Oracle Wins Appeal Versus Google Over Java API Clone With Lasting Implications
This ruling is a big deal because it could severely limit what software makers can safely do without getting sued and could hamper innovation. Google is of course displeased with the ruling, but others in the industry are none too happy either.
Image credit: orangesparrow/Flickr
Bryan Cantrill, CTO of Joyent, told Wired that the notion that you can copyright APIs is a perverted and depraved principle”, and he compared an API as akin to a plot as opposed to a novel. Obviously the content of a novel can be copyrighted, but the logical conclusion that copyrighting a plot is that “everything is derivative.”
There’s still a ways to go in this legal battle, though. The jury was deadlocked on the fair use part of the issue, and so the judge sent this particular aspect of the case back for further consideration.