Saturday, June 02, 2012

"Coder" judge rules that an API is not copyrightable

Julie Samuels of Electronic Frontier Foundation reported May 31 that a federal judge has ruled that Google can use Oracle’s java application programming interface  (for its Android OS) without paying a license fee.  The court ruled that an API cannot be copyrighted, because it is more like a set of interface standards that would allow one company to “rule the world.”

The link for the story is here. The judge (William Alsup) is said to be a coder himself.  Perhaps not on the order of Mark Zuckerberg during the latter’s Harvard days.

ZDnet has a more strongly worded story, “Judge crushes Oracle’s API copyright claims like a bug”, link here

Some investors had apparently counted on the idea of an Oracle win.

Groklaw has a PDF of the opinion here

I had reported on this issue previously on May 13 on my “IT Job Market” blog. 

Check Jonah Lehrer, "You've got creativity", from AOL (no embed offered), here.   It's interesting to draw parallels between writing or letters, programming or code (or API's), and even sports. 

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