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[5]: NOT APIs
by galvanash on Thu 3rd May 2012 04:29 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: NOT APIs"
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

Are you arguing that API's aren't copyrightable, but expressions of that API are?


Yes, but I'm not really arguing it - that is exactly what the court decision stated. Did you read the decision?

"The Court recalls, first, that the Directive on the legal protection of computer programs extends copyright protection to the expression in any form of an intellectual creation of the author of a computer program. However, ideas and principles which underlie any element of a computer program, including those which underlie its interfaces, are not protected by copyright under that directive.
Thus, only the expression of those ideas and principles is protected by copyright."


"As the Advocate General states in point 57 of his Opinion, to accept that the functionality of a computer program can be protected by copyright would amount to making it possible to monopolise ideas, to the detriment of technological progress and industrial development."


In other words they are saying that you can't copyright an API because APIs are not expressions of an idea - they are ideas. The expression (the source code, the documentation, whatever) can be copyrighted - but that does not protect the idea itself (i.e. it's form and function).

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