If the answer is no, then where do we draw the line? Wolfram Alpha and Gmail are both examples of SaaS (software as a service), but even desktop software is offered under strict license terms. Suppose you have an Excel spreadsheet full of numbers that you input, but then you ask Excel to generate a series of complex graphs based on rules, formulae, and templates designed by Microsoft. Or what about pivot tables? What about mash-ups or tools like Mozilla Jetpack? If unique presentations based on software-based manipulation of mundane data are copyrightable, who retains what rights to the resulting works?
Of course, these are all questions for the lawyers. Until the answers are tested in the courts, however, the issue of copyright for software output will remain a gray area. Until it is resolved, software developers and their representation must anticipate how intellectual property law might affect users of their software or consumers of their services, their business partners, and themselves, particularly as computing moves ever further onto the Web.