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Oracle V. Google Being Decided By Clueless Judge and Jury (vice.com) 436

theodp writes: The problem with Oracle v. Google," explains Motherboard's Sarah Jeong, "is that everyone actually affected by the case knows what an API is, but the whole affair is being decided by people who don't, from the normals in the jury box to the normals at the Supreme Court." Which has Google's witnesses "really, really worried that the jury does not understand nerd shit." Jeong writes, "Eric Schmidt sought to describe APIs and languages using power plugs as an analogy. Jonathan Schwartz tried his hand at explaining with 'breakfast menus,' only to have Judge William Alsup respond witheringly, 'I don't know what the witness just said. The thing about the breakfast menu makes no sense.'

"Schwartz's second attempt at the breakfast menu analogy went much better, as he explained that although two different restaurants could have hamburgers on the menu, the actual hamburgers themselves were different -- the terms on the menu were an API, and the hamburgers were implementations." And Schwarz's explanation that the acronym GNU stands for 'GNU is Not Unix' drew the following exchange: "The G part stands for GNU?" Alsup asked in disbelief. "Yes," said Schwartz on the stand. "That doesn't make any sense," said the 71-year-old Clinton appointee.

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Oracle V. Google Being Decided By Clueless Judge and Jury

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, 2016 @08:32PM (#52113441)

    Please let them bring up PHP for some reason...

    • by Plus1Entropy ( 4481723 ) on Saturday May 14, 2016 @08:35PM (#52113449)

      Honestly, I think we made our beds, and now we're being forced to sleep in them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by GPS Pilot ( 3683 )

        Recursive acronyms can be fun and clever. Not everyone immediately groks the concept, but that's no reason to beat ourselves up.

        • by ItsJustAPseudonym ( 1259172 ) on Saturday May 14, 2016 @10:48PM (#52113893)
          "...that's no reason to beat ourselves up."

          We can tell ourselves that, after the judge has become irritated and secretly prejudicial, due to a sarcastically-recursive acronym. It's a sad state of the courts, for sure, but it's also a case of nerd isolation.
          • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @02:06AM (#52114389)

            To be fair, this isn't isolated to just technology. Nearly every industry has its details that "normals" outside of that field just have no idea, and are considered idiots for not knowing what that is. That is the thing about specializing in a field, you know stuff that the non-specialist in that area don't know.

            But I do believe that in the tech industry we had reveled a but too much in that idea of our superiority and sometimes try hard to make things more complex to outsiders than they have to be. And now it can hurt us.

            Normally the idea that non-specials in the area for a court hearing is a good thing, because a specialist would be fixed on their point of view, so they would already be pro-Google or pro-Oracle, without the rest of the facts and not with the idea of justice, but with pushing their agenda.

            • Nearly every industry has its details that "normals" outside of that field just have no idea, and are considered idiots for not knowing what that is.

              The problem is, not many fields are based on specialized mathematics, and programming is specialized mathematics, and most people are probably worse at abstraction than at memorizing random tidbits (including many programmers (!)). So the idea of a normal-order-evaluated self-referential structure is probably more alien to the average person than most, if not all things from your randomly picked industry.

              • I think you are correct, that the judge is out of his element, with the programming aspect. However, we are concerned about another aspect. One that ought to be trivial and have no bearing on the case. The 'GNU' acronym. And that's where things get weird and sad.

                The judge certainly has prior experience with acronyms, and he plainly expects acronyms to be created using a simple set of rules. The 'GNU' acronym has clearly violated his expected set of rules. Now we are faced with the prospect that the
            • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @03:47AM (#52114603) Journal
              There's a big push in the industry to make things easier for non-experts. For entirely selfish reasons, to be sure...

              try hard to make things more complex to outsiders than they have to be

              If that accusation ever came from a lawyer or a judge, I'd say that's the pot calling the kettle black.

              • If that accusation ever came from a lawyer or a judge, I'd say that's the pot calling the kettle black.

                Actually, the legal profession is even more guilty than IT. Because lawyers and judges stand to earn vastly more money when the public at large doesn't understand their guild secrets. Whereas there is nothing in particular to stop the ordinary citizen from learning as much as he or she wants to about computers.

          • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

            All they need is a working class geek to do the interpretations for the court. Using an intellectual from more affluent circumstance will produce problems. So the proper definition for an application programming interface for oldies, especially Luddite is, "it's morse code". The interface being the commonly accepted pattern of dots and dashes to communicate information, but does not include the information to be transmitted, which is protected and copyright, where as the agreed pattern of dots and dashes i

      • by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Saturday May 14, 2016 @10:41PM (#52113869)

        Honestly, I think we made our beds, and now we're being forced to sleep in them.

        Amen. Although I question what the value of elaborating G.N.U. adds to the conversation, particularly given that it is idiotic and essentially meaningless. The reason there is so much whimsy in the computer geek world is that many of us have a heightened distaste for social hang-ups that serve no useful function. If a noun is required to identify something, any one will do, provided it doesn't violate trademark . In this case, that noun is GNU, and if asked to elaborate the correct answer "It is just a name, what does Alsup mean?"

        • Also, TFA talks about this sound-byte quote, but what bearing is it really going to have on the case? What was said afterward? Did the judge simply shrug it off as a stupid joke and move on? My guess is probably, but of course that doesn't fit the narrative TFA is trying to get across.

          • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @02:50AM (#52114485) Journal

            Because the judge didn't say it's a stupid joke he said he didn't understand it. Big difference there. In the first case, the judge was ignorant of programming so taught himself before the case started. This case follows the proud British legal tradition (which you inherited) of proudly ignorant old dinosaurs ruling on stuff they consider it to be beneath them to understand.

            • by ragahast ( 879945 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @05:25AM (#52114745)

              In the first case, the judge was ignorant of programming so taught himself before the case started.

              It's the same judge (William Alsup), and he still knows how to program (in Java). The menu analogy is poor, and recursive acronyms aren't funny to everyone, I guess. It doesn't make him clueless, and anyone who has followed these cases could tell you that Alsup is considers Google to be in the right (thus his ruling in the first case).

      • Honestly, I think we made our beds, and now we're being forced to sleep in them.

        I think you mean YABWBFSI (Yet Another Bed We're Begin Forced to Sleep In). ;)

    • I suspect a bit of snobbishness in telling what the acronym GNU stands for ( "GNU is Not Unix" ).
      • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Saturday May 14, 2016 @09:53PM (#52113705)

        I suspect a bit of snobbishness in telling what the acronym GNU stands for ( "GNU is Not Unix" ).

        Many non-nerds don't understand that nerds are often whimsical about things that normal people would take more seriously. Like naming a project that encompasses the life work of many people. Non-nerds not only fail to understand our technology, but they also fail to grok our culture.

      • by Beeftopia ( 1846720 ) on Saturday May 14, 2016 @10:20PM (#52113807)

        Recursion is not a simple concept to someone who has never heard "recursive case" and "base case" and "function". It's not a simple concept even to those who have. So, no snobbishness I think.

        They're like engineering jokes: "What do you get when you cross an elephant and a grape? Elephant grape sin theta." No one who doesn't know what a cross product is, is going to get that.

        This speaks to the weakness of the jury system. It worked well enough in agrarian times for simple concepts. But this is not a jury of (programming) peers. So they're not being judged by jury of their peers.

  • Oh my god (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NotSoHeavyD3 ( 1400425 ) on Saturday May 14, 2016 @08:35PM (#52113451)
    He couldn't just bring up steering wheel, accelerator, brake, and gear shift as an example of an interface?
    • Re:Oh my god (Score:5, Interesting)

      by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Saturday May 14, 2016 @10:57PM (#52113927) Homepage Journal

      Or he could have thought about it for 10 minutes and said something like this:

      API is a silhouette, a contour, an outline of an object, but it is not an object itaelf, it is a promise that the object will provide functionality that the contour is hinting about.

      To copyright a contour while maybe possible should not penalize those, who want to provide their version of an object that is projecting the same contour. A contour of a woman's body is clearly recognizable but it does not say anything more than 'it is a woman'. A contour of a car promises that the object behind it is a car but the car itself with all of its parts cannot be seen.

      Applications depend on such contours to request the functionality of the objects behind the contours. To allow a company to put a lock on a contour would destroy ability of applications to use each other's functionality and would significantly and negatively impact the economy.

      To prevent others from projecting a promise of functionality by using an existing and well recognized description of that functionality through the means of these API object contours is to stop all development of alternative systems unless sanctioned by the current legally recognized owner of the specific object providing such functionality. But an outline of a system is not a system itself. An outline of a door is not a door yet it makes it clear that there is a door and it can be used.

      Should a particular door maker be able to prevent others from making doors that people can walk through because we recognize a rectangle on a wall as a passage, as a door regardless of the company that made the door?

      Do we want a single company to control all doors?

      • Re:Oh my god (Score:5, Insightful)

        by r0kk3rz ( 825106 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @02:48AM (#52114473)

        ...and this is why so many people are mystified by computing, the people that understand it are really bad at analogies.

      • Re:Oh my god (Score:5, Insightful)

        by smallfries ( 601545 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @05:23AM (#52114741) Homepage

        Or he could have said something that simplified it instead of romanticising it:

        The English language is an API: the alphabet and the dictionary. People use that API to write books, emails, webpages and a million other things. The things that they create are copyrighted as creative expressions using combinations of letters and words.

        Oh whoops, it is a bit awkward that the law no longer fits that explanation after the previous ruling...

    • Re:Oh my god (Score:5, Insightful)

      by myid ( 3783581 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @02:46AM (#52114467)

      Just because the judge and jury don't know what an API is now, doesn't mean they can't understand it, given a good explanation. An API has to do with code. Show them some code.

      If I were explaining an API to them, I would say that it's mainly a set of commands for certain tasks. If a Java programmer wants to instruct a Java program to do one of those tasks, then he/she must type in the corresponding command. (A "set of commands to type" is easier to understand than "set of rules", "interface" or "contract".) There is more to the API than commands - there are data values (ex: Math.PI), and the way that the API is divided into classes, interfaces, and packages. But mainly programmers care about the commands.

      I would go to https://docs.oracle.com/javase... [oracle.com]. I would show the judge and jury the Math.random() method description, and briefly go over the description.

      I would keep the description of Math.random() up on one screen. On a second screen, I would show them the source code of a very simple Java program that calls Math.random(), and then prints the random number. I would point out the line in the program that contained the call to Math.random(), and say, "See, that's an example of using the Java API method that you see here on the first screen".

      I would say that we don't know how the Java program determined the random number. We don't have to know. We just have to know which command in the API to use.

      They'd be able to understand that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, 2016 @08:37PM (#52113461)

    It's not clear to me that the problem is the judge and the jury. The analogies seem like they're pretty bad analogies, especially the breakfast menu. It seems like the problem is just as likely that the lawyers and expert witnesses are doing a bad job of explaining things to the jury. Why do things have to be dumbed down, anyway? Why not directly explain what an API is instead of resorting to simplistic analogies? Instead, the judge and jury are accused of being clueless. Perhaps you should listen to the judge that the analogies are confusing instead of claiming the judge and jury are idiots. Maybe people don't like being talked down to. Somehow I have a feeling the judge and jury actually care about understanding what an API is, and resent that witnesses are talking down to them.

    • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Saturday May 14, 2016 @09:00PM (#52113551) Journal

      These are people (the jury) who failed geometry in high school. And that was when he subject material of proofs and theorms (and logical arguments like programming) was fresh in their minds. The average American struggles with 6th grade pre-algebra - and I'm talking college grads more than 10 years out! Most of my (non-tech, 40-something, BS or MS degreed, commercially successful) parent friends are basically tapped out of helping their own kids in math by 7th grade.

      You could explain APIs from now until 2020 and half of them still wouldn't get it. An analogy involved food/restaurants (which they DO understand) may be your only hope, since sex and excretory functions are off the table in terms of polite conversation.

      • These are people (the jury) who failed geometry in high school.

        Let's all remember that this case never had to come before a jury. The sides could have chosen for it to be a bench trial, but I'm guessing both sides liked their chances better if they could find a group of people who really didn't understand what was going on.

        Hell, they could have probably gone to arbitration and avoided a trial altogether.

        A pox on both their houses.

        • I don't know about that.
          In my opinion, Larry Ellison is a rather unstable nut job, and that's from a long time before Java was ever written.
        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
          It's nearly impossible to get two corporations into binding arbitration. Your legal rights are greatly limited, and one bad day from one "impartial" person or panel, and you've lost everything.
      • by Ferocitus ( 4353621 ) on Saturday May 14, 2016 @10:33PM (#52113843)

        An analogy involved food/restaurants (which they DO understand) may be your only hope, since sex and excretory functions are off the table in terms of polite conversation.

        How can you explain Microsoft's Win 10's strategy without referring to a shit sandwich?

        • by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @12:42AM (#52114211)

          How can you explain Microsoft's Win 10's strategy without referring to a shit sandwich?

          It's not difficult, here's an example:

          Imagine it's Valentine's day, and you go to the store to get your bonnie lass a box of chocolates. You have them gift-wrap it, and you go to the fancy restaurant where you have dinner reservations. The evening goes beautifully. You take her home, and she gives you a very exciting come-hither loop. You sweep her off her feet, and carry her to the bedroom. After some passionate kissing, you gently start to lift her blouse, and there's a shit sandwich.

          Sorry, my mistake. It can't be done.

      • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Saturday May 14, 2016 @10:35PM (#52113849)
        "You could explain APIs from now until 2020 and half of them still wouldn't get it."

        APIs are like dog commands - sit, down, stay. Implementations are the individual dogs and how a dog was trained to follow that command.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, 2016 @09:03PM (#52113575)

      I'm not sure the summary is accurate wrt to the article or if the articles writers are slanted, because there was praise for Alsup in Oracle v. Google (2012) for actually knowing how to program. Would argue that maybe the better interpretation of Alsup's questionings and responses were that the programmers and lawyers were dumbing down the explanations too much.

      https://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2887227&cid=40175735 [slashdot.org]

      by gcnaddict ( 841664 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:17PM (#40175735)

      via c|net [cnet.com]:

      On many days, the San Francisco courtroom where he presided was more like a computer science classroom. Alsup acknowledged during the trial that he had learned about Java coding to better prepare for the case, and it showed. On a daily basis, he would deftly query the lawyers and expert witnesses on the structure, sequence, and organizations of APIs to assist the jury in understanding the key facets of the copyright phase of the trial.

      This is why I have respect for Judge Alsup. In order to apply the law in a complex engineering-related case, he worked to learn the subject matter in order to properly apply the law to the material. That's how I expect every Judge should apply the law rather than just sit and "trust the experts" per-se.

      • The conceptual modeling ISO standard already declared that a conceptual model is as applicable to modeling the judicial domain as it is to modeling business information. So I would argue that judge Alsup behaved like lawyers should, which is as information analyst.

        The problem being that most lawyers do not actually understand their own domain in a mathematical sense, from a conceptual modeling view. It would improve laws a lot if they were treated as conceptual models that need to be disambiguated before us

    • by Tailhook ( 98486 )

      The breakfast menu is a fine analogy and has the immense benefit of being automatically familiar to everyone in the Western world. I can easily imagine someone with sufficient social skills successfully conveying the concept of an API using a restaurant menu analogy. I think the real problem is the choice of using these celebrity geeks, all of whom appear to be suffering various degrees of Aspergers. They can't explain things to `normals' whether they use analogies or not.

  • Not wrong (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, 2016 @08:38PM (#52113467)

    The judge isn't wrong, having a recursive name like GNU is weird and something only nerdy programmer types really appreciate.

    This trial is a prime example of a concern I often have with the legal system in particular and the government in general: people who do not understand something are being asked to decide an issue. Government officials, whether they are judges, lawmakers or the leader of the country are usually well versed in law, but not medical research, technology, engineering, education and rarely have first hand experience with poverty, womens issues, etc. I think it's an unfortunate side effect of our system.

    • Re: Not wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, 2016 @08:44PM (#52113495)

      That's what expert witnesses are for. The judge also has the power to say that something doesn't make sense and ask questions. The problem here is that the judge is providing feedback and, instead of addressing the feedback, the judge is being treated like an idiot.

    • And PINE Is Not Elm.

      Anyway, so much for a jury of their peers.

    • If they do understand an issue, then it becomes hard to be impartial. If they do not understand an issue, then they're likely to be swayed by whoever speaks the best. It's a lose-lose situation.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      It is not. A recursive definition is a perfectly valid and well-understood concept from Computer Science or Mathematics. The only thing this shows is that the Judge is _not_ an expert in this field at all and that is what he should have concluded. Obviously he is not smart enough for that and that is a real problem. When a judge does not realize he is not an expert and needs to listen to the expert witnesses and believe them, things are screwed up to an extreme. Also, what business does a jury of non-expert

    • Not to mention the definition of GNU is completely irrelevant to the case at hand, so even a perfect judge would have tried to move on from that point.
  • by Snufu ( 1049644 ) on Saturday May 14, 2016 @08:41PM (#52113477)

    Unless the gnu lives on Endor.

  • Why was SVN so slowly adopted?
    Well, which CEO wants a software tool in house that is called "subversion" and the main IDE integration was called "subversive"?

    Why do we have a program called "less"? Who is old enough to remember that the original program was called "more"?
    A program that displayed its input page by page and had in the last line "hit space for MORE". Calling the improved version of "more" "less" might be funny ... once ... but actually it is not. From a today perspective calling a program "les

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Whetstones and Drystones. And some more. I do disagree on "less". If you do not see the beauty of that naming, then you are blind to aesthetics.

    • >> From a today perspective calling a program "less" which's only purpose is to display "more" makes no sense at all.

      Less is more than more, sheesh.

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Saturday May 14, 2016 @08:55PM (#52113533) Homepage

    What the f... does the average person really know about running a country? Nothing. Why should he have any say in that, really? Couldn't we just leave it to a bunch of experts? And what's to say the experts are really neutral at anything? For example if you wanted "experts" on copyright law you'd probably end up with a jury full of MPAA/RIAA/BPA members, oh and maybe a couple from the EFF for balance and surprisingly most their verdicts would go in favor of big business. Having ignorant people on the jury is the worst of all systems, except every other system we've tried. If you think you can design a system that won't have these problems you're either absolutely brilliant or extremely ignorant. And I know what my money is on.

    • We tried leaving the software issues to the software, but most of it had nothing to do and just stopped running. The few that took up the task were MCP and Skynet, and of course that went completely off the rails so we had to terminate that process and reboot the timeline.

      Democracy is for people, software are tools, and though some people are tools, they are allowed to participate not because they are tools but only because they are people. Any tools that are not people don't care about it in the first plac
    • by afgam28 ( 48611 )

      Very rarely do democracies require citizens to actually make detailed decisions about how a country is run(*). We usually get people to vote on something much more general - which politicians get into office - and then we let them handle things without micromanaging them. If they fuck up, we get pissed off and vote for someone else in the next cycle.

      This jury on the other hand is being asked to decide the outcome of a single case. The case is fairly technical, or at least more technical than the general pub

      • by swb ( 14022 ) on Saturday May 14, 2016 @11:33PM (#52114047)

        Isn't there some philosophical argument (at least) to be made that says that laws that can't be understood by ordinary men shouldn't be enforced?

        It seems like there's both a basic democratic element to it -- if the rule of law derives its legitimacy from the consent of the governed, how can they consent to what they can't understand? I have to live my life knowing that I may be subject to laws made in such a way I can't know if I am even obeying them.

        It also seems to be kind of a streamlining effect -- if laws can't be easily understood, maybe they're unnecessary or not really enforceable, Or they lack the basic coherence that says they represent a concrete idea. Complex laws are more likely to represent the interests of narrow constituencies.

        I think in the legal system also has a vested interest in the complexity of law. If laws were understandable and enforceable in plain language, the legal system would have less purpose and standing.

  • This actually sounds somewhat like what the American justice system is *supposed* to be like. The goal is justice, not understanding by the jury. Both sides present their best cases - hopefully both do so competently so that lay people can understand what the important facts are. The jury then decides the various disputed points based on that evidence and their understanding as lay people. Experts are supposed to explain things to them clearly. The judge's actions also appear correct. His job is to facilita
  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Saturday May 14, 2016 @09:18PM (#52113615)
    The whole point of pre-trial proceedings is to frame the issues in a way that a judge and jury can understand them. If you are not focused, if you are not making yourself clear, this is the time and place to fix the problem.
  • by andydread ( 758754 ) on Saturday May 14, 2016 @09:20PM (#52113619)
    This judge is not clueless
    Judge Alsup writes code [i-programmer.info]

    Quote from this judge from this same case before the appeal I believe
    I have done, and still do, a significant amount of programming in other languages. I've written blocks of code like rangeCheck a hundred times before. I could do it, you could do it. The idea that someone would copy that when they could do it themselves just as fast, it was an accident. There's no way you could say that was speeding them along to the marketplace. You're one of the best lawyers in America, how could you even make that kind of argument?

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      I was wondering that too. Maybe he has some expertise but is vastly overestimates its worth? A recursive definition is not advanced stuff, we had the first in the first week of CS and then again in Mathematics, also first week. Maybe he has never heard the definition of "GNU", but if he understands recursion, he should have immediately recognized the pattern. And it is not even a tail-recursion.

  • If you think "normals" are bad, try dealing with users as a system admin tech. "No, sir," I would explain. "The computer doesn't belong to you. It belongs to the company. And I have full authority to fix your computer." Some days I wish I could replace their computer with a box of crayons, which is all they need to do their job anyway.
    • "so...you'll pay my bill if I fix it? Oh, so, then, it's NOT your computer..." Go read all of the Bastard Operator From Hell [bjash.com], then you'll find your capabilities as an effective sys admin increase a thousandfold. Just the excuse list is useful..."solar flares" is the best non-answer ever for all wifi/cellular issues you don't feel like actually explaining.
      • by creimer ( 824291 )

        Just the excuse list is useful..."solar flares" is the best non-answer ever for all wifi/cellular issues you don't feel like actually explaining.

        I've been using "gamma radiation" for decades now. If it works for the Hulk, it should work fine for everyone else.

  • by TerraFrost ( 611855 ) on Saturday May 14, 2016 @10:13PM (#52113785)
    GNU is a recursive acronym [wikipedia.org]. The best non-tech example I can think of is VISA, which stands for Visa International Service Association. The judge probably has a VISA card himself.
    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Nice find! So this _is_ used outside of the IT world as well. As a recursive definition is an idea from Mathematics, this makes sense to me.

    • Judge Alsup is a very well informed judge for technical issues... take a look at the original 2012 rulings from Alsup in this case. He is trying to elicit from the lawyers an explanation for the jury. It's the judge's job to predict the questions the jury would have about what they've just heard. It is NOT his job to try to explain the information himself, even if he knows the answer ... he's there as judge, not to provide testimony.
  • by dltaylor ( 7510 ) on Saturday May 14, 2016 @10:20PM (#52113805)

    From what I've seen during jury selection, demonstrate either knowledge or the ability to think for yourself and you will be dismissed post-haste. The lawyers for both sides (criminal or civil) want more-or-less house plants that will follow their version of "logic".

    Anyone who has followed the United States political scene since, essentially, forever (about 1796, or thereabouts) knows that our system is fully intended to maximize the power of the dimmest bulbs in the shed.

    • the dimmest bulbs in the shed

      Please tell me that phrasing was intentional.

    • by Livius ( 318358 )

      maximize the power of the dimmest bulbs

      It would all depend on whether the power output of the bulbs was a limitation of the bulb wattage or an issue of amperage.

  • In the first trial, which Alsup ruled that an API is not subject to copyright. He learned Java for the case and written that even a high schooler could write it in 10 minutes.

    https://developers.slashdot.or... [slashdot.org]

  • Hysteria aside, there's a lot of fun stuff in the article. The lawyers were brutal:

    No one bothered to challenge Schwartz’s apparent belief that hamburgers are commonly featured on breakfast menus, as he had already moved on to confusing the jury on another front

    “You don't remember this article about being one of the fifteen worst CEOs in American history?” [Oracle's lawyer] asked him.

    Schwartz congratulates Google on developing an open source mobile platform to its face, and then calls it “Scroogle” in a private email

    btw, this case isn't the end of the world, it won't affect your ability to use APIs, only to copy them wholesale. And even then you can have a defense if you do it for interoperability purposes, so in 90% of the cases where you'd want to copy an API, you'll be able to.

    In the other cases, make up your own stupid language, it's not like Java is that great.

  • Naif, or disingenue? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by radarskiy ( 2874255 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @02:17AM (#52114413)

    Be careful of mistaking a judge who is unaware for a judge that is letting counsel have enough rope to hang themselves.

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