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Mr Justice Arnold said it was his "provisional view" that a computer programming language could not be considered a 'work' in which copyright could subsist.

The judge was giving his opinion on the issue in a case involving rival software developers, SAS Institute (SAS) and World Programming Limited (WPL), in which he cleared WPL in most respects of having infringed SAS' copyright when it obtained a licence to use SAS' software in order to test out that programme, read instructions SAS had published in accompanying user manuals, and then create its own rival software programme.

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