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 05:38 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: NOT APIs"
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I only read the article, in particular:

"The EU's highest court rejected these arguments. Computer code itself can be copyrighted, but functional characteristics—such as data formats and function names—cannot be."

This clearly describes a header file which contains no code as being non-copyrightable, but perhaps the article was misleading.

I thank you for the citations.

However I'm finding the "ideas & principals" argument to be somewhat contradictory with the conclusions.

Strongly typed languages like java store the entire class definition in binary form (java reverse compilers can recreate the source files almost line for line). Thus, the API is fully expressed in the binary. The binary expression of a compatible function/class prototype will very likely need to be identical to the binary expression of the original function/class prototype. So would the court still claim that an API is not copyrightable under those circumstances even when the language mandates the expression of such an API to be recorded the same way each time it is expressed as a binary?

To be honest, I preferred the article's stronger interpretation of explicit non-copyrightability where function names and prototypes were simply excluded from copyright without regards to how they are expressed.

Edited 2012-05-03 05:42 UTC

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