The highest court in the European Union issued a ruling on Wednesday that essentially declared programming languages are not copyrightable.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in favour of World Programming Limited (WPL) over the SAS Institute, which developed the SAS System, an integrated set of programs that enables users to carry out data processing and analysis tasks.
WPL replicated these functionalities with its World Programming System, an emulator that can run SAS programs written in the SAS Language. Although existing UK case law said it was not a copyright infringement to create such an emulator, SAS took its case to the High Court. It was then referred to the ECJ.