor Pam Samuelson will give
the keynote speech at an afternoon seminar sponsored by the European
Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS), which is celebrating its 21st

Her views will be discussed by a panel that features another of the world’s
leading copyright scholars,  William Cornish of  Cambridge University. The
lawyer who argued the case for the British government, Simon Malynicz,
will also appear, along with Thomas Vinje, the general counsel of ECIS, and
Alain Strowel of Covington & Burling, a specialist in copyright.

DG Comp Deputy Director-General for Antitrust Cecilio Madero will be a
special guest speaker. The program will be introduced by Simon Awde,
president of ECIS. The panel will be chaired by Duncan Lumsden of Mlex.

“Are programming languages, program functionality, and data interfaces
protectable by copyright law or not?” Samuelson wrote of the case in a blog
post in July. “U.S. appellate court decisions in the Lotus v. Borland and
Computer Associates v. Altai cases answered these questions with a
resounding “no.””

The same question will now be addressed by the European Union’s highest
court. The Court of Justice is examining the meaning of the Software
Copyright Directive in SAS Institute Inc. vs. World Programming Ltd (WPL),
case C-406/10.

On 29 November, two days before the seminar, Court of Justice Advocate
General Yves Bot will deliver his opinion. Bot’s advisory opinion will be
one of the factors taken into account by the 13-member Grand Chamber of the
Court of Justice, expected to rule in 2012.

At issue is a dispute between the SAS Institute Inc., which for three
decades has made widely used business analytics software, and World
Programming Ltd. (WPL), a relative upstart. WPL created software that runs
user scripts written for SAS and produces the same results. SAS argued that
violates copyright law. A British judge ruled against SAS in 2010, then
asked the EU court for a definitive interpretation of the law.

Please RSVP by e-mail to info at ecis.eu.

Best regards,

ECIS Secretariat

Best regards,

ECIS Secretariat

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