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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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  • *sigh* (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Atzanteol (99067) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @04:34PM (#43885367) Homepage

    As a Java developer let me just say - God I hate Oracle... Can't we just turn Java over to the Apache project now? They would be far better stewards of the technology. Christ *anybody* would probably be a better steward of it than Oracle.

  • by swschrad (312009) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @04:41PM (#43885403) Homepage Journal

    perhaps you haven't heard. Oracle grinds the last drop out of the turnip and takes the shoes for resale on the way out of the conference room. there is a reason that Larry Ellison can spend 3 months a year racing sailboats and flaunt FAA noise rules flying back home after quiet hours night after night. it's called money, honey, and they excel in it.

    considering it takes Oracle longer to patch an exploit in Java than it does for Apple to patch an exploit, if indeed they acknowledge one, perhaps it would not be a bad thing to let ol Larry take 120 percent of nothing, and standardize on another universal API across the web.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @05:14PM (#43885591)
    The code behind an API can be protected but the interface itself being protected would defeat the purpose of the API. I think APIs fall under scènes à faire [wikipedia.org].
  • Re:The End (Score:5, Interesting)

    by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex@noS ... t-retrograde.com> on Saturday June 01, 2013 @05:19PM (#43885611)

    However unlikely it is that Oracle wins this, if this were to pass it would be the end of the software industry as we know it.

    I really hope that somehow there is some kind of backlash against Oracle when this ends. Well I can dream at least.

    I do not agree with you. I think Oracle should win this. It's going to get far worse before it gets better. I'd much rather sooner than later. For instance: If there were ice everywhere and I were an Eskimo, would you try to sell me the ice? No? Then why do folks think it's OK to sell me, a PC owner, infinitely reproducible bits? It's because they have a fundamental misunderstanding of information and work. A mechanic is not granted a limited (70 year beyond their death) monopoly over the work they perform. They have an infinite monopoly to leverage before you do your work, after the work is done and paid for, then you have no monopoly. You don't get to charge each time I start up the car. You shouldn't get to charge for each copy of the bits, you can only do so because laws that support the economically untenable practice of Artificial Scarcity. The work has already been done. You want more money, do more work. Make an estimate / proposal, agree on a price, do the work. Do not seek rent for those who use the work afterwards, get assurance your work will be paid for up front... Like every other labor industry already does. Then you can put an end piracy, by abolishing patent and copyright laws.

    Make no mistake. This will happen. It is starting to happen that those who "Publish" content are not necessary. We can all pay the workers directly now. Publishers add no value to the work. They will become publicists / advertizers / marketers of your ability to do work, instead of resellers of artificially scarce bits. This is the first Internet Generation generation -- growing up with fully connected in the Age of Information. The business models will have to adjust. You speak of the end of the software industry as you know it. Indeed. The way it works now is down right retarding, and ridiculously out of touch with reality. Oracle should win because it will point out how stupid Copyright and Patents actually are.

    Further: No Scientist can condone the practice of operating under unproven hypotheses. There is no proof that Copyright, or "the software industry as we know it" is actually benefical for society as a whole. No one did any test. They all assumed it was so because the English had a patent and copyright law, so do we. That's bad science, and if you are a scientist, yes even a computer scientist, then you should feel it in the pit of your stomach: That dread that you are running your life and the entire economy of the world based on an unproven, untested, untenable hypothesis.

    For Shame.

  • by sk999 (846068) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @05:34PM (#43885671)

    If Java API's are copyrightable, does this mean that Oracle has a copyright interest in every program ever written that uses those APIs? Does every Java programmer need to add a comment "Copyright Oracle" to every file that uses a Java API?

    The software industry as a whole has been very cavalier about APIs. It is not hard to find examples of big vendors like Microsoft, IBM, or DEC claiming copyright ownership of APIs taken from elsewhere. In return, rarely, if ever, do they become involved in litigation claiming ownership. Some vendors (e.g., The Open Group) consider use of APIs (including implementation) to be covered by "fair use".

    Oracle wants to tread in waters that the industry as a whole has deliberately avoided in the past.

    I am not a Java developer, and give the way that Oracle has turned the language into toxic waste, I doubt I will ever become one.

  • Re:*sigh* (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @07:26PM (#43886251)

    Personally, I don't care about the court decisions. There is often a difference between legal and ethical. If people start avoiding companies that only respect one of the two then perhaps things will be a little nicer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 01, 2013 @08:55PM (#43886593)

    Compared to Sun's patch rate? You never actually worked with the bugs, did you?

    I'll give Oracle credit, they're working well with the "openjdk" development to get Java out from under the burdensome licensing that Sun screwed up their own market with. And they don't *want* MySQL to succeed: they want it *dead* in the industrial space, so people will use Oracle's much more prifitable databases. They bought Sun to get the commercial database customer list, to shoot that incompatible Sun architectural oddness through the head, and to shut MySQL down.

    Getting Java license control was a burden, which they're getting out from under as fast as possible. The Google lawsuit is a legacy of old Sun staff that Oracle inherited and daren't just abandone.

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