Graphic User Interface is not Protected as a Computer Program

Court of Justice finally published its early morning decision in C-393/09, BSA vs. Ministry of Culture of the CR, on which Huťko previously reported here (with case background) and here. Europe’s highest ruled that …

1. A graphic user interface is not a form of expression of a computer program within the meaning of Article 1(2) of Council Directive 91/250/EEC of 14 May 1991 on the legal protection of computer programs and cannot be protected by copyright as a computer program under that directive. Nevertheless, such an interface can be protected by copyright as a work by Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society if that interface is its author’s own intellectual creation.

2. Television broadcasting of a graphic user interface does not constitute communication to the public of a work protected by copyright within the meaning of Article 3(1) of Directive 2001/29.

What is really worth mentioning is the fact that after Infopaq I. C-05/08, BSA vs. Ministry of Culture of the CR C-393/09 is only the second decision dealing with conditions of general copyright protection (although CJEU wasn’t asked to assist on this matter) to Huťko’s knowledge. The question which is of great significance or at least in UK jurisprudence appears to be.

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