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 galvanash on Fri 4th May 2012 21:08 UTC in reply to "RE[8]: NOT APIs"
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No I'm not. I'm just using the API.
API's are not copyrightable.
GPL is copyright.

Do you see the problem now?

I write some code. In the code I link to a GPL'd library. In order to do so I have to conform to its API (or it won't work). So in the end I have a program that uses a GPL'd library. There is no other known library that conforms to this API - it is unique to this particular GPL'd work.

I decide to release it without distributing the library myself - I leave it up to the user to acquire the library. I do not release my source code and I do not license my work under the GPL.

Have I violated the GPL? The FSF would say that because you obviously demonstrated intent to link to a GPL'd implementation you are creating a derived work and thus you are violating the GPL. Many others would say you are not. My only point is I don't see how the EU ruling affects this argument either way - it was never about whether APIs can be copyrighted, it is about what is considered a derivative work under copyright law. Two completely unrelated issues...

Again, what I was talking about is a completely different scenerio (i.e. creating a compatible but independent implementation) - there is no derived work because I never demonstrate any intent to combine with the original work.

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