Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 29th Jun 2015 17:01 UTC
Legal

On Monday, the Supreme Court opted not to review a 2014 ruling on copyright law that held Google's Android operating system infringed copyrights relating to Oracle's Java platform. This is a disaster for the software industry.

Here's the problem: the digital economy depends on gadgets and software being able to communicate seamlessly. Last year's decision by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals opened the possibility that efforts to make software work together better could trigger copyright liability. The result could be more compatibility problems and less innovation.

The most disgusting and most despicable lawsuit in technology. Oracle is a horrible, horrible company.

Order by: Score:
Comment by philcostin
by philcostin on Mon 29th Jun 2015 17:18 UTC
philcostin
Member since:
2010-11-03

Not Invented Here syndrome can be a blessing, rather than a curse.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Mon 29th Jun 2015 17:18 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

Me about a year ago:

The Supreme Court granting cert is a little bit more involved than just "they name dropped us".

First is probability. The odds are highly stacked against SCOTUS action. The SCOTUS denies a vast, vast majority of the requests they receive.

Second. The Supreme Court isn't here to check the Appellate court. It's here to resolve open questions on federal law. Of which there are plenty more controversial subjects that would draw their attention.

Google would have to do a damn good job convincing the four (of nine) Justices they need that this case is cert worthy.

I think in this case it has more to do with how well of a job Google's lawyers can do, vs how well of a job Oracle's lawyers can do proving/disproving cert worthiness. I happen to think Oracle has an easier time by default.


Google better hope that there's a fair use argument to be made there somewhere, otherwise they're pretty boned.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Nelson
by reduz on Mon 29th Jun 2015 19:58 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
reduz Member since:
2006-02-25

Not just google, a large part of the industry too.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Mon 29th Jun 2015 20:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

It depends.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by reduz on Mon 29th Jun 2015 21:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
reduz Member since:
2006-02-25

doesn't depend. Projects like Wine, OpenJDK, Mono, or probably even Linux itself will become illegal if you can't copy an API and there is no fair use protection.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Tue 30th Jun 2015 04:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Assuming you can get a fair use exemption, you should be fine. I think Google is having a hard time because their copying in this case is especially egregious and their arguments dubious at best, given they broke compatibility with the wider Java ecosystem.

For others though, it really depends. Hence my original comment.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by Nelson
by reduz on Tue 30th Jun 2015 20:03 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Nelson"
reduz Member since:
2006-02-25

Linux, Wine, Mono, etc. Also break compatibility with the ecosystems they copy. If Oracle's case stands it _will_ be a disaster.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Wed 1st Jul 2015 00:13 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

The answer to that is still it depends. Fair use is handled on a case by case basis and depends on the evidence presented during the proceedings.

Here are the guidelines followed when deciding Fair Use: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/107

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by Nelson
by bnolsen on Fri 3rd Jul 2015 20:58 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Nelson"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

everything stalls and the lawyers get richer. doesn't sound like that's good for anyone but the entrenched companies.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Nelson
by galvanash on Mon 29th Jun 2015 23:31 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Fair enough. You won the bet ;) I'm eating my virtual hat...

Disappointed as hell though. Really wanted a high court ruling on this. I was kind of expecting this case to get heard after the surprising streak of people-centric rulings in the last week, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised after the DOJ put in their 2 cents.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Tue 30th Jun 2015 04:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Fair enough. You won the bet ;) I'm eating my virtual hat...

Disappointed as hell though. Really wanted a high court ruling on this. I was kind of expecting this case to get heard after the surprising streak of people-centric rulings in the last week, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised after the DOJ put in their 2 cents.


Ha, on balance I missed the Nokia thread on here a few days ago. I'd say there's plenty of hat eating to go around ;-)

I was surprised it didn't get taken up, after they asked for comments I was pretty sure they would. The Supremes are unpredictable though.

Reply Score: 2

Future actions by Google
by Loreia on Mon 29th Jun 2015 17:24 UTC
Loreia
Member since:
2012-01-17

I never worked with Java, and don't know much about Android platform, so I thought to ask those more familiar with details. Can Google get rid of Java and replace it with something 'home grown' (whatever that might be)? Or is Google just too deeply in?

I wonder because Google is also the biggest company pushing Java. If they had a viable alternative, they could also negotiate better position in this case simply by saying "If we replace Java with something else your technology looses a lot of its appeal overnight. You will lose more money in the long run, that what you gain with this law suit."

Reply Score: 1

RE: Future actions by Google
by Nelson on Mon 29th Jun 2015 17:56 UTC in reply to "Future actions by Google"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

They're probably going to end up taking a license from Oracle. Only viable way forward IMHO, assuming they don't prevail on Fair Use.

Edited 2015-06-29 17:56 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Future actions by Google
by Loreia on Mon 29th Jun 2015 20:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Future actions by Google"
Loreia Member since:
2012-01-17

I agree, paying up is the only realistic short term solution. But they need "option B" in the long run.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Future actions by Google
by Alfman on Mon 29th Jun 2015 18:28 UTC in reply to "Future actions by Google"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Loreia,

I never worked with Java, and don't know much about Android platform, so I thought to ask those more familiar with details. Can Google get rid of Java and replace it with something 'home grown' (whatever that might be)? Or is Google just too deeply in?


It has less to do with google and more to do with the android community. Think of the hundreds of thousands of apps/devs that would stop being supported if google pulled the plug on the java language. Existing app purchases would risk becoming unsupported by developers who might not be so keen on porting the software to new APIs for free.

Maybe google could create a conversion tool that maps Java's frameworks/APIs into another API that's similar enough to convert trivially, yet different enough to avoid copyright claims. It could applied to both the source and binaries.

The thing is nobody would have anticipated that courts would allow copyrights to cover APIs. It means it cannot be independently implemented. If too many parties start suing over this, it really has the potential to send computer science into the dark ages. Even software like GNU/Linux, which didn't copy any code, clearly shares some APIs. It does so in order to be compatible, which is generally a good thing, but having rulings like this on the books means we loose a lot of freedoms that software developers used to take for granted.

Edited 2015-06-29 18:40 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Future actions by Google
by Lennie on Mon 29th Jun 2015 20:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Future actions by Google"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Even software like GNU/Linux, which didn't copy any code, clearly shares some APIs. It does so in order to be compatible, which is generally a good thing, but having rulings like this on the books means we loose a lot of freedoms that software developers used to take for granted.


Linux (kernel) implements APIs like POSIX which have a clear license which allows it.

Maybe SAMBA project could have a problem, but I doubt it because the EU forced them to make documentation available and pretty sure lawyers looked really closely at the license that the documentation came with.

Lots of other technologies are standards, like Internet protocols come from the IETF. When you want to get involved in creating a standard you are forced to declare others can use it freely.

Same with webstandards.

So I think many of the basics should be fine.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Future actions by Google
by Alfman on Mon 29th Jun 2015 23:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Future actions by Google"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Lennie,

Linux (kernel) implements APIs like POSIX which have a clear license which allows it.


I confess, I'm unable to find much information about POSIX licenses/copyrights... it all seems to be about certification, and I don't think linux is certified. If you have relevant information about posix licenses regarding API/copyrights, I'd be grateful if you could post it.

However without knowing more details, there are things that concern me. While POSIX documents the specification, it doesn't necessarily own the APIs that it documents. Prior to APIs being subject to copyright, nobody would have presumed to own an abstract API. Linux wouldn't have needed a license for source code because it's always used it's own. But now that the court has made APIs copyrightable, suddenly it means we all need to assess who actually owns the interfaces for everything.

Edited 2015-06-29 23:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Future actions by Google
by Lennie on Tue 30th Jun 2015 00:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Future actions by Google"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

This is what I see on the "Draft Standard for Information Technology — Portable Operating System Interface" (15 June 2007):

Copyright © 2007 The Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 The Open Group

___

So the first is IEEE standards body which works on things like Ethernet standards and the second is the open group consortium:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Open_Group

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Future actions by Google
by Alfman on Tue 30th Jun 2015 04:16 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Future actions by Google"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Lennie,

Thanks for the leads.

http://pubs.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/9699919799/

Clicking on the copyright link in the HTML documentation shows this:

Copyright © 2013 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. and The Open Group
All rights reserved.

Published 19 April 2013 by the IEEE and The Open Group.

No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, in an electronic retrieval system or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Permission to reproduce all or any part of this standard must be with the consent of both copyright holders and may be subject to a license fee. Both copyright holders will need to be satisfied that the other has granted permission. Requests should be sent by email to austin-group-permissions@opengroup.org.

This standard has been prepared by the Austin Group. Feedback relating to the material contained within this standard may be submitted by using the Austin Group web site at www.opengroup.org/austin/defectform.html.

Copyrights

This document is copyrighted by the IEEE and The Open Group. It is made available for a wide variety of both public and private uses. These include both use, by reference, in laws and regulations, and use in private self-regulation, standardization, and the promotion of engineering practices and methods. By making this document available for use and adoption by public authorities and private users, the IEEE and The Open Group do not waive any rights in copyright to this document.


It looks like their copyright is referring to the documentation of the API, which is expected. But it doesn't seem to put the API abstractions themselves on solid ground, unfortunately.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Future actions by Google
by Lennie on Tue 30th Jun 2015 09:43 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Future actions by Google"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

What I mean is:

The copyright on the documents and thus also api would be held by these 2 standards bodies.

Standards bodies exist to create standards which can be used by anyone to increase interoperability.

It makes no sense that these copyright holder would sue users of their standard.

That is why I'm not worried.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Future actions by Google
by Alfman on Tue 30th Jun 2015 16:22 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Future actions by Google"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Lennie,

Standards bodies exist to create standards which can be used by anyone to increase interoperability.


Absolutely, however in many cases Posix standardized existing unix interfaces for pragmatic reasons. Their goal was never to develop novel interfaces, but rather to ensure interoperability between vendors by standardizing existing ones.

It makes no sense that these copyright holder would sue users of their standard.


I understand that a standard exists to encourage adoption, and I'm not questioning that. However much of the Posix standard was not created by an open standards group, they favored existing interfaces. For example, many or all of the System V APIs were incorporated into the Posix standard as is:
http://pubs.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/9699919799/basedefs/sys_ipc.h....

You must have interpreted my post to mean that the opengroup or IEEE would go after Linux/open source, but that's not what I meant at all. I'm just trying to focus on what changing APIs to copyrightable status does to existing APIs that predated this ruling. APIs that were fair game before might be infringing now that they fall under copyright.

That is why I'm not worried.


I'm not exactly worried because there's safety in numbers, but I'm still extremely annoyed with the principal of it. The industry was going just fine with anybody entitled to implement whatever APIs they wanted. But between software patents and API copyrights, developers are loosing the right to independently build things left and right because these giant corporations want to own everything themselves. It makes me sick that government is pandering to them. /rant (sorry, not directed at you Lennie)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Future actions by Google
by Loreia on Mon 29th Jun 2015 20:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Future actions by Google"
Loreia Member since:
2012-01-17

I understand perfectly the need to support existing apps. Any change would have to include either automatic converters (like Python's 2to3 program, as imperfect as it might be), or make change trivial enough.

But the bigger question is, is there a technology ready for this task? Programming language, framework, infrastructure, competence build-up in and outside of the company and so on... This would have to be a huge strategic change. Something you plan for for years.

And I remember reading in several places (say articles that Linkedin sends me, or blog posts I run into every now and then) that Java is really big within Google. They like it and use it everywhere. Getting rid of something that widespread within company is hard enough even without Android ecosystem they have to support.
Off course, I might be wrong about this, reading few blog posts is hardly enough investigation to make definite conclusions.

In conclusion, what I get from this is simple, years ago high management made a strategic error with Java, and now they desperately need another strategy.

If too many parties start suing over this, it really has the potential to send computer science into the dark ages.


Perhaps. But I see it as a chance to replace old technology with something better from both legal and technological point of view.

Thanks for your answer.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Future actions by Google
by Moochman on Tue 30th Jun 2015 13:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Future actions by Google"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

my bet is on Dart

Reply Score: 2

RE: Future actions by Google
by dindin on Mon 29th Jun 2015 19:19 UTC in reply to "Future actions by Google"
dindin Member since:
2006-03-29

"Google's" Android has two runtimes - Dalvik and Chrome. The latter option would enable Google to support Chrome Apps on the Android platform. They would need to build out the APIs that are commonly used and are not yet present. It may not suit all uses, but it is a viable alternative (with material design and code optimizations) to native apps. There are performance oriented apps that can implement libraries in C/C++ that can be portable across Android versions/platforms. They can also implement a ahead of time Javascript compiler that can generate ART code.

Google is already on this path - given that they are more of a "web as a platform" company. But they have to triple their efforts if they are to stay with Apple.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Future actions by Google
by Loreia on Mon 29th Jun 2015 20:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Future actions by Google"
Loreia Member since:
2012-01-17

"Google's" Android has two runtimes - Dalvik and Chrome. The latter option would enable Google to support Chrome Apps on the Android platform. They would need to build out the APIs that are commonly used and are not yet present. It may not suit all uses, but it is a viable alternative (with material design and code optimizations) to native apps. There are performance oriented apps that can implement libraries in C/C++ that can be portable across Android versions/platforms. They can also implement a ahead of time Javascript compiler that can generate ART code.

Google is already on this path - given that they are more of a "web as a platform" company. But they have to triple their efforts if they are to stay with Apple.



Interesting post. Thanks for the info.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Future actions by Google
by Delgarde on Mon 29th Jun 2015 23:23 UTC in reply to "Future actions by Google"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

I never worked with Java, and don't know much about Android platform, so I thought to ask those more familiar with details. Can Google get rid of Java and replace it with something 'home grown' (whatever that might be)? Or is Google just too deeply in?


Java is the language which pretty much all Android apps are written in. So yes, they *could* get rid of it - but only by forcing a rewrite of every single Android application currently in existence. So, not the most practical option.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Wafflez
by Wafflez on Mon 29th Jun 2015 17:39 UTC
Wafflez
Member since:
2011-06-26

>Oracle is a horrible, horrible company.

And the country which breeds such practices and has software patents - isn't?

Okay.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Wafflez
by acobar on Mon 29th Jun 2015 18:27 UTC in reply to "Comment by Wafflez"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

Look, USA has a massive debt, its industrial installations don't have the same level of gap advantage they had (actually many things are produced elsewhere) and technological knowledge is flowing and developing at fast pace on other places to the point there is real competition on expensive sectors right now (communication, software, engineering services).

From the USA establishment POV (i.e., those suckers that gravity around government and its big contracts and the politicians thirst for easy money to keep or improve their scandalous way of life) it is very important to try to guarantee that a hole is kept open to allow money influx, even when there is obvious abuse of the mechanisms in place.

The other option is to grow the international tension and push other countries to buy those expensive war gadgets that add nothing to the buyers development capabilities, yet providing a growing burden to their imbalanced finances. Ops !!

Reply Score: 4

v Yeah right. What about Google?
by moondevil on Mon 29th Jun 2015 18:06 UTC
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

I think it would be fair if something really innovative was at stake and not something that evolved from C and other languages experiments of that time.

The truly innovative promise of java was the "code once/run everywhere", a thing that could not be satisfactorily fulfilled at that period, notice, and not the somehow evolved standardisation of its API and declarations, clearly inspired by mature or emergent technologies or practices in the software industry of that time.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Yeah right. What about Google?
by Treza on Mon 29th Jun 2015 18:49 UTC in reply to "Yeah right. What about Google? "
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

Problems started after Sun was bought by Oracle.

Sun praised Google's choice of Java.

Reply Score: 9

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Not good enough as an affirmative defense, unfortunately for Google.

Reply Score: 2

acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

Not good enough as an affirmative defense, unfortunately for Google.

Sadly, I think you are right (it is not sad because you are right, of course).

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Problems started after Sun was bought by Oracle.

Sun praised Google's choice of Java.


Yup.

And who was Oracle's CEO?

Right, Larry Ellison.

And who was Larry Ellison best friends with?

Right, Steve Jobs.

And whose company started patent trolling vs. Android right around the same time?

Exactly.

All a coincidence, I'm sure!

Reply Score: 6

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

HL3 confirmed

Reply Score: 3

acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

HL3 confirmed


OK, I must confess that took me some time, and Google, to understand what that means.

I would not discard Tom's hypothesis as not plausible, even though I would not bet it is more than that.

Reply Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

"HL3 confirmed


OK, I must confess that took me some time, and Google, to understand what that means.

I would not discard Tom's hypothesis as not plausible, even though I would not bet it is more than that.
"

I'm poking fun :-), it is certainly plausible. Oracle doesn't exactly come to mind when I think of well behaved companies. And SJ was certainly ruthless enough. I just think its much more easily explained by Oracle seeing a huge potential payday.

Reply Score: 2

kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

Wow Thom your tin foil hat is getting super tight.

So now that Steve Jobs, is, you know, DEAD, what's your rationale for why Oracle is continuing this lawsuit?

Reply Score: 2

acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

So now that Steve Jobs, is, you know, DEAD, what's your rationale for why Oracle is continuing this lawsuit?

Woah, have you never studied physics ? It is inertia, of course ! ;)

Now, seriously, your argument can not be used to disprove Tom's hypothesis.

Edited 2015-06-29 20:17 UTC

Reply Score: 4

ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Wow Thom your tin foil hat is getting super tight.

So now that Steve Jobs, is, you know, DEAD, what's your rationale for why Oracle is continuing this lawsuit?


They don't need a rationale. Here's a section of a talk where a former Sun employee talks about Oracle and Larry Ellison.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc#t=2000

Larry Ellison is like a flamethrower. Once Jobs Pointed him at a potential source of money, his interest became self-sustaining.

Edited 2015-06-29 21:53 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm sorry, but what the hell kind of argument is that? "Dude died of cancer man, that erases any wrongdoing in his past and you can't talk bad about him now!"

Sorry, but life doesn't work that way. I say this both as someone who has survived cancer as a teenager, and who has lost family to it: There is no "cancer card" that magically renders someone a saint after death.

Reply Score: 8

kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

This is ENTIRELY my point. There is no evidence that any of this occurred. Thom is just speculating randomly.

Imagine if someone made random speculative remarks, totally without evidence, about someone close to you who died a painful death.

What would you think of the person who made these remarks?

Reply Score: 1

ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Tell me what evidence you have that Steve Jobs did anything of the sort?

If you do don't then you, and Thom, are arbitrarily disparaging a man who died of cancer in order advance a conspiracy theory that fits your narrative.

Don't you consider that, at the very least, in poor taste?


I never said Jobs did. From what I remember, Jobs and Ellison were friends, so it's a possibility, but my only goal with that post is to elaborate on the nature of Larry Ellison.

(ie. To show that, whatever circumstances were present before Jobs died, his death wouldn't have had any effect of Ellison's actions once he smelled money.)

Reply Score: 2

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Problems started after Sun was bought by Oracle.

Sun praised Google's choice of Java.


Because Sun was out of money to sue.

Google totally slimed Sun. We were all really disturbed, even Jonathan: he just decided to put on a happy face and tried to turn lemons into lemonade, which annoyed a lot of folks at Sun.


James Gosling

http://nighthacks.com/roller/jag/entry/my_attitude_on_oracle_v

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Mon 29th Jun 2015 20:50 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

The issue of whether or not using now copyrightable APIs is fair use will be returned to the lower court that made the initial ruling that APIs couldn't be copyrightable - maybe even to the same judge.

Beyond that, there are a few ways the ruling could go.

The judge could rule that it is not fair use - this would destroy a significant portion of the software industry, and automatically put a huge number of companies into violation of copyright.

The judge could rule that using APIs is fair use. This would essentially have the same effect as the previous ruling, except for a few minor issues that may come up(I can't think of any off the top of my head)

The judge could rule that Google's use of the API was fair use - this would be good for Google, but anytime anybody else uses somebody else's API, the question may have to be answered again in the court of law.

Finally, the court could rule that copying APIs is fair use in some circumstances, but not others. This would mean that some products are eligible, some aren't, and each situation would have to go before a court to find out.

Regardless of which one occurs, if the issue is raised in another Federal court district, and argued successfully that APIs are not copyrightable, then SCOTUS will be FORCED to take up the issue.

And, the one of the same results mentioned above would be applied nation wide, until Congress does something to change it.

Reply Score: 5

jphamlore
Member since:
2011-02-15

Any programmer should instantly see that the issue of whether APIs should be subject to copyright is a legal gray area because of knowledge of how the C language works. The equivalent of programming APIs in C are header files. However due to the nature of C, with constructs such as static inline functions, basically anything can be dumped into a header file, such as vast chunks of code implementation.

None other than the GNU Project recognizes that the equivalent of programming APIs, header files, can arguably be subject to copyright. From the text of the GNU Project's LGPL license, version 3, we read:

https://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl-3.0.en.html

The object code form of an Application may incorporate material from a header file that is part of the Library. You may convey such object code under terms of your choice, provided that, if the incorporated material is not limited to numerical parameters, data structure layouts and accessors, or small macros, inline functions and templates (ten or fewer lines in length), you do both of the following ...


Note what the GNU Project's license says: "ten or fewer lines in length." Do people actually think that 10 is some absolute number clearly spelled out in legal statute or precedent? And what exactly is a line in C, something separated by newline characters, or something corresponding to a syntactic grouping in C? It appears to me the GNU Project is asserting an interpretation, and based on what they believe are their legal rights under copyright as owners of the header files, they are also asserting demands on users of those header files.

Reply Score: 2

shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

And this was the basis of that infamous case brought by SCO against IBM, C header files. Did IBM use Code in C headers that was stolen from SCO?

IBM prevailed here (but the case is seemingly refusing to finally die).

Personally, I always thought that Google were skating on thin ground here but Oracle should have known better than to fight the court of public opinion. Android is popular so public opinion is really behind Google on this one. Oracle might prevail financially but they will never win in the court of public opinion but that is probably far from worring Mr Ellison who is probably more concerned about how big should his next yacht be/

Now here's a thought.
With Apple making Swift Open source it would be kinda ironic if Google gave two fingers to Java and went with Swift. Nah, never gonna happen.

Reply Score: 2

#LoveWins
by tomz on Tue 30th Jun 2015 04:10 UTC
tomz
Member since:
2010-05-06

Who cares as long as marriage between same sex couples is now legal and required in all 50 states! SCOUTS is all wise. Think of Oracle's APIs something like divorce - it isn't always no-fault.
Oh, and Obamacare is legal even though the original wording didn't say so, Roberts took some whiteout and corrected it to what he thinks it should have said.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by jphamlore
by jphamlore on Tue 30th Jun 2015 04:45 UTC
jphamlore
Member since:
2011-02-15

Why should the Supreme Court take the case when it hasn't even come close to reaching a definitive result in the courts yet. For all they know Google will be able to win their argument on fair use.

Reply Score: 2

jackeebleu
Member since:
2006-01-26

"My attitude on Oracle v Google Saturday April 28, 2012
[ Update: he fixed the article to put me on the same side as Scott ]
In Dan Farber's recent article on CNET titled "Oracle v. Google: Ex-Sun execs on opposite sides" he got my position on the case totally backwards and totally misinterpreted my comments. Just because Sun didn't have patent suits in our genetic code doesn't mean we didn't feel wronged. While I have differences with Oracle, in this case they are in the right. Google totally slimed Sun. We were all really disturbed, even Jonathan: he just decided to put on a happy face and tried to turn lemons into lemonade, which annoyed a lot of folks at Sun."

Theft is theft and Google and the team under Rubin were notorious during that era. There are not noble.

Reply Score: 2

Reading too much into it, maybe?
by teco.sb on Tue 30th Jun 2015 12:51 UTC
teco.sb
Member since:
2014-05-08

I think people are reading a little bit too much into this decision by the Supreme Court. The reason why they rejected to hear the case may never be known, as the Justices are not obligated to give a reason. However, I think it might be because they see a case for Fair Use and do not want to make any overarching decisions about "API are/are not copyrightable". Google was told on appeal they should argue Fair Use, yet, chose to appeal to the Supreme Court. Maybe this is the Supreme Court saying, "Go argue Fair Use, if you loose then, we'll hear your case." It is common for the Supreme Court to choose not to hear case because they don't actually want to decide a particular parts of it at that time.

Google's choice is clear here, go back to the lower courts and argue Fair Use, which is what they Appellate Court told them to do. Why did they not do this when told to?

Reply Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Because their fair use argument is rather weak, and the Appellate court hinted as much in their previous ruling.


We disagree with Google’s suggestion that Sony and Sega created an “interoperability exception” to copyright- ability. See Appellee Br. 39 (citing Sony and Sega for the proposition that “compatibility elements are not copy- rightable under section 102(b)” (emphasis omitted)). Although both cases recognized that the software pro- grams at issue there contained unprotected functional elements, a determination that some elements are unpro- tected is not the same as saying that the entire work loses copyright protection. To accept Google’s reading would contradict Ninth Circuit case law recognizing that both the literal and non-literal components of a software program are eligible for copyright protection.


http://cafc.uscourts.gov/images/stories/opinions-orders/13-1021.Opi... p48

That going to be pretty difficult to deal with during the retrial. Oracle is undoubtedly in really good shape going into the question of fair use, in my opinion.

Reply Score: 2

on being evil
by gus3 on Tue 30th Jun 2015 17:48 UTC
gus3
Member since:
2010-09-02

Google: "Don't be evil."

Oracle: "Why? Where's the fun in that?"

Reply Score: 2