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Google Oracle The Courts Your Rights Online

Judge Rules API's Can Not Be Copyrighted 365

Posted by samzenpus
from the listen-to-the-law dept.
Asmodae writes "Judge Alsup in the Oracle vs Google case has finally issued his ruling on the issue of whether or not APIs can be copyrighted. That ruling is resounding no. In some fairly clear language the judge says: 'So long as the specific code used to implement a method is different, anyone is free under the Copyright Act to write his or her own code to carry out exactly the same function or specification of any methods used in the Java API.'"
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Judge Rules API's Can Not Be Copyrighted

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  • Good to Know (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jorl17 (1716772) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @06:17PM (#40174133)
    Wine's safe. And everything else associated with it.
    • Re:Good to Know (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @06:25PM (#40174215) Journal

      Just about everything is safe. Ruling APIs copyrightable would have been a catastrophe of earth-shattering proportions. It is very much a good day for software. And, of course, Oracle has been handed their balls on a platter, though I'm assuming they will appeal this.

      • by Jorl17 (1716772)
        Of course. This seemed like the logical thing to do, though. Copyrighting APIs? Crazy, IMO!
      • Re:Good to Know (Score:5, Insightful)

        by icebike (68054) * on Thursday May 31, 2012 @06:32PM (#40174307)

        This!

        How could you possibly call an API if the argument structure was copyrightable? Buy a license for every single API set that was delivered with your machine, associated with every software product, or hosted somewhere on the web?

        In a world of stupid IP laws, at least this judge gets it. (Which surprises the hell out of me).

        • Re:Good to Know (Score:5, Insightful)

          by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @06:36PM (#40174349) Journal

          It would have been a disaster. Just about every operating system vendor, programming toolkit, developer of document formats and protocols would have to amend licenses to grant developers the rights to access the outward facing layers. Big guys like Microsoft could just crush projects like Wine. It would have been absolute chaos and would have created years of uncertainty, not to mention the fact that as the EU has already ruled APIs cannot be copyrighted, it would have created a monstrous rift in IP rules between Europe and the United States.

          • Re:Good to Know (Score:5, Insightful)

            by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @07:18PM (#40174775) Journal
            I agree, but what makes me ponder is that the European court said to allow copyright on an API would allow monopolizing ideas. Isn't that what allowing business rules patents does? Ie patent ideas? Hopefully, somehow, Alsup's logic pervades into the business rule / software patent realm and blots out this travesty of justice too.
            • Re:Good to Know (Score:4, Informative)

              by The1stImmortal (1990110) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @08:01PM (#40175179)

              On the other hand, the EU has had a hard time finding a position on software patents, and the key difference is that copyright is automatic, patents have a specific set of conditions to be granted and go through a review process (even if it's not a terribly *good* review process)

              Permitting the *automatic* granting of monopolies on ideas would be a disaster

            • by Artifakt (700173)

              It's widely recognised legally that awarding a patent IS giving a monopoly on the use of an idea, BUT for a limited time, and with other requirments such as disclosure. What the European court seems to have the most trouble with is an entity getting all the benefits of a patent by invoking some other form of "Intellectual Property" that doesn't have the same limitations. That's not as good as excellent laws in each specific area of IP, but at least it's something.

              • Re:Good to Know (Score:5, Informative)

                by hazem (472289) on Friday June 01, 2012 @12:45AM (#40176857) Journal

                It's widely recognised legally that awarding a patent IS giving a monopoly on the use of an idea

                I was under the impression that a patent cannot be used for an idea, but the specific implementation of an idea. You could get a patent for inventing a hoverboard that is powered by anti-gravitons and I wouldn't be in violation of your patent if I invented one that is powered by the hearts of orphan children, even if they looked essentially the same and behaved the same. They're the same idea, a board that can hover in the air, but different implementations.

                • by k_187 (61692)
                  Correct, the real trick is to write your patent to be specific enough to be granted, but broad enough to cover more than your specific implementation of your idea. Meaning a good patent attorney could craft an anti-graviton hoverboard patent to also cover an orphan heart one.
            • I agree, but what makes me ponder is that the European court said to allow copyright on an API would allow monopolizing ideas. Isn't that what allowing business rules patents does? Ie patent ideas? Hopefully, somehow, Alsup's logic pervades into the business rule / software patent realm and blots out this travesty of justice too.

              Patents do expire [wikipedia.org], where copyright [about.com] has been continuously extended (in the U.S. anyway) to near eternity.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by s.petry (762400)

          Someone did not pay him enough!

          Hence, we will see an appeal to a Judge that gets paid the right amount of money by the right people.

          The more likely answer is: This judge is not corrupted like so many others. It's a refreshing sight!

          • Re:Good to Know (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Volante3192 (953645) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @06:49PM (#40174485)

            That this judge knew what the two sides were talking about is one big factor.

            Basically, average judge (well, average person in general) would look at rangeCheck() and go "VOODOO!!!"
            He looks at it and goes, "Day 1 of a coding class. Where's the originality?"

        • Re:Good to Know (Score:5, Insightful)

          by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @06:55PM (#40174551)

          In a world of stupid IP laws, at least this judge gets it. (Which surprises the hell out of me).

          That's what happens when you have a judge who programs as a hobby. It would be great if all lawsuits that affect an entire industry like this had to be decided by a judge familiar with the industry. Not going to happen of course, but it would be awesome if judges deciding software patent cases had to have some sort of programming background.

          • by Jorl17 (1716772)
            Not only awesome, but I think a requirement. How can you judge about what you know nothing about in a timespan not appropriate for you to learn about it, or without the ability to learn it?
            • Re:Good to Know (Score:5, Insightful)

              by ppanon (16583) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @08:42PM (#40175525) Homepage Journal
              In many industries, that requirement might force the judge to recuse themselves because there are few opportunities to acquire that experience without being significantly involved with one of the litigants. Low barriers to entry for learning programming and the large number of players in the industry make it pretty easy for a judge to have that experience without being compromised. That would be harder in the petroleum, telco, or broadcast industries.
            • by Baseclass (785652)
              Indeed. We choose lawyers who specialize in certain types of cases. Shouldn't the judge also be properly qualified?
          • Re:Good to Know (Score:5, Insightful)

            by slimjim8094 (941042) <slashdot3@justco ... et minus painter> on Thursday May 31, 2012 @07:15PM (#40174737)

            It would be great if all lawsuits that affect an entire industry like this had to be decided by a judge familiar with the industry.

            y
            Be careful what you wish for. If you have any experience in, say, hydraulic fracking for natural gas expansion, it's because you worked for a company that did it. Assuming you left on somewhat-amiable terms, you'll harbor generally-kind feelings to the company in particular and the industry in general, if only to justify to yourself why you did it. In this case, it turned out great - but mostly because you can program as a hobby, which isn't possible for banking, fracking, telco, etc...

            Imagine the worst of regulatory capture (when the only people with sufficient experience to regulate an industry are the ones being regulated), but with much broader consequences. Not pretty. There's a reason our judges are supposed to be experts in law, and the lawyers are supposed to bring in expert witnesses to explain the relevant details of the subject to him.

      • by TWX (665546)
        The judge strongly suggested that Oracle take the paltry-ish sum when that came up in court.

        I'm also sure that they'll appeal, but they'll probably lose.

        "I know what you're thinking, 'cause right now I'm thinking the same thing ... Why oh why didn't I take the BLUE pill?"
      • Re:Good to Know (Score:5, Interesting)

        by twistedcubic (577194) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @06:37PM (#40174361)
        Even if they appeal, the appellate judges will get a good education from reading the current decision, so they might do the right thing. I have to say, I doubt this would have happened if Google did not exist.
      • Re:Good to Know (Score:5, Informative)

        by sribe (304414) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @06:40PM (#40174395)

        And, of course, Oracle has been handed their balls on a platter, though I'm assuming they will appeal this.

        The judge has clearly anticipated the appeal, even devoting an entire section to explaining how utterly trivial the 9 lines of actually copied code are, and to describing, for the benefit of an appeals court, how ridiculously Oracle has exaggerated the claims around them--remember Oracle tried to claim that by copying the 9-line (including closing braces) implementation of rangeCheck, Google was able to bring Android to market sooner. Goddamned fools.

        • Re:Good to Know (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Dragon Bait (997809) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @07:07PM (#40174653)

          The judge has clearly anticipated the appeal, even devoting an entire section to explaining how utterly trivial the 9 lines of actually copied code are...

          It is amusing. The judge probably spent several orders of magnitude longer explaining why the lines were trivial than the time it would take to the write the function in the first place.

      • Re:Good to Know (Score:5, Informative)

        by Teancum (67324) <.robert_horning. .at. .netzero.net.> on Thursday May 31, 2012 @07:03PM (#40174611) Homepage Journal

        This ruling and opinion looks very water tight. If it goes up through the appeals process, I think it is likely to be affirmed the whole way up the food chain.

        The ruling goes way beyond even settling the issue of copyright over APIs, but even goes so far as to say that EULAs that restrict the use of APIs are dead in the water and are void in terms of enforceability. This ruling does strengthen the copyright claims of people who write up API libraries as the original implementation of a particular API function is expressly covered under copyright law, but the way data is passed between two different software packages simply can't be copyrighted at all.

        The only way this is going to be overturned is to place a stamp of copyright protection on API interfaces directly and hand this whole case to Oracle, giving them everything they ever wanted and more. I just don't see any higher court will do something like that.

        • by ATMAvatar (648864)

          The only way this is going to be overturned is to place a stamp of copyright protection on API interfaces directly and hand this whole case to Oracle, giving them everything they ever wanted and more. I just don't see any higher court will do something like that.

          I don't see it happening, either, especially as it runs contrary to the interoperability clauses contained within the DMCA [copyright.gov]. If we are granted special privileges to reverse engineer copy protected works for the purposes of interoperability, surely it is a difficult sell that using an API could be construed as infringing. There is nothing I saw at a glance that explicitly says so, but it is pretty clear that cross-compatibility of programs is considered important, and any ruling to lock down APIs is a compl

      • Re:Good to Know (Score:5, Informative)

        by ppanon (16583) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @08:28PM (#40175397) Homepage Journal
        Mostly. If you read the judge's ruling (and the observations thereof on Groklaw), the judge makes it clear that this applies to the Java API SSO because the java package SSO is essential to method invocation. (i.e. you need to import java.lang.String to access the string methods or need to explicitly invoke the class methods using the full package hierarchical path). The judge leaves open the possibility that an API's SSO would be copyrightable in a language where conforming to that SSO was not required for API interoperability, where the SSO was expressive only and not functional in any way.
        • Re:Good to Know (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 31, 2012 @09:14PM (#40175713)

          Mod parent up. It's important to notice that the judge did *NOT* rule that APIs couldn't be copyrighted. He was VERY careful to say:

          This order does not hold that Java API packages are free to use without license. It does not hold that the structure, sequence and organization of all computer programs may be stolen. Rather, it holds on the specific facts of this case, the particular elements replicated by Google were free for all to use under the Copyright Act.

          His ruling is VERY specific to Google's use of Java and is NOT a blanket declaration about copyright of APIs.

          It's possible that in a future court case a different judge might take this ruling and turn it into a ruling that applies ot all APIs, but that's not what this ruling does.

    • by Tynin (634655)

      Wine's safe. And everything else associated with it.

      Wine is just a single piece of software that is safe. This would have been huge if it had gone the other way. It could have been using all the way up to the point of processor instruction sets being illegal to use unless you paid a license fee.

      • Re:Good to Know (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @06:41PM (#40174401) Journal

        Hell, it would have meant Open/LibreOffice and just about anyone with software or libraries that can read or write the old Word 97-2003 formats would be insanely vulnerable. The distance between an API, a document format or a protocol is no distance at all, and anyone who didn't have a license to write Word-compatible files could be nailed to the wall.

        • This wouldn't be limited to F/OSS, either. Imagine what happens if someone dug out the old "copyrights" on, say, the signature of printf.

    • by digitig (1056110)
      Assuming the appeal fails or doesn't happen. What's the geographic scope of this ruling? I don't really understand how the state/circuit/federal legal system works in the USA or where this fits in.
    • A Dark Day (Score:5, Funny)

      by Safety Cap (253500) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @07:47PM (#40175045) Homepage Journal

      Without the incentive of copyright, no one will ever make an API again.

      How will people get paid for setting up third-party access to their data and functionality?

      You laugh now, but the internet is just one big API, and now it will go da--#&@$(#$& NO CARRIER

    • Re:Good to Know (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BitterOak (537666) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @07:56PM (#40175123)

      Wine's safe. And everything else associated with it.

      Keep in mind two things: First, this is a district court judge. Surely he won't have the final say on an issue of this import. It will most likely be decided at the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court level.

      The other interesting thing is how this could affect the GPL. As I understand it, the difference between the GPL and say, the LGPL, is that if you write code that uses GPL libraries, your source code must also be GPL'd, even if you don't distribute those libraries with your code. (i.e. your installation instructions direct users to download and install the libraries themselves.) The way it works is, your code is written to the API specified by those libraries and you are therefore bound by the license terms of those libraries. If API's are not covered by copyright, then you wouldn't be bound by those license terms, and so effectively there's no difference between the GPL and the LGPL.

      • Re:Good to Know (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @08:53PM (#40175587) Journal

        The other interesting thing is how this could affect the GPL. As I understand it, the difference between the GPL and say, the LGPL, is that if you write code that uses GPL libraries, your source code must also be GPL'd, even if you don't distribute those libraries with your code. (i.e. your installation instructions direct users to download and install the libraries themselves.) The way it works is, your code is written to the API specified by those libraries and you are therefore bound by the license terms of those libraries. If API's are not covered by copyright, then you wouldn't be bound by those license terms, and so effectively there's no difference between the GPL and the LGPL.

        You're misunderstanding the licensing issue with GPLed libraries. The licensing issue is that by linking against the GPLed library, you are using the actual GPLed code as part of your product, not just the headers, thus making your code a derivative work of that GPLed code because it depends on that code for correct operation. Now there is some room for debating whether or not that really is the case, but that's the basic argument.

        This case, by contrast, says that the headers themselves cannot be copyrighted. What this means is that you are free to do what both the BSD and GPL folks seem to do on an almost daily basis—take some library (or set of functions within a library) that is under one license and reimplement it under a less/more restrictive license, keeping the same basic interface so that code can be compiled against either version of the library and still work correctly.

        • Re:Good to Know (Score:4, Interesting)

          by BitterOak (537666) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @09:46PM (#40175885)

          You're misunderstanding the licensing issue with GPLed libraries. The licensing issue is that by linking against the GPLed library, you are using the actual GPLed code as part of your product, not just the headers, thus making your code a derivative work of that GPLed code because it depends on that code for correct operation.

          You're missing my point. I'm talking about distributing code that links either dynamically to user-installed GPL libraries, or even source code which the user compiles (which you don't want to release under GPL, but rather, say, BSD or some other license.) So you won't be actually distributing the GPL libraries at all.

          If what you mean to say is that you've created a derivative work by writing code that links to these libraries, that is equivalent to saying that the APIs that the libraries implement is copyrightable. I.e. writing code that meets the API specifications for a specific set of libraries is creating a derivative work is equivalent to saying the APIs enjoy copyright protection. There's no difference. This is what the judge rejected.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 31, 2012 @06:19PM (#40174149)

    PJ from Groklaw:

    Oracle has nothing to show for all of its efforts> For those who have depended on the self-described patent expert for your understanding of this case . . . well, maybe now you will know better than to trust a paid spokesman.

  • by gus goose (306978) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @06:22PM (#40174183) Journal

    Having read the entire order (and having followed this case from near the beginning), all I can say is that I *wish* that all orders were so well prepared and presented. It appears to close all avenues for appeals, and I think the best 'showing' of any parties to this case has been Judge Alsup. He kept control of a tough case, and in my opinion, all his rulings have been well thought out, and his 'go-the-extra-mile' attitude has made this process a clear win for all (except Oracle).

    gus

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geekoid (135745)

      Long term speaking, its a win for Oracle. It's really only a matter of time before it would have bit them in the butt. There developers use APIs as well.

      • How exactly is it a win for Oracle? They now have a competing VM that can run Java code. Considering Android's position in the mobile market, I'd say for Oracle this means Java goes into a slow eclipse.

        • Java going into eclipse? That had to be intentional.
        • by BronsCon (927697)

          this means Java goes into a slow eclipse.

          Considering that Eclipse is the most widely used IDE for Android programming and Dalvik is a Java derivative, I think this happened long ago.

        • It's a partial win for Oracle because now they too can use APIs without fear of lawsuits. Also, it helps the Java language because if this ruling went the other way then other companies would be motivated to move away from Java for fear of lawsuits from Oracle.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Meet Alice. Alice thinks she has the right to shoot anyone she wants in the head. In particular, Alice wants to shoot Bob. Bob objects, and Alice and Bob take their dispute to court. After a long and vexatious trial, Alice loses.

          Charlie, Alice's estranged ex-boyfriend, is standing outside the courtroom, menacingly brandishing a gun. "Alice", Charlie says. "You lucked out!" "What do you mean," Alice exclaims. "I just lost my case!" "All is lost, for now I can't shoot Bob in the head, or anyone else I don't l

        • by Sir_Sri (199544)

          But Java isn't really a money maker for oracle, it never was going to be. They sell databases, big fancy expensive databases. If they suddenly find out that APIs are copyrightable all their database management software, that uses linux/windows copyrights for all of the UI elements to manage the databases, all of the library api calls they use for the graphics system to visualize the database etc. All of their networking hooks, probably someone elses APIs...

          They'd have been in deep shit. Fast. If their

        • by suutar (1860506)
          Sounds like he's figuring "Oracle has been prevented from shooting themselves in the foot with what they thought was a pistol but is actually just an aimer for an orbital laser cannon. In the long run they're better off, so really it's a win for them. Along with everyone else, of course."
    • by tobiasly (524456) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @06:44PM (#40174427) Homepage

      Having read the entire order (and having followed this case from near the beginning), all I can say is that I *wish* that all orders were so well prepared and presented. It appears to close all avenues for appeals, and I think the best 'showing' of any parties to this case has been Judge Alsup.

      This this this. Most of those old fart judges would have thrown their hands up in exasperation at trying to understand all this computery gobbledygook, not written an order that explains the difference between public and private or instance vs. static methods. Couldn't have gotten a better judge for this case.

    • Absolutely. I want to buy him a beer. When he made it clear that he knew how to program, and was studying java, I knew the case was over. That was what we needed.

      Excellent... judge..manship ?
  • That's ok, they have plenty of money to appeal where it will probably get overturned by some moron.
    • That's ok, they have plenty of money to appeal where it will definitely get overturned by some judge they bought.

      FTFY.

  • Really... what are some long term consequences of this decision? Could Oracle decide that if it can't have its way with Java, then nobody should have their version of Java, and simply stop making new versions? What would such a decision mean for Java?
    • by Microlith (54737)

      Could Oracle decide that if it can't have its way with Java, then nobody should have their version of Java, and simply stop making new versions?

      Wanna see OpenJDK get a lot of investment?

      • by mark-t (151149)
        I wouldn't mind it at all... but do you seriously think that wouldn't cause a whole lot of people to lose a certain level of confidence in Java's future?
        • by Microlith (54737)

          It might, if no one steps up to manage it.

          Someone could do that, though. After all, the APIs aren't copyrightable so pull a LibreOffice: establish a foundation, swap out the trademarks, and move on.

  • It is about time.
  • The Judge gets it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @06:34PM (#40174329) Homepage

    "In order to declare a particular functionality, the language demands that the method declaration take a particular form," notes Alsup (emphasis in original).

    Indeed, this is just so. And you can't copyright "functionality"; that's akin to copyrighting a concept, which is not what copyright is about. Copyright is about protecting implementations of concepts, and those are still protected. But a programming language requires a rigid codification of the concept itself.

    Oracle's response made me chuckle a little...

    "The court's reliance on "interoperability" ignores the undisputed fact that Google deliberately eliminated interoperability between Android and all other Java platforms," the company said in a statement issued this afternoon. "Google's implementation intentionally fragmented Java and broke the "write once, run anywhere" promise."

    That's really immaterial to the reasoning for why an APIs aren't protected under the Copyright Act in the first place. It would be relevant if "interoperability" were a defense against copyright infringement, but it's not, since the item in question wasn't protected in the first place.

    Just because my implementation of fopen() breaks programs that depended on your implementation of fopen() that doesn't suddenly mean that your declaration of a function called fopen() is protected and my identical declaration is infringing. This would imply that copyright infringement claims based on APIs would suddenly be dependent on some kind of compatibility test.

    And on that note, it was that last line that made me chuckle. Brings to mind something about ships and sailing, or barn doors and horses.

    • Re:The Judge gets it (Score:5, Informative)

      by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @07:05PM (#40174629) Journal

      The entire summary of ruling is worth reading - it lays it out concisely yet clearly.

      SUMMARY OF RULING

      So long as the specific code used to implement a method is different, anyone is free under the Copyright Act to write his or her own code to carry out exactly the same function or specification of any methods used in the Java API. It does not matter that the declaration or method header lines are identical. Under the rules of Java, they must be identical to declare a method specifying the same functionality — even when the implementation is different. When there is only one way to express an idea or function, then everyone is free to do so and no one can monopolize that expression. And, while the Android method and class names could have been different from the names of their counterparts in Java and still have worked, copyright protection never extends to names or short phrases as a matter of law.

      It is true that the very same functionality could have been offered in Android without duplicating the exact command structure used in Java. This could have been done by re-arranging the various methods under different groupings among the various classes and packages (even if the same names had been used). In this sense, there were many ways to group the methods yet still duplicate the same range of functionality.

      But the names are more than just names — they are symbols in a command structure wherein the commands take the form

      java.package.Class.method()

      Each command calls into action a pre-assigned function. The overall name tree, of course, has creative elements but it is also a precise command structure — a utilitarian and functional set of symbols, each to carry out a pre-assigned function. This command structure is a system or method of operation under Section 102(b) of the Copyright Act and, therefore, cannot be copyrighted. Duplication of the command structure is necessary for interoperability.

      So; API is a "system of method of operation", and hence non-copyrightable.

    • by DrJimbo (594231) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @08:19PM (#40175337)

      Perhaps Oracle didn't read the ruling carefully. Judge Alsup ruled:

      That interoperability is at the heart of the command structure is illustrated by Oracle's preoccupation with what it calls "fragmentation," meaning the problem of having imperfect interoperability among platforms. When this occurs, Java-based applications may not run on the incompatible platforms. For example, Java-based code using the replicated parts of the 37 API packages will run on Android but will not if a 38th package is needed. Such imperfect interoperability leads to a "fragmentation" -- a Balkanization -- of platforms, a circumstance which Sun and Oracle have tried to curb via their licensing programs. In this litigation, Oracle has made much of this problem, at times almost leaving the impression that if only Google had replicated all 166 Java API packages, Oracle would not have sued. While fragmentation is a legitimate business consideration, it begs the question whether or not a license was required in the first place to replicate some or all of the command structure. (This is especially so inasmuch as Android has not carried the Java trademark, and Google has not held out Android as fully compatible.) The immediate point is this: fragmentation, imperfect interoperability, and Oracle's angst over it illustrate the character of the command structure as a functional system or method of operation.

      [...] In Sony, the accused product implemented only 137 of the Playstation BIOS's 242 functions because those were the only functions invoked by the games tested. Connectixâ(TM)s Opening Appellate Brief at 18, available at 1999 WL 33623860, (9th Cir. May 27, 1999). Our court of appeals held that the accused product "itself infringe[d] no copyright." Sony, 203 F.3d at 608 n.11. This parallels Google's decision to implement some but not all of the Java API packages in Android.

      Oracle's obsession over fragmentation was turned against them because it showed they agree that the APIs are functional and hence not copyrightable. They seem oblivious to the fact that they were hoist by their own petard. Like the dinosaur they are, there is a long time delay before signals get transmitted to their tiny brains.

  • by atari2600 (545988) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @06:35PM (#40174331)

    One of them reads "API is". Just saying.

  • by BillKaos (657870) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @07:34PM (#40174917) Homepage

    I'm sorry to say that, but Stallman was spot on with regarding his position about Java.

    I feel nervous when I develop using a non-free framework. I much favor using a fully open source stack, as a programmer it frees me about a lot of worries.

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