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Microsoft, BSA and Others Push For Appeal On Oracle v. Google Ruling 191

Posted by timothy
from the poor-innocent-business-model dept.
sl4shd0rk writes "In 2012, Oracle took Google to court over the use of Java in Android. Judge William Alsup brought the ruling that the structure of APIs could not be copyrighted at all. Emerging from the proceedings, it was learned that Alsup himself had some programming background and wasn't bedazzled by Oracle's thin arguments on the range-checking function. The ruling came, programmers rejoiced and Oracle vowed Appeal. It seems that time is coming now, nearly a year later, as Microsoft, BSA, EMC, Netapp, et al. get behind Oracle to overturn Alsup's ruling citing 'destabilization' of the 'entire software industry.'"
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Microsoft, BSA and Others Push For Appeal On Oracle v. Google Ruling

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  • "Destablization" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sycodon (149926) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @06:58PM (#42973533)

    Means "we've built an industry by holding our boot to your necks. Now how will we accumulate billions?"

  • Well there you go (Score:5, Insightful)

    by razorshark (2843829) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @07:01PM (#42973573)

    Everyone's been telling me (not here, just everyone else on the web) that Microsoft is better now - that they aren't quite the assholes they were in the 90's/early 2000's. There we were thinking the worst was behind them with their support for open standards on the web and not trying to kill kittens in their sleep. That if anyone still hated them in 2013 that they were being difficult, stubborn, misguided and childish.

    Think I'll stay away from Neowin for a while.

  • HAAAAATE (Score:5, Insightful)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @07:05PM (#42973615) Homepage Journal

    I'm filled with an all consuming hate for some reason. Oh yes. I know why. It's like trying to copyright the idea of a recipe for chocolate cake instead of the particular recipe you devised. These companies deserve to be dissolved. Not even kidding.

  • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @07:08PM (#42973653)

    The Software Mafia's argument is the exact opposite of the truth. Up until now, everyone has generally assumed that APIs could not be copyrighted, and overturning that finding would be incredibly destabilizing and harmful to the industry, as it would redefine as "infringement" practices that have been considered perfectly acceptable for over 30 years.

  • by SoupGuru (723634) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @07:10PM (#42973679)

    With all those players on one side of the issue, it's pretty easy choose sides... even if you don't know what the issue at hand is.

  • by david.emery (127135) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @07:15PM (#42973727)

    Any vendor of a Unix based operating system (including Apple, HP and IBM) should in fairness oppose this motion because they've all been very successful selling systems based on an open API. And that's just one example. I'm sure there are examples from the Graphics/GPU world.

  • Ethics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by labnet (457441) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @07:17PM (#42973751)

    Remember, most businesses ethics are only governed by what their government has legislated. There are always execptions but this is the general rule. This is why the USA is having so many structural problems. By making being elected such an expensive exercise, a politician who's most important priority is re-election, needs funding from corporate sponsors. This creates an obigation to support those sponsors, which creates legislation to support corporates over the public interest which courts must enforce.
    The best thing to happen for American Politics is to break the obligation cycle. I'll leave that to others on how you would achieve that.

  • by sk999 (846068) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @07:23PM (#42973795)

    The only way to bring stability to the software industry is to make sure that compatible APIs are outlawed. You know, like what we had during the UNIX Wars http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix_wars [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:HAAAAATE (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 21, 2013 @07:30PM (#42973851)

    I'm filled with an all consuming hate for some reason. Oh yes. I know why. It's like trying to copyright the idea of a recipe for chocolate cake instead of the particular recipe you devised. These companies deserve to be dissolved. Not even kidding.

    Recipes don't qualify for copyright protection in the US. The prose you write down at the bottom, in some cases, may, but in general they don't. They're a list of instructions and therefor not considered creative in nature.

    WAIT...you mean a list of human-readable instructions cannot be copyrighted, but machine-readable ones can?

    Huh.

    CAPTCHA: incense

  • Re:HAAAAATE (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 21, 2013 @07:32PM (#42973867)

    .... They're a list of instructions and therefor not considered creative in nature.

    And a computer program is what?

  • by LordThyGod (1465887) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @07:38PM (#42973905)
    He/she is off his/her meds.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 21, 2013 @07:41PM (#42973925)

    Yep. Their faces must surely be red now.

    Never. EVER. Trust Microsoft. Ever.

    They have done this crap before, and they will do it again.

    Hell, the do it every other damn OS release and trick millions of idiots in to getting it because "they fixed everything".
    Did they hell, you think they fixed everything, they just made the last OS not hell. Doesn't stop the new one from being anything less than still hellish.
    Just watch as so many idiots eat up Windows 9 when it comes out to "fix" everything wrong with Windows 8 when all it would have likely done was replace Metro with a start menu an few other fixes that would have been in any general service pack.
    Hell, Windows 7 was literally a service pack that got renamed and they forgot to remove it from the registry in an RC.

  • Re:Destabilization (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MozeeToby (1163751) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @07:45PM (#42973957)

    That's what I was thinking. They claim that a Google win would devastate the industry, I claim an Oracle win would do the same. Do they have any idea how much of the world's technology is built on common API's? Their own included?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 21, 2013 @08:10PM (#42974173)

    Never. EVER. Trust Microsoft. Ever.

    They have done this crap before, and they will do it again.

    s/Microsoft/Apple/
    s/Microsoft/Google/
    s/Microsoft/Canonical/
    s/Microsoft/Any Software Corporation/

    Like it or not, businesses will sacrifice any law, ideal or morality upon the altar of profit, if only because their competitors are doing the same thing.

    Is Apple not evil, with a walled garden and app censorship?

    Is Google not evil, with usurping AdWord revenue, kowtowing to China, collecting information without end user knowledge?

    Is Canonical not... Well, I guess lolAmazonIntegration isn't evil, more like stupid. Okay, you get a pass for now, Canonical, but I'm watching you.

    At any rate, all of these companies put together do not equal the dark malfeasance of Ellison, who is Morgoth - Black Foe of the World.

    The man blotted out the Sun.

  • by alvinrod (889928) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @08:45PM (#42974423)
    I don't even think that Microsoft cares about the ruling. They just want to screw over Google in any way that they possibly can. If the sides were flipped, Microsoft would change their argument. It's all about making Android as expensive as possible so that the third party handset manufacturers dump it in favor of Windows Phone.
  • by buybuydandavis (644487) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @08:54PM (#42974479)

    "citing 'destabilization' of the 'entire software industry."

    They say that like it's a bad thing.

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @09:12PM (#42974621)

    "They say that like it's a bad thing."

    Yeah. Even if it might not be desirable, "destabilization of the industry" is NOT a legal argument.

    Our legal system was not designed as a support for any particular kind of business model. Especially one that is inherently predatory and against the public interest. One might even say that, since it would be another restriction on software, allowing an API itself to be copyrighted is contrary to the interest of the industry as a whole.

  • Re:HAAAAATE (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrJimbo (594231) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @10:07PM (#42975061)

    Functions are for the most part not copyrightable, but the creative expression of the overall program may be.

    The powers of evil are trying to make APIs copyrightable. APIs consist of function declarations.

    Their evil plan is to destabilize the entire software industry by making it illegal for people who are not working for large corporations to program. The Armageddon they're striving for with their stupid patent wars against Google will look like small potatoes once they're allowed to copyright APIs. Patents only last 20 years. In the USA copyright is forever. While allowing APIs to be patented may be evil, it is far less evil than letting them be copyrighted.

    Of course, in order to destabilization the entire software industry they are trying to trick some stupid judges into believing that Judge Alsup's well reasoned ruling which maintains the status quo would destabilization the entire software industry. Alsup is far from stupid. Let's hope some of his wisdom rubs off on the judges in the higher courts who read his ruling.

    Shame on all of the people who are trying to hoodwink the nation with this nonsense. Especially shame on Eugene Spafford who really should know better. I had no idea he turned to the dark side.

  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @11:00PM (#42975375) Homepage Journal

    You're serious? We have a ruling that almost begins to makes some limited sense of patent and copyright law, and you hope it's overturned because you dislike Java?

    There is no thing, no process, no work that is so valuable that I wouldn't sacrifice it in favor of making patent and copyright law sane.

  • by DMUTPeregrine (612791) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @11:59PM (#42975781) Journal
    "Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet." -- Mark Twain
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, 2013 @01:51AM (#42976421)

    Microsoft owns the BSA, meaning they control it. If there is a push it is because Microsoft intends to use the legal precedent (if it is ultimately overruled) against the only real competition - - Linux, and those companies that use it. I wouldn't doubt that they already use it in their negotiations to extort patent deals. Either way claiming destabalization is outright FUD and it is a total lie - - completely unprovable.

    The other players are inconsequential.

  • by Xest (935314) on Friday February 22, 2013 @04:40AM (#42977125)

    Actually I think they do it better.

    Previously they were naive and did it openly, honestly, seeing Bill's face I think he just thought he was engaging in good old capitalism at the time and his opponents were just bitter he'd won.

    Nowadays however they play it like the bad boys, they lobby like crazy, and they fund massive shill campaigns. They pay millions to defame competitors like Google and so forth.

    I actually think the old Microsoft was less harmful - everything they did wrong they at least wore on their sleeve. Now they're fighting a kind of subversive shadow war, making politicians puppets, engaging in political corruption, subverting standards processes and so forth.

    I don't like this new Microsoft, as they're behind a lot of the bad stuff that goes on in the technology world such as patent trolling, bad laws getting lobbied for/passed, but at first look, it's not so obvious that it's them behind it until the evidence creeps out which sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.

    Given Bill's modern philanthropic streak I can't help but wonder if the irony of it all is that he may actually have been a positive influence on Microsoft, and it was Ballmer pushing the evil side all along, because since Bill left it's gone from playing rough to outright corruption of national institutions - governments and so forth.

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