Reply to post: Re: An API is not a triviality

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

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Re: An API is not a triviality

Plenty of people think an API is trivial, as far as copyright is concerned.

Maybe, but not the appeals court in this case. The Supreme court may overturn either leg, but I think Oracle is on safer ground with their 'Java SE has a copyrightable API' win than their 'Google's infringement wasn't fair use' win, because of the legal approach the court took to overturning the jury findings in the 2nd appeal. The first appeal result seems pretty solid.

On the other hand, I think there is more a risk to license integrity (including the GPL 'taint', not that I'm a fan) if APIs are excluded from copyright protection based on a precedent. Where does that leave in-lined function definitions in C++, for example? They're implementation, not interface, but they're in the interface files. Much messier than the current arrangements where source is copyrightable and licenses apply.

To clean up that mess, you'd have to amend the copyright law in order to define what an API is made of.

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