December 02
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Trajan Shipley
6th October 2021
Data, Tech & IP

Court of Justice: lawful purchasers of computer programs may decompile them if necessary to correct errors affecting operation

The Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Top System (C-13/20), ruling that under  Article 5(1) of the Computer Programs Directive (91/250), lawful purchasers of a computer program are entitled to fully or partially decompile it in order to correct errors affecting its operation, and that such decompiling is not subject to the requirements laid down in Article 6 of the Directive.

The Brussels Appeal Court referred the request for a preliminary ruling following an appeal procedure in which Top System SA, a computer programming company, challenged another company’s decompiling of a computer programme developed by Top System, which claimed to have done so lawfully in accordance with Belgian national law transposing Article 5(1)


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