91/250/EEC Can HTML Code be a Computer Program?

Subject: 91/250/EEC Can HTML Code be a Computer Program?
From: Axel H. Horns (Horns@t-online.de )
Date: ti 21 heinš† 1998 - 00:50:36 EEST

Copyright protection of computer programs has been harmonized
in the EU by the Council Directive on the Legal Protection of
Computer Programs 91/250/EEC of May 14, 1991.

However, the Directive does not define the concept of a "Computer

Web Pages are coded using the HTML language, perhaps incorporating
JavaScript code. Are they "Computer Programs" or not?

The formal definition of HTML 4.0 can be obtained from


The formal definition of JavaScript - to be seamlessly embedded into
HTML - is available under


As you can obtain from these documents, HTML is a formal computer
language with a dedicated syntax, definitions and instructions. You
can solve particular objects with that language.

Does anyone on the list know something about the question whether
HTML code can be used to build a "computer program" in the sense
of the Directive?

Axel H. Horns

Axel H. Horns

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