Reply to post: Re: Why not let idiotic orgs let their APIs slide into obscurity via failing to license freely?

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

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Why not let idiotic orgs let their APIs slide into obscurity via failing to license freely?

> This is not analogous to the Java API case. Just as common words and phrases are hard to trademark, copyright doesn't subsist in trivialities.

You can't say that because we don't know how a decision in favour of Oracle might pan out. For example take "java.util.Scanner". Will "new_java.util.Scanner" be a sufficient change to get around Oracle's future copyright ownership? Will "my_new_lang.utilitites.Scanner" still be infringing because the word "Scanner" is deemed to be the significant factor (since new.Scanner(...) is how it is invoked)?

Even more bizarrely, what if I create a package called Scanner that has completely different functionality? One that operates a flatbed scanner rather than accepting user input, for example. Is that going to be an infringement of Oracle's copyright?

Common sense says no, but I don't want to have to pay to defend myself in court should I mange to produce a product with an API that sells well enough that it attracts the attention of Oracle's lawyers.

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