Graphical user interfaces come under European copyright law, the European Court of Justice has ruled.
GUIs are covered by the Information Society Directive, the ECJ ruled in December.
"The graphic user interface can, as a work, be protected by copyright if it is its author's own intellectual creation," said the ruling.
GUIs are not protected by the Software Directive, ruled the court.
The ruling was given in a long-running court case brought by the Czech BSA (Bezpečnostní softwarová asociace), technology law publication Out-Law.com said in a report on Thursday. The Czech BSA wants the right to act as collective administrator for copyrights in the country.