Reply to post: Re: Every single computer interface would be copyrighted

IBM, Microsoft, a medley of others sing support for Google against Oracle in Supremes' Java API copyright case

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Re: Every single computer interface would be copyrighted

The problem is that if you have a compatible API, it's infringing according to how copyright law was interpreted in the last ruling. Even such examples as "round(int)" were brought up in these cases as infringing; that's why I say it's far more like copyrighting a language than copyrighting a work using the language.

And unfortunately the clean room defense lies partly on the previous interpretation of copyright law; i.e. before this last decision. With this decision even that won't hold any more, and if it had been decided that way before the PC revolution we very well might be typing these comments into a green screen terminal on a mainframe somewhere (as IT folk, naturally -- the masses wouldn't have had PCs, let alone network connected ones, in the first place).

In general I can't go watch a movie or read a book, "clean room" write the plot, and have a new book written or movie made with that same plot. It's still considered infringement. That's part of the problem here; if something is similar enough it's still considered "infringing" and the economic costs of this when applied to items that are specifically not copyrightable (interfaces, methods, recipes, etc.) would be staggering. It could make the US a third world country nearly overnight.

And if you're Oracle, and want a monopoly, you simply decide you won't license the software for any sum of money. That's the other problem with copyright, there's no ability to force a rights holder to license anything. For over 120 years.

The only possible silver lining of this kind of disastrous ruling is, if upheld, it would force copyright back down to patent like lengths. Hollywood doesn't hold a candle against the likes of Google, Microsoft, IBM, etc. and they'd probably see copyright upended and thrown out very rapidly (if they even stayed in the US in the first place after a ruling like that).

Icon 'cause extreme hazard ahead, hopefully the court will get it right this time for all our sakes. We all know the US will try to export whatever decision they make worldwide.

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