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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RE[2]: NOT APIs
by Alfman on Thu 3rd May 2012 02:55 UTC in reply to "RE: NOT APIs"
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

That's an incredibly insightful observation. If an API isn't copyrightable, and gets included into a project, then the project should not be considered derived from a copyrighted work.

I don't know how that will play out, however I'd like to bring up GPLv3 section 12:


"12. No Surrender of Others' Freedom.

If conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot convey a covered work so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you may not convey it at all. For example, if you agree to terms that obligate you to collect a royalty for further conveying from those to whom you convey the Program, the only way you could satisfy both those terms and this License would be to refrain entirely from conveying the Program."

So rather than reverting to LGPL, the GPL states the right to redistribute under the GPL is voided. But since APIs cannot be covered by copyright, what the GPL says is irreverent, so it would effectively loose it's "viral" property and become LGPL. On the other hand, the GPL's provision to void itself could be interpreted as applying to the complete work (API plus source code) instead of just individual header files in isolation.

Of course this would be for the case of dynamic linking, static linking would probably constitute a covered copy in any case because it's still pulling in actual code.

And so our little computer science drama unfolds...

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