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The Courts Java Programming

Opposition Mounts To Oracle's Attempt To Copyright Java APIs 187

Posted by timothy
from the but-larry-wants-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a bit from Groklaw: "The remarkable outpouring of support for Google in the Oracle v. Google appeal continues, with a group of well-known innovators, start-ups, and those who fund them — innovators like Ray Ozzie, Tim O'Reilly, Mitch Kapor, Dan Bricklin, and Esther Dyson — standing with [Thursday's] group of leading computer scientists in telling the court that Oracle's attempt to copyright its Java APIs would be damaging to innovation." As usual, Groklaw gives a cogent, readable introduction to the issue.
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Opposition Mounts To Oracle's Attempt To Copyright Java APIs

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  • by girlinatrainingbra (2738457) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @04:21PM (#43885279)

    Hey Timothy, wake up! How about the link?

    Here it is in case you can't find it:

    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20130531131600482 [groklaw.net]

    "Innovators, Entrepreneurs and Funds File Amicus in Support of Google in Oracle v. Google Appeal ~pj"

  • Re:Link? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 01, 2013 @04:40PM (#43885391)
  • Re:The End (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @04:46PM (#43885425)

    It was Sun that did that, then perhaps IBM. Certainly not Oracle.

  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @04:53PM (#43885473)
    .. to object to this. These good people basically say "it would be godawful if Oracle managed to get a copyright on APIs". What they should say is "according to copyright laws, APIs are not material that can be protected by copyright". Because that is what matters to a court. _If_ APIs could be protected by copyright (which they can't) it would be absolutely wrong for a judge to listen to these people.

    (Why do APIs not have copyright protection? Because copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation. If a file contains just the API itself, it is not protected. If it contains comments, preferably in poetic form, the file cannot be copied, but still the API can be extracted. And making use of the API description is most definitely not protected by copyright law).
  • Re:The End (Score:5, Informative)

    by garyebickford (222422) <.gar37bic. .at. .gmail.com.> on Saturday June 01, 2013 @05:29PM (#43885649)

    I was there in the days when "you won't get fired for buying IBM", and IBM VPs would get flown in to talk to your boss' boss' boss' to tell them that their 14th level underling was considering buying a non-IBM peripheral, and that while IBM encouraged fair competition, the presence of a non-IBM peripheral 'might' delay support response until it was proved that the peripheral had nothing to do with the problem, and "your company might have to be shut down while the problem was worked out." It was extortion, pure and simple. And it worked until they lost the anti-trust suit (which started in 1969, lasted 13 years!)

    See where IBM is now. It could happen to Oracle. Customers don't like any vendor having them by the balls, even when they are nice about it, and Oracle has never, in my experience, been nice. But those are cool boats! :D

  • by DrJimbo (594231) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @05:43PM (#43885713)

    If you were familiar with the case you would know that one of Oracle's main arguments in its appeal is that APIs are currently protected by copyright and Alsup's ruling (against making APIs copyrightable) has upset the status quo. Yes, IMO Oracle's lawyers should be severely sanctioned for tying up the courts with such utter rubbish, but they haven't been (yet) so this is what the fight is about.

    Given this context, these Amici Curiae briefs make perfect sense. Oracle is lying through its teeth about what the current state of affairs is in order to swindle the court and make a quick buck. It was almost essential for people to refute Oracle's BS&F lies in order to keep the legal battle grounded in reality.

    The law firm BS&F has been filing bogus lawsuits like this for ten years now. They started by getting paid $20 million for the Microsoft funded SCO attacks against FOSS. They will continue to clog the courts with their BS & FUD until it is no longer economically profitable for them to do so. I think they should be fined $20 million (or more) for their cumulative egregious behavior over the past 10 years and that money should be used to compensate those who have been injured by their shenanigans. You need to catch them in the act and punish them right away or they will never learn.

  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @06:11PM (#43885867) Journal

    No it doesn't.

    However, if you were Google or IceTea you couldn't make a clean room implementation as the words and phrases to make a program source compatible is owned by Oracle.

    By extension you must now pay Oracle $999 for JavaSE or whatever the fuck Oracle wants to charge as no competition is allowed to exist.

    Microsoft would also use this to end SAMBA (A.D compatibility for Linux and MacOSX), Wine, and ReactOS. After all MS would own the exact words and strings of characters of each API call and can quote this case as an example.

    Sco can rise from the grave too and claim they own sh, sed, awk, ed, vi, cat, and all of unix because it looks the same and has the same characters as Unixware etc cleanroom implementation or not.

  • Re:Still ? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Saturday June 01, 2013 @06:13PM (#43885879) Journal

    Already decided in court? Yes. Settled? Far from it.

    This is about Oracle trying to appeal the former decision.

  • Re:The End (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 01, 2013 @08:09PM (#43886433)

    I'm sorry, but a "successor in interest" is not responsible for, nor the cause of the actions of, the succeeded.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 01, 2013 @08:16PM (#43886463)

    AFAIK, replicated APIs were in java.lang.* - classes like Array and Exception which are basically baked in the specification of language. Even if you aren't going to touch Java the platform, you will need those if you use Java the language (you're aware of distinction, right?)

    PS: So, are you saying that something like Wine is infringing, or that Google is not infringing?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 01, 2013 @09:28PM (#43886709)

    The Google lawsuit is a legacy of old Sun staff that Oracle inherited and daren't just abandone.

    No, it isn't. Jonathan Schwartz has made it clear repeatedly, in court even, that Sun would never have brought this lawsuit. And he did welcome Android's use of the Java programming language when it was announced.

  • Re:The End (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 02, 2013 @12:22AM (#43887197)

    it worked until they lost the anti-trust suit (which started in 1969, lasted 13 years!)

    Correction: IBM never lost the anti-trust suit. They successfully fought the court battle until the Reagan administration dropped the whole thing.

    It would be more correct to say "it worked until microcomputers yanked the carpet out from underneath the minicomputer market." We all hate Microsoft now, but microcomputers running DOS or Windows freed us all from IBM's iron fist.

    (Now Internet computing and mobile devices will free us all from Microsoft's iron fist, which anyway isn't quite as frightening as IBM's iron fist was back in the day.)

  • Re:WTF?!? (Score:4, Informative)

    by devent (1627873) on Sunday June 02, 2013 @06:07AM (#43887951) Homepage

    Java is already "forked". The OpenJDK project is since Java 7 the reference implementation for Java and is licensed under the GPL.
    Nothing prevents you to write a custom installer without the Ask toolbar or whatever. Every Linux distribution ships OpenJDK in the main repositories.

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