Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 2nd May 2012 22:32 UTC, submitted by PLan
Legal "The European Court of Justice ruled on Wednesday that application programming interfaces and other functional characteristics of computer software are not eligible for copyright protection. Users have the right to examine computer software in order to clone its functionality - and vendors cannot override these user rights with a license agreement, the court said." Bravo. A landmark ruling, for sure. If the US courts decide in favour of Oracle in the Google-Oracle case, Europe would instantly become an even friendlier place for technology companies.
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by galvanash on Thu 3rd May 2012 01:18 UTC in reply to "NOT APIs"
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The fact is that they haven't said anything about APIs in code form.

What is an "API in code form"? That doesn't make any sense... An API is by definition abstract - there is no such thing as an "API in code form".

You can document an API - but what you end up with is a description of it. You can write software that implements one of both "sides" of an API, but what you end up with is an implementation of it. In either case you can copyright your work, but in neither case is your work an API...

An API is an abstract idea. The expression of the idea can be copyrighted, but not the idea itself. And contrary to what many people are saying, there is US case law supporting this distinction (lots of it actually).

The difference between US law and this particular EU judgement is that under US law (unfortunately) a license can explicitly bar a party from expressing an API (or other idea) independently. This only applies if you actually agree to such a license of course. This EU decision explicitly nullifies such license clauses.

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