Ayer quise publicar un comentario a este artículo sobre el reciente veredicto del caso SAS vs. WPS. Aunque ya hablé de eso el otro día, como no me lo publicaron (por ingnotas razones), hago constancia de mi comentario aquí:
The article is misleading in the sense that computer languages (and there exists such a thing as a SAS computer language) are not subject to copyright.
I am free to write my own interpreter/compiler of Java, C, Python, PL/SQL or Logo. And many companies do: Microsoft has implemented their own interpreter of Python, IronPython, etc. Anybody is entitled to write yet another interpreter of SAS code. And, in fact, SAS did not sue WPS for that reason.
Whether the manuals are considered to be so similar that infringe SAS’s copyright can be easily fixed. In fact, you can guide your steps in WPS with widely available SAS’s manuals and books.
Mind that the main allegation of SAS against WPS is a breach of EULA. WPS seemingly acquired a student version of SAS with a restrictive EULA. However, WPS used it for other purposes. However, the court decided that those EULA restrictions were void under European Law: in Europe, law is above private contracts and contracts don’t adhering to the prevailing law are void. For instance, in Europe, I can purchase any piece of software and use it in any legal way that I see fit. I can also buy a car and drive it where I see fit as long as I respect the traffic rules; Fiat, let’s say, would not be able to sell me a car and prohibit me traveling to Portugal, say; or dismantle it and check how the engine works.
WPS acted according to the European law and this is precisely what the courts stated. It is SAS who tries to bind its customers through illegal EULA restrictions.
If the author of the article thinks that it is so easy making a successful clone of a well established software product in Europe and get rich doing it… well, he is quite invited to come here and start cloning!