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 Alfman on Thu 3rd May 2012 04:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: NOT APIs"
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"And how would you include an API in a project? I don't understand the angle your looking at this from. Writing down the specifics of an API (whether in documentation or in source code) doesn't include the API, it merely expresses it."

You'd include the expression of an API, in your words. In programming terms that'd be tantamount to a list of structures and function prototypes.

Are you arguing that API's aren't copyrightable, but expressions of that API are? I guess you might say that but I honestly don't think that's what the EU court was saying. I think they want to exclude "expressions of APIs" from copyrightability because there's so little room for meaningful expression when expressing a compatible API.

"Also, I don't understand this GPL vs LGPL thing that was brought up."

It's probably nothing, but if function prototypes in header files that used to be covered under the GPL license are no longer being covered, then it could be possible to release proprietary programs that link to GPL libraries as is normally permitted only under the LGPL.

Edited 2012-05-03 04:20 UTC

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