Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 12th May 2016 23:26 UTC

During hours of unrelenting cross-examination today, Andy Rubin, Google's former Android chief, was on the stand in the Oracle v. Google trial defending how he built the mobile OS.

Rubin's testimony began yesterday. He's another one of the star witnesses in this second courtroom showdown between the two software giants in which Oracle has said it will seek up to $9 billion in damages for Google's use of certain Java APIs in the Android operating system. Since an appeals court decided that APIs can be copyrighted, Google's only remaining defense in this case is that its use of those APIs constitutes "fair use."

The "API's are copyrightable"-ruling is one of those rulings we will look back on decades from now and point to as "that's where it all went wrong", much like how we now look back upon disastrous rulings like Citizens United or the slew of bad rulings that legitimised software patents.

And we have the despicable Oracle to thank for that. As I've pointed out before, it's no coincidence that the three-pronged legal attack on Android - from Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle - all started at around the same time, and that Larry Ellison was a very close friend of Steve Jobs.

When all this stuff hits the fan even harder, you know who to thank.

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"My guess is that most of you have, LIKE ME, never owned and run a business."

I own a tech company. It really seems that you don't have a grip on the actual subject that's being discussed. You're participating in a conversation about APIs, but what you're actually saying applies to implementations. APIs & implementations aren't the same thing. You profit from an implementation because that's where the real work has been spent. Once you attempt to profit from an API, one of two things happen:

1). The legal system eventually rules against you, so you don't profit from it.

2). Others stop using your API, so you don't profit from it.

If we're going to start charging for using API's, then someone is owed money for the alphabet of every single spoken language that's ever existed, because the alphabet is part of the API of every single spoken language in the world.

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