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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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  • by Umuri (897961) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @07:00PM (#42973559)

    You mean just the BSA?

    I mean maybe it's just me, but why is it ok for one entity to object multiple times to the same case and have it count as a a widespread rejection just because they've created several shell companies to espouse their ideas? i mean how many times have we seen "numerous" organizations write into a court case only to later find out they're all being paid by a single entity with a vested interest?

    Legal Reform Idea: Any objection to a case must be done by individual companies, not group membership, and must declare conflict of interest

  • Destabilization (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PPH (736903) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @07:00PM (#42973561)

    Like the hell POSIX [wikipedia.org] brought down upon the industry.

  • by masternerdguy (2468142) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @07:14PM (#42973721)
    It would put an end to WINE and ReactOs (although react never got off the ground).
  • Judge Awesome (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CuteSteveJobs (1343851) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @07:19PM (#42973765)
    > Judge William Alsup himself had some programming background and wasn't bedazzled by Oracle's thin arguments on the range-checking function.
    At long last, an awesome judge. Many other decisions from the courts about IP reflect minds still set in the stone age. Check into him. We may have a hero.

    > Microsoft, BSA, EMC, Netapp, et al. get behind Oracle to overturn Alsup's ruling citing 'destabilization' of the 'entire software industry.'
    Well that is funny. Microsoft, a company becoming irrelevant, could end up locking itself out of future markets.

    > The ruling came, programmers rejoiced and Oracle vowed Appeal.
    On careful reflection I think it is better if Oracle goes and fucks itself.
  • Re:Well there you go (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrDoh! (71235) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @08:20PM (#42974257) Homepage Journal
    I'd (humbly) argue that they're just as evil as before, they're just not as good at is as they used to be. Everyone's on to them, so many people have been burned by their antics, and people see other routes to A) avoid falling into MS's trap again B) enjoy a bit of revenge. It's not just Bill leaving, the company as a whole, just doesn't do evil as well.
  • by dissy (172727) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @08:24PM (#42974285)

    Wine? It would put an end to Windows, Office, Exchange, Active Directory (all things created by other people/companies) and Microsoft is handing them a the copyright over.

    Oracle DB would be done for as well, as SQL will now be copyrighted by the people that created it and not Oracle. Not to mention all the other software Oracle claims is theirs.

    The only possibly good thing is that pretty much not a single company in the US will own their own technology, since there has never in the past been a need to transfer copyright ownership for these APIs from the person that invented it to a company.
    Since no transfers have ever happened, no companies at all would control the things they sell.

    Destroying every aspect of capitalism with one moronic legal claim.

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @08:38PM (#42974369) Journal

    Well, pedantically (but not legally), they are correct. There is creativity involved in designing an API. The problem is that an API is also a functional element. According to case law precedents, functional elements (e.g. chip masks) are protected only if there is more than one way to do something. By definition, it is not possible to create something that is functionally compatible with an API without copying everything that makes that API a creative work (everything but the parameter names, essentially), and therefore it cannot be protected under copyright law under any circumstances. There simply are no situations in which allowing copyright to protect API would not result in a substantial judicial overreach that dramatically expands the scope of copyright.

    Put another way, an API is the software equivalent to the shape of a connector. Just as a connector is the physical interface for electrically connecting one thing to another, an API is the software interface for programmatically connecting one piece of software to another. There is no less creativity involved in the design of a connector than in the design of an API. Therefore, given that you can patent connectors, but you cannot copyright them, this lawsuit has exactly zero chance of success.

    I am of the opinion that the BSA's appeal should be declared frivolous, and that they should be spanked with a hefty fine for bringing this lawsuit in the first place. That would set a strong precedent that such absurd abuse of copyright in an attempt to protect obviously non-copyrightable things will not be tolerated.

  • by rb12345 (1170423) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @09:11PM (#42974617)
    Finding APIs copyrightable could get extremely interesting if parts of HTML5 or new network protocols count and were implemented in GPL-licenced code first... Would that essentially prevent Microsoft and Apple from legally implementing those standards?
  • Re:Destabilization (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jkroll (32063) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @09:28PM (#42974735)

    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?

    Couldn't agree more. Wouldn't be ironic if MS' support for Oracle helps them win the appeal. Then Oracle turns around and sues MS by claiming the original .NET implementation violated the Java API copyright.

    The only way Oracle should deserve to win this copyright case is if they had shown Google copied large parts of the actual Java implementation into their software. The API claim they are making is almost as bad as a musician claiming copyright over all songs written in the key of C.

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