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posted by janrinok on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:15PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the #include⠀<stdio.h> dept.

The case Google v. Oracle America, previously named Oracle America, Inc. v. Google, Inc., is being heard by the US Supreme Court. At the center of the case is whether programmers require permission to use an application programming interface (API). The outcome will determine the extent to which APIs can or should be copyrighted. If it turns out that copyright can be used to lock competitors out of using any given API, then there are severe repercussions for software development, as all programs these days rely heavily on pre-existing libararies which are then accessed via APIs.

Google: The case for open innovation:

The Court will review whether copyright should extend to nuts-and-bolts software interfaces, and if so, whether it can be fair to use those interfaces to create new technologies, as the jury in this case found. Software interfaces are the access points that allow computer programs to connect to each other, like plugs and sockets. Imagine a world in which every time you went to a different building, you needed a different plug to fit the proprietary socket, and no one was allowed to create adapters.

This case will make a difference for everyone who touches technology—from startups to major tech platforms, software developers to product manufacturers, businesses to consumers—and we're pleased that many leading representatives of those groups will be filing their own briefs to support our position.

Mozilla: Competition and Innovation in Software Development Depend on a Supreme Court Reversal in Google v. Oracle:

At bottom in the case is the issue of whether copyright law bars the commonplace practice of software reimplementation, "[t]he process of writing new software to perform certain functions of a legacy product." (Google brief p.7) Here, Google had repurposed certain functional elements of Java SE (less that 0.5% of Java SE overall, according to Google's brief, p. 8) in its Android operating system for the sake of interoperability—enabling Java apps to work with Android and Android apps to work with Java, and enabling Java developers to build apps for both platforms without needing to learn the new conventions and structure of an entirely new platform.

Devclass: Google says nature of APIs under threat as Oracle case heads to US Supreme Court:

The case – ten years in making – centres on Oracle's claims that its Java patents and copyrights were infringed by Google when the search giant created its Android mobile operating system. An initial ruling in Google's favour was overturned on appeal, and the case is finally due to land in the Supreme Court this year. Google filed its opening brief for the justices this week.

When was the last time, outside of school, when you yourself have written a program entirely from scratch and not used even a single set of application programming interfaces? Yeah. Thought so.


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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:24PM (22 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:24PM (#943140)

    Time to write letters to the Court. This is a potential nuke to open-source and IT compatibility.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:46PM (21 children)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:46PM (#943188) Journal

      Prediction:

      Democratic appointments will rule that copyright does NOT apply to APIs
      Republican appointments will rule that it does

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:56PM (3 children)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:56PM (#943198) Journal

        Stupidity and Greed are not the exclusive "intellectual" property of only the Republican (or Democratic) party.

        Greed "trumps" stupidity. You can bet that Democrats will support copyrightable APIs if the right left palms get greased.

        Corruption is a universal in politics.

        --
        A large Starlink satellite constellation will be a smashing success!
        • (Score: 5, Touché) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday January 14 2020, @07:26PM (2 children)

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @07:26PM (#943221) Journal

          I'm not claiming otherwise. IP stupidity is depressingly bipartisan.

          However, being able to say the internet is not a telecommunications service with a straight face is a uniquely Republican trait, for example.

          • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Tuesday January 14 2020, @07:56PM

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @07:56PM (#943227) Journal

            I can't argue. That is an astonishingly brazen example of corruption.

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          • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Wednesday January 15 2020, @02:18PM

            by fustakrakich (6150) on Wednesday January 15 2020, @02:18PM (#943582) Journal

            And it still doesn't cost them votes when the dems only need a few strategically placed allies [gq.com] to do the same thing. Where was the democrat congress when they had the power to actually pass legislation instead of waiting for a revocable executive order?

            --
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      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @07:37PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @07:37PM (#943223)

        You should consider things such as the TPP when making comments like this. It was little more than a giant multinational corporate handout with extensive strengthening of intellectual property laws and an undermining of domestic courts ability to side issues in lieu of corporate tribunals. And it was spearheaded by Obama. Both parties tend to be pretty bent over to corporate interests. And so yes in this case I do expect the democratic appointees to side with Google/Microsoft/etc. But I also certainly expect the republican appointees to do so as well.

        The friend of the court filings [scotusblog.com] have been absolutely lopsided. Does anybody support Oracle, besides Oracle? This is going to be a 9-0. Though I have to say it's one hell of a sad state of affairs when we can predict and debate, probably quite accurately, the outcome of what should be a complex, esoteric, and deeply nuanced case intermixing between constitutional and copyright law - based on little more than the political affinities of our "judges." The entire reason the supreme court has live term was to enable people to step outside partisan nonsense. Didn't get rid of the partisanship, just gave us 90 year old judges who cannot be removed. Something the next great nation will undoubtedly learn from.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:05PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:05PM (#943263)

          Actually, one would hope that a case would be decided upon its legal standing and merits and not depend upon the number of amicus briefs filed.

          • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:23PM

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:23PM (#943276) Journal

            Different dead presidents' faces on those Amicus Briefs apply differing weights towards swaying the outcome in a particular direction.

            But other Amicus Briefs have fields such as "Date", "Pay to the order of", "Amount", etc.

            --
            A large Starlink satellite constellation will be a smashing success!
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:19PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:19PM (#943273) Journal

          Though I have to say it's one hell of a sad state of affairs when we can predict and debate, probably quite accurately, the outcome of what should be a complex, esoteric, and deeply nuanced case intermixing between constitutional and copyright law - based on little more than the political affinities of our "judges."

          So what are the political affinities of our judges? You're the second [soylentnews.org] poster to complain about this without providing even the slightest details on the political affinities that supposedly are so predictable and so relevant.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by linuxrocks123 on Tuesday January 14 2020, @10:17PM

          by linuxrocks123 (2557) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @10:17PM (#943315) Journal

          The friend of the court filings [scotusblog.com] have been absolutely lopsided. Does anybody support Oracle, besides Oracle?

          The Department of Justice supports Oracle. They argued that the Federal Circuit correctly decided the case, that certiorari should not be granted, and that the case was a poor vehicle for examining any broader issues beyond the case itself.

          They supported Oracle under Obama as well, iirc, so I doubt this is due to Trump shenanigans. My guess is that they just assigned the matter to someone who doesn't know what he's doing.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:21PM (10 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:21PM (#943237)

        IIRC Hillary Clinton supported ACTA (I think it was) and then changed her mind while running for elections of course. Because every politician changes their views during elections (but changes them right back afterwards).

        and let's not forget Bill Clinton passed the DMCA.

        So don't tell me Republicans are more in favor of IP than Democrats. If anything I'm more afraid of the Democrats favoring such silly IP rulings.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:31PM

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:31PM (#943283) Journal

          So don't tell me Republicans are more in favor of IP than Democrats. If anything I'm more afraid of the Democrats favoring such silly IP rulings.

          I'm not, all that crap passes with bipartisan majorities.

          However, we're talking about the Judiciary here, not the Congress.

          And in my observation the Republican appointees always end up on the wrong side when technology is involved.

          Consider whether the government can snoop through your cellphone records without a warrant, for example. Roberts luckily flipped on that one but the rest of the conservatives wrote a NINETY TWO page dissent. [usatoday.com]

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DannyB on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:33PM (7 children)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:33PM (#943284) Journal

          I remember.

          The DMCA was a horrifying travesty of justice and due process. No statutory penalty for false DMCA claims, nor process to deal with it.

          Now DMCA is just accepted as normal. It doesn't even offend people.

          --
          A large Starlink satellite constellation will be a smashing success!
          • (Score: 4, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:37PM (6 children)

            by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:37PM (#943286) Journal
            • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:49PM (4 children)

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:49PM (#943294) Journal

              There must have been some industry organization(s) bribing lobbying both sides.

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              A large Starlink satellite constellation will be a smashing success!
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 15 2020, @04:16AM (3 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 15 2020, @04:16AM (#943444)

                They do that long before it comes down to a single issue. The problem with our democracy as opposed to e.g. Finland, or even what it used to be is that we're huge. You don't get elected by going door to door, giving stump speeches, and the like. You get elected by spending massive amounts of money. Seriously, money is the strongest predictor in election success in the US. And so who gives that money? Corporations and other special interests. Do you know what congressmen spend the most time doing once elected? Yip, fundraising for the next election.

                And the thing that really sucks is that there is absolutely no way to fix this problem. Even if you made some rule that congressmen could not accept donations then it'd simply turn into the exact same thing done through proxies. Even if you banned third party political advertising, it'd end up with the same thing done by 'incentivizing' high visibility individuals to 'voluntarily' support them.

                • (Score: 2) by dry on Wednesday January 15 2020, @09:01PM (2 children)

                  by dry (223) on Wednesday January 15 2020, @09:01PM (#943782) Journal

                  One big problem is that you froze the size of the House of Representatives a century ago while your population has grown. This leads to those Representatives representing a huge chunk of the population so going door to door doesn't work and a small enough group that they're easy to bribe. It also leads to more unbalance in individual States representation.
                  Canada, with 1/10th the population has 338 members in the House of Commons, so for for same representation you would need over 3000 Representatives.
                  The States could fix this by passing Article the First but likely won't as too many States like having an extra say in how the country is run. The only thing worse then tyranny of the majority is tyranny of the minority.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16 2020, @01:31AM (1 child)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16 2020, @01:31AM (#943850)

                    The U.S. population has more than tripled [wolframalpha.com] from 1913 to today. Back then, there were 211,000 people per representative, on average, and there is over 710,000 today. Canada's is 108,000 and that would be almost 2860 representatives, not counting apportionment by state. Personally, I'd implement the Wyoming Rule, at a minimum, to lower the average and insure more parity in the future. Then we can talk about changing the population per representative.

                    • (Score: 2) by dry on Thursday January 16 2020, @02:11AM

                      by dry (223) on Thursday January 16 2020, @02:11AM (#943867) Journal

                      Yes, the Wyoming Rule would be a start, just to balance things a bit better. Federal systems make it hard to balance representation with the smaller political units having more say it seems. Here PEI has about 36000 per riding compared to my Province at 110,000. The Territories likewise have about 35k-40k even with their size (Nunavut is about 9x the size of Texas).

            • (Score: 2) by TheReaperD on Wednesday January 15 2020, @02:27AM

              by TheReaperD (5556) on Wednesday January 15 2020, @02:27AM (#943414)

              Hey, Disney and Sony paid good money for those votes!

              --
              Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @10:09PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @10:09PM (#943310)

          These trade deals are huge with very many parts. Unless a politician stakes out a position on one of them, it is not easy to disentangle if it passes with bipartisan support. A proper compromise bill will have positions that various people or groups dislike. People vote for it because it is deemed to be the best that can be done. So don't jump to the conclusion that Obama wanted this or that, etc.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @10:52PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @10:52PM (#943334)

        Democrats will say it's "Cultural Appropriation" to use an API.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:28PM (23 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:28PM (#943141)

    At least if Oracle gets its way. I can't believe that a "software" company like Oracle behaves in such a stupid way. Lets hope the Supreme Court is smarter...

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:35PM (19 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:35PM (#943145)

      Oracle's going to blow themselves up if they win. It's not like they invented SQL...

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @07:02PM (18 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @07:02PM (#943204)

        The case doesn't mean there can't be public APIs, but rather that companies have the right to copyright their own APIs.

        So if Blahco says you can't create a mock API to emulate our features, then you can't.

        SQL was intended to be a public API, Java (under Oracle) was not.

        • (Score: 5, Interesting) by barbara hudson on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:01PM (17 children)

          by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:01PM (#943229) Journal
          So what? I am quite happy to limit myself to Sun Microsystems Java 1.5 API, which I still have kicking around, and which I was still using 6 years ago for both simplicity and backwards compatibility. Oracle can't retroactively take away my license, or my redistribution rights.

          There haven't been all that much improvement in the software industry as a whole in the last 20 years, and there has been quite a lot lost. Innovation? I'm not seeing it? Stupid Ubuntu file manager doesn't allow multiple windows, or even side by side lists of two directories - something both DosShell and Windows 3.0 had.

          "Innovation " is mostly limited to fscking up the UI, by making it more complicated by "simplifying " it. Innovation? How many different browsers are there today? Programming languages? Perl 6 is dead. Python isn't even included in some Linux base installs, so dead. Ruby? Another zombie. C is more or less intact, but c++ lost it's way when it tried to become more than

          Java finally got fast enough, as did the hardware, to actually be used. But they had to go screw that up, and J2EE is just another excuse to make things so bloated that it guarantees job security.

          Operating systems? Linux and Windows both hit their peak at the turn of the century in terms of real advances.

          Linux and bsd still have problems with hardware compatibility, especially with sound and printers. Even on old hardware.

          Emojis are not a mark of progress.

          And the misnamed OpenJDK doesn't install the applications necessary for development by default - without javac, etc., it's not a JDK. It's a JRE. It's easier to either go with Oracle or use an older Sun JDK than to keep twiddling to find out why a JDK can't be used for development.

          At least there were reasonable excuses 20 years ago. The field was still wide open. Today, not so much. So screw Oracle, but also screw all the others who made things overly complicated so they could justify a paycheque.

          C99 is good enough, Java 1.5 is good enough, mc at least let's me see files in two directories side by side, but I'm beginning to suspect that life is too short to bother with Linux, Windows, or the bsds. I hate OS X, but it's starting to look better because everything else has become a steaming pile of bug ridden shit.

          Open source has failed. It has led to fragmentation, bugs that aren't fixed, awful user interfaces, and hegemony of the big boys setting both the agenda and what gets fixed, because without paid bug fixers, it's easier to scratch your own itch. We got what we paid for. Oracle is a symptom of a larger problem.

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          • (Score: 5, Informative) by DannyB on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:39PM (15 children)

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:39PM (#943288) Journal

            As far as I can tell, OpenJDK comes with a javac and development tools. OpenJDK was reorganized sometime after java 8. It now no longer includes a separate JRE subfolder. The JRE is "merged" into the JDK. So look in the top level /bin for things like javac, jar, etc.

            OpenJDK is GPL v2 + Classpath exception. Oracle cannot undo that.

            There are now multiple places to get prebuilt OpenJDK.

            Adopt Open JDK

            https://adoptopenjdk.net/ [adoptopenjdk.net]

            https://github.com/AdoptOpenJDK [github.com]

            https://github.com/ojdkbuild/ojdkbuild [github.com]

            Open JDK

            http://openjdk.java.net/ [java.net]

            Azul Systems Zulu

            http://www.azul.com/downloads/zulu/ [azul.com]

            Amazon

            https://aws.amazon.com/fr/corretto/ [amazon.com]

            https://github.com/corretto [github.com]

            Eclipse

            https://www.eclipse.org/openj9/ [eclipse.org]

            https://adoptopenjdk.net/releases.html?variant=openjdk11&jvmVariant=openj9 [adoptopenjdk.net]

            https://github.com/eclipse/openj9 [github.com]

            Red Hat

            https://developers.redhat.com/products/openjdk/download/ [redhat.com]

            https://access.redhat.com/articles/1299013 [redhat.com]

            SAP

            https://github.com/SAP/SapMachine [github.com]

            BellSoft

            https://bell-sw.com/java.html [bell-sw.com]

            Oracle JDK -- supported for a limited time unless you pay

            https://jdk.java.net/11/ [java.net]

            Oracle Binary License Agreement - DANGER Will Robinson!

            http://java.oracle.com/ [oracle.com]

            See:

            Time to look beyond Oracle's JDK

            https://blog.joda.org/2018/09/time-to-look-beyond-oracles-jdk.html [joda.org]

            Java is Still Free 2.0.0

            https://medium.com/@javachampions/java-is-still-free-2-0-0-6b9aa8d6d244 [medium.com]

            JDK Distributions

            https://sdkman.io/jdks [sdkman.io]

            --
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            • (Score: 2, Disagree) by barbara hudson on Tuesday January 14 2020, @11:57PM (14 children)

              by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday January 14 2020, @11:57PM (#943361) Journal
              Nope. The distros require you to download and install a separate -devel package for both 8 and 11.

              And unless you have a Sun-licensed JDK, you can be affected by this issue if Oracle wins, because even a separate implementation of the API would be copyright infringement. That includes Apache Harmony. The GPL doesn't protect from copyright infringements.

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              • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday January 15 2020, @02:52PM (4 children)

                by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 15 2020, @02:52PM (#943591) Journal

                If Oracle wins is an important question.

                GPL does protect you from claims of copyright infringement against you from the licensor/author of the code. That's one of the reasons for an open source license. A few years ago this silly "no license" movement sprang up, then quickly died. People writing software didn't want to deal with the complexities of understanding licenses. Can't we all just get along? We're all nice guys. Etc. The author says he would never sue me for using his code that he put up on GitHub. I say: if you're such a good guy, then put that promise in writing, it's called a license.

                I don't "install" Java on Linux (or Windows). I have multiple unziped (un-tar'ed) Java runtimes. I use scripts that launch all my Java dev tools, servers, etc. The scripts are trivially pointed at different versions of Java (or different 'vendor' builds) for testing.

                unless you have a Sun-licensed JDK

                Sun put the JDK under the GPL + classpath license. They can't take it back. Nor can Oracle. Oracle's official proprietary builds are based on OpenJDK. Oracle's paid developers contribute to OpenJDK, which is upstream from Oracle's builds. What Oracle offers is binary builds, like everyone else. But you can pay to have continued support and patches way beyond the end lifetime of a particular version of Java. Hence, lots of Java programs (not mine) are still on Java 8 and pay for support. Red Hat, Azul Systems and others similarly offer paid support. There are also volunteer efforts to backport important patches to no-longer-supported versions of Java. So you can still get Open JDK updates for Java 8 with important security fixes for example.

                I'll also clarify (informally, in a nutshell) what the "classpath" exception is to the GPL. Open JDK is GPL, full stop. That means if you have a program that runs on Java, YOUR PROGRAM comes under the scope of the GPL. The classpath exception is an additional clause from Sun stating that your program does NOT come under the scope of the GPL if it is merely using Java as a runtime platform and adds significant value beyond the bare JDK. (eg, you can't use a "hello world" program as an excuse to redistribute the entire JDK and evade the GPL, and let your "hello world" program launch other larger programs.)

                If you have a major Java application and want to pay Oracle / Red Hat / Azul Systems / and others for commercial support -- be my guest.

                Or you can use Open JDK without commercial support. If it breaks at 3 AM, it's your problem. But that is true of an unsupported Linux installation as well.

                --
                A large Starlink satellite constellation will be a smashing success!
                • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Wednesday January 15 2020, @04:31PM (3 children)

                  by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Wednesday January 15 2020, @04:31PM (#943652) Journal
                  The GPL doesn't protect you from 3rd party copyright infringement claims. You write some code, you don't license it under the gpl, some boss comes along and then incorporates it into their code and licenses it under the gpl, you can still sue everyone in the chain for violating your copyright. Same as any other copyrighted material - you need the copyright holders permission to use it or to change the license terms.

                  What this means is that if Oracle is found to have a valid copyright to code that others have included in ANY code that Oracle hasn't given a license to, that code is infringing - in the USA.

                  Exceptions would be JDKs and JVMs that were obtained directly from Sun with a more permissive license, to use and redistribute. This doesn't somehow get passed on to later versions distributed by Oracle - just that they cannot retroactively change a license agreement they were never a party to.

                  Same reason why Linux can't be changed to a newer version of the gpl -,too many copyright holders, some of whom can't give permission to change the license because they're dead.

                  The alternative is to rewrite from scratch. Might not be a bad idea but it will never happen.

                  But no version of the GPL has EVER provided protection from claims by 3rd parties of copyright infringement. Any infringing code HAS to be removed or an agreement made to relicence it under the GPL. Copyright law doesn't allow for anyone to change the license of code owned by someone else. The GPL certainly doesn't allow it. So your basic premise is wrong.

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                  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday January 15 2020, @04:45PM (2 children)

                    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 15 2020, @04:45PM (#943663) Journal

                    It is correct that the GPL doesn't protect you from your own infringement of someone's copyright.

                    Exceptions would be JDKs and JVMs that were obtained directly from Sun with a more permissive license, to use and redistribute. This doesn't somehow get passed on to later versions distributed by Oracle

                    Oracle's Open JDK source code, to this very day, is still GPL + classpath.

                    In fact, the GPL+classpath licensed Open JDK is upstream to Oracle. Oracle pays developers to work on Open JDK. Oracle uses Open JDK to build its own binary product, which it supports.

                    The alternative is to rewrite from scratch

                    There is no need to rewrite. Oracle's Open JDK source code is GPL+classpath licensed.

                    --
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                    • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Wednesday January 15 2020, @05:34PM (1 child)

                      by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Wednesday January 15 2020, @05:34PM (#943686) Journal
                      And Oracle, as a he copyright holder, is entirely within its rights to tell openjdk to stop using the name Java and, if they are found to be the holders of the copyright to the apps s, to tel everyone to immediately cease using them. So what is the point? OpenJDK doesn't hold the copyright to the API.
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                      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday January 15 2020, @05:47PM

                        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 15 2020, @05:47PM (#943691) Journal

                        It is true that Oracle holds the trademark on Java. And Oracle can insist that nobody can deceptively market anything as being "real java". Just as Coke can prevent Pepsi from implying that it is Coke. Yet Pepsi exists.

                        If Oracle wins its copyrightable API argument, it will be a major tectonic shift in the entire industry. Bigger than Android or Java.

                        Even people who hate Java may be affected.

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              • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday January 15 2020, @02:58PM (8 children)

                by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 15 2020, @02:58PM (#943594) Journal

                unless you have a Sun-licensed JDK

                ALL Open JDKs are sun licensed. That license is the GPL + classpath exception. No matter who you get your Open JDK from.

                Oracle can't retroactively undo that.

                Oracle CAN stop contributing to Open JDK for future versions. But they seem (at present) to think it is in their interest to keep Open JDK as an upstream to their own builds of Java.

                --
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                • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Wednesday January 15 2020, @04:44PM (7 children)

                  by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Wednesday January 15 2020, @04:44PM (#943662) Journal
                  Nope - Sun was in no position to license code that didn't even exist after it was bought by Oracle. Oracle, as the new copyright owners, were allowed to refuse any new licenses. That is how copyright works. Any additional code Oracle added to their version of the language that was added to the openJDK can't be covered by Sun's license.

                  Anyway, it only matters to less than 5% of the worlds population. China has already jumped ahead of the west in terms of technology (more patents every year than the US, Europe, Japan, and Taiwan combined). They've also passed the USA in terms of purchasing power parity. Java is more or less irrelevant in the long term - after all, even Java is implemented in c. Eventually someone will come along with something better and simpler, and Java will die.

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                  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday January 15 2020, @04:58PM (2 children)

                    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 15 2020, @04:58PM (#943674) Journal

                    The way GPL works is that all code in Java that did not exist at the time of Sun still falls under the GPL+classpath.

                    More patents is not a sign of innovation. It is more a sign of hindering innovation.

                    Java may eventually become irrelevant. I don't have a crystal ball. Today, it is still the number one programming language on job sites, discussion, questions and commercial use.

                    Java is implemented in C. And getting hard to maintain. GraalVM aims to change some of that. More of the JVM runtime will be written in Java.

                    There are a lot of things simpler than Java, and Java has not died. Java does what it does very well. Better is more subjective. If someone comes along with something better that makes Java irrelevant, then Java deserves to die. And I'll be happy to switch to something better. But right now, despite it being fashionable to hate Java, it is still the best at what it does. Lots of large corporations make vast use of Java and spend boatloads of money on it -- for a reason. They're not all just stupid. Java is not perfect for everything. It has its warts. And it is completely inappropriate for many use cases.

                    If there were one perfect programming language, we would all be using it already.

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                    • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Wednesday January 15 2020, @05:42PM (1 child)

                      by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Wednesday January 15 2020, @05:42PM (#943689) Journal
                      The problem is that if Oracle is ruled to own the copyright to the APIs, they can say "stop using them " and OpenJDK would have to be reimplemented using different APIs. The GPL is clear - any code that doesn't have the copyright holders permission must be removed.

                      The alternative is that Oracle loses. I'm okay with either result wrt Java. It's not going to change my world much if Java dies, or if it's restricted to outside the USA. Either result is because the US legal system is not fit for purpose.

                      Just look at the 20% of death row inmates who, after all appeals, are found not to have been guilty because of DNA.

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                      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday January 15 2020, @05:52PM

                        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 15 2020, @05:52PM (#943694) Journal

                        t if Oracle is ruled to own the copyright to the APIs

                        That's the wrong question. The question is if APIs are found to be copyrightable. Any APIs. All APIs. Not just Oracle's APIs. And not just APIs used by Android.

                        Another legal question is if APIs are part of the code covered under GPL. Does source code "include" APIs inherently.

                        In your worst case scenario, if Oracle destroys Java, it basically will kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. Java is of immense commercial value. Oracle knows that. If they destroy it over their squabble with Google / Android, that would be monumentally stupid. But I can't predict the future.

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                  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday January 15 2020, @04:59PM (3 children)

                    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 15 2020, @04:59PM (#943675) Journal

                    Just to point out: It is a SIMPLE FACT that Oracle's Open JDK is GPL + classpath licensed.

                    You can't argue that fact away.

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                    • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Wednesday January 15 2020, @05:44PM (2 children)

                      by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Wednesday January 15 2020, @05:44PM (#943690) Journal
                      And if Oracle is found to be the copyright owner of the Java API, they can exercise their rights to tell OpenJDK to take out a license for the API. The GPL covers code, not APIs.
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                      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday January 15 2020, @05:53PM (1 child)

                        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 15 2020, @05:53PM (#943695) Journal

                        If you license your code under GPL, then aren't APIs in that same code also under GPL, or not?

                        Of course, I can imagine Oracle's Lawyers making a case out of that.

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                        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 15 2020, @11:51PM

                          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 15 2020, @11:51PM (#943830)

                          7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues), conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you may not distribute the Program at all. For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.

          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DannyB on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:51PM

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:51PM (#943295) Journal

            and J2EE is just another excuse to make things so bloated that it guarantees job security.

            J2EE should have been named: Java Enterprise Edition Web Tooling Framework

            Or simply: JEE WTF

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    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DannyB on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:53PM (2 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:53PM (#943195) Journal

      I can't believe that a "software" company like Oracle behaves in such a stupid way.

      Greedy is the word you is looking for. And when that word are used, I can indeed believe it.

      --
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      • (Score: 3, Informative) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:33PM (1 child)

        by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:33PM (#943246)

        I can believe the stupid bit as well.

        The huge multinational I work for would have been one of Oracle's biggest customers, but due to the way they have treated us we are currently in the process of entirely moving to SAP, and by this time next year, we will not be a customer of theirs at all.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:58PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:58PM (#943260)

          The huge multinational I work for would have been one of Oracle's biggest customers, but due to the way they have treated us we are currently in the process of entirely moving to SAP, and by this time next year, we will not be a customer of theirs at all.

          Yeah, but they still have the US federal government in their hip pocket. I know. I work for US DoD. Help!

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by stormreaver on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:31PM (19 children)

    by stormreaver (5101) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:31PM (#943144)

    When was the last time, outside of school, when you yourself have written a program entirely from scratch and not used even a single set of application programming interfaces? Yeah. Thought so.

    It's not possible to do so. EVERYTHING is an API, even the arrangement of bits in the CPU that make up the instruction set. Those arrangement of bits is what allows a program to interface with the CPU.

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:41PM (3 children)

      by Freeman (732) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:41PM (#943147) Journal

      So, it's looking pretty good to be Intel/AMD/ARM right about now.

      --
      Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:30PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:30PM (#943172)

        If this goes the wrong way then all AMD CPUs would be in violation of Intel's x86 rights and all Intel 64 bit except Itanic would be in violation of AMD's amd64 rights. And VIA would be dead in the water.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by barbara hudson on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:06PM (1 child)

          by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:06PM (#943231) Journal
          AMD and intel had cross licenses, and after the agreement terminated, intel got caught flat footed with amd64 being better than their own, so had to get a license from amd to use amd64 instruction set.
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          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 17 2020, @05:24AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 17 2020, @05:24AM (#944425)

            However AMD stopped recieving access to new instructions when Intel MMX came out, since they were 'extensions' not part of the core x86 api. As a result AMD continued being able to use up to the PPro instructions, which fell under the existing license but not later multimedia instructions. This resulted in 3dnow and its derivatives up until the agreement was renegotiated with Intel around the time of SSE2 I believe it was. It set AMD back by years in multimedia performance and adoption of Intel's extensions were always much higher.

            They have continued pulling similar crap to this day.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by BsAtHome on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:46PM (1 child)

      by BsAtHome (889) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:46PM (#943150)

      Indeed, You owe me a royalty for using that DONTDO prefix instruction. Others may have called it NOP, but that does not so anything. I claim inventing wasting computer time while it is actually doing something and simply ignores the works. No, it is different from an electric heater because mine can be programmed. And, because APIs are copyrightable according to previous precedent, you now need to pay me for the DONTDO API.

      Oh, the WILLDO API is already specified, don't even try it; it will be expensive...

      /s

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Thexalon on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:25PM

        by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:25PM (#943240)

        America's finest news source, as usual, saw what would happen when this nonsense was taken to its logical conclusion [theonion.com].

        --
        The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by sfm on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:55PM (11 children)

      by sfm (675) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:55PM (#943156)

      Imagine how this could affect programs like "WINE"
      (Windows emulation under linux)

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by BsAtHome on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:01PM (4 children)

        by BsAtHome (889) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:01PM (#943160)

        Illegal in the USA and perfectly fine everywhere else. Just like about any and all software ever written. All software stands on the shoulders of those before.

        • (Score: 5, Touché) by DannyB on Tuesday January 14 2020, @07:04PM (2 children)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @07:04PM (#943206) Journal

          One of these days the Chinese are going to turn our own stupid IP laws against us in our own courts.

          --
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          • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Tuesday January 14 2020, @10:16PM (1 child)

            by MostCynical (2589) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @10:16PM (#943314) Journal

            why? They can just buy the place [marketwatch.com]

            --
            "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
            • (Score: 4, Touché) by DannyB on Tuesday January 14 2020, @10:45PM

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @10:45PM (#943328) Journal

              Doing what I suggest first might lower the purchase price.

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              A large Starlink satellite constellation will be a smashing success!
        • (Score: 2) by dry on Wednesday January 15 2020, @09:29PM

          by dry (223) on Wednesday January 15 2020, @09:29PM (#943794) Journal

          There will be more trade agreements like the recent CUSMA that will include IP.

      • (Score: 4, Funny) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:48PM (2 children)

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:48PM (#943189) Journal

        Someone once told me that wine is not an emulator.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:50PM

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:50PM (#943191) Journal

          It's not an instruction set emulator, as in a virtual machine.

          --
          A large Starlink satellite constellation will be a smashing success!
        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:58PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:58PM (#943199)

          That was "Legal Suit Larry" and it was spelled "whine".

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:50PM (1 child)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:50PM (#943190) Journal

        But what about Windows Subsystem for Linux? It is just the reverse.

        I remember when WINE was able to run under Windows Subsystem for Linux for the first time. (And I got a front page article posted on SN about this important new way to run EXEs on Windows OS.)

        Oh, wait. But now . . . Windows Subsystem for Linux uses a real Linux kernel in a VM or something like that. No longer an API layer upon the Windows kernel.

        --
        A large Starlink satellite constellation will be a smashing success!
      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:15PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:15PM (#943234)

        "WINE" (Windows emulation under linux)

        You *do* know that "Wine" literally stands for "Wine Is Not an Emulator", right?

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @11:32PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @11:32PM (#943348)

      EVERYTHING is an API

      An imperative algorithm is not an API.

  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:41PM (5 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:41PM (#943146)

    Hopefully the court recognizes that if the practice is struck down inside the US, it will continue in the rest of the world, and what that would mean for the competitiveness and value of US based software development overall.

    Are we up to 5/9 industry pocket judges yet? If so, the court may still rule in favor of Oracle. I'm ready for retirement anyway, how about you?

    --
    John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
    • (Score: 3, Touché) by DannyB on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:45PM (4 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:45PM (#943187) Journal

      Hopefully the court recognizes that if the practice is struck down inside the US, it will continue in the rest of the world, and what that would mean for the competitiveness and value of US based software development overall.

      Hopefully the US Government recognizes that if secure encryption is stuck down in the US, it will continue in the rest of the world, and what that wood mean for the competitiveness and value of US based cryptographic products overall.

      --
      A large Starlink satellite constellation will be a smashing success!
      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:09PM (3 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:09PM (#943232)

        Hopefully the US Government recognizes that if secure encryption is stuck down in the US, it will continue in the rest of the world, and what that wood mean for the competitiveness and value of US based cryptographic products overall.

        While the encryption export law itself is idiotic, that doesn't mean that 99% of involved US officials don't recognize the reality of the situation.

        I believe the encryption export situation is more license for various TLAs to crawl inside private software they find interesting and give it a good once-over, and also slap export restrictions on various things as they see fit - it hasn't been a real restriction on practice in most areas. Back in 2012 I played with the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security and got a piece of software I wrote a Commodity Classification Automated Tracking System reference number issued by them - I'm pretty sure no human being even glanced at my application or software, I certainly have never been contacted or questioned about it and I did not show them the source code.

        --
        John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:42PM (1 child)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:42PM (#943290) Journal

          We need government mandated ROT17.

          "The government selected ROT17 because two applications of it will not revert the ciphertext back to plain text.", the senator explained.

          "...and furthermore", the senator added, "we chose ROT17 because 17 is a prime number unlike 13."

          --
          A large Starlink satellite constellation will be a smashing success!
          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:58PM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:58PM (#943298)

            In 2012 they mandated 56 bit max encryption, which is silly easy to break.... if you have the algorithm.

            --
            John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Tuesday January 14 2020, @10:02PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @10:02PM (#943303) Journal

          While the encryption export law itself is idiotic, that doesn't mean that 99% of involved US officials don't recognize the reality of the situation.

          As an off-topic remark, this is a classic example of overregulation. "99%" are recognizing the absurdity of the situation and looking the other way when convenient. This sort of flexibility naturally leads to stuff like regulatory capture and regulation not being enforced.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:44PM (14 children)

    It's horse shit to use copyright on non-artistic works anyway. Functional things are why patents exist.

    --
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    • (Score: 2) by canopic jug on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:53PM (2 children)

      by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:53PM (#943155) Journal

      Except patents do not apply to software, mathematics, or business models. There is a lot of noise trying to fool people into paying up anyway, but at the end of the day they don't have to at least not for software.

      --
      Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:12PM (1 child)

        That would be incorrect. Software patents have been severely limited, and rightly so, but they have not been thrown out entirely.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 2) by canopic jug on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:37PM

          by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:37PM (#943179) Journal

          Ah. Yes. My confusion. The article is about the US and in that jurisdiction they have been weakened but not quite eliminated. In the EU, they have never been valid but small groups of businesses and much larger groups of lawyers are just taking upon themselves to ignore the law and pretend they are allowed. The after effects, in the US, of the "Alice" case are still being worked out but if things keep heading the direction they have been, then software patents will be banned explicitly there too. However, the core of the court's unanimous decision is that abstract ideas cannot be patented.

          --
          Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:58PM (10 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:58PM (#943158)

      You're not actually suggesting software patents as an alternative to copyright, are you? That would be just as bad as API copyrights, if not worse. As it stands, if you want to open your work up all you have to do is choose a license and go. If it were all patent based, you'd have to go through the whole patent application process.

      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:16PM (9 children)

        You don't know much about copyright or patents then. Patents are a fuckload shorter and much, much harder to qualify for with the recent software patent case law. And you're not required to obtain a patent for your work even if it does qualify for one. By all means, invent something and let it be used as prior art to invalidate the patent application of anyone else trying to get one for your work.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:33PM (8 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:33PM (#943176)

          Even so, you can't violate a copyright by accident or through independent invention, but you can violate a patent without even knowing that it exists. Oh, and developers should never ever look at any patents ever because that increases your liability.

          • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:43PM

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:43PM (#943184) Journal

            You forgot to mention "submarine patents".

            And I do not mean patents on submarines.

            --
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          • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:51PM (3 children)

            by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @06:51PM (#943192) Journal

            Even so, you can't violate a copyright by accident or through independent invention

            Sure you can! All those song A sounds too similar to song B lawsuits don't require proving intent.

            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DannyB on Tuesday January 14 2020, @07:07PM (1 child)

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @07:07PM (#943208) Journal

              I think you must have four bars that are "too similar".

              This is why we need computers to write songs with every possible chord progression so that every song ever written has four bars somewhere that match some four bars written by the computer.

              --
              A large Starlink satellite constellation will be a smashing success!
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @10:31PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @10:31PM (#943323)

                '..This is why we need computers to write songs with every possible chord progression ..'

                Alternatively, just hire a decent prog rock band...Yes, at their peak, could have probably managed that feat in one song...

            • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:30PM

              by maxwell demon (1608) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:30PM (#943243) Journal

              You don't need intent, but you do need to have been exposed to the material you allegedly copied. For music, I guess judges just take that as a given.

              Clean room reimplementation works precisely because copyright doesn't apply to independent work. If you can prove that you've never been exposed to the original, you're off the hook.

              --
              The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
          • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday January 15 2020, @01:18AM (2 children)

            You're assuming they're different constructs. They're not. They're the exact same government granted monopoly but one is for functional things and one for creative works (and the creative works one is essentially eternal as opposed to a couple decades). Software does not belong under creative works. It is not art, it is engineering.

            --
            My rights don't end where your fear begins.
            • (Score: 2) by dry on Wednesday January 15 2020, @09:48PM (1 child)

              by dry (223) on Wednesday January 15 2020, @09:48PM (#943798) Journal

              Depends on the definition of "art", which has changed with time. When it comes to the Constitutional definition, programming might be considered an art. From wiki,

              In the Middle Ages, the Artes Liberales (liberal arts) were taught in universities as part of the Trivium, an introductory curriculum involving grammar, rhetoric, and logic,[3] and of the Quadrivium, a curriculum involving the "mathematical arts" of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy.[4] The Artes Mechanicae (consisting of vestiaria – tailoring and weaving; agricultura – agriculture; architectura – architecture and masonry; militia and venatoria – warfare, hunting, military education, and the martial arts; mercatura – trade; coquinaria – cooking; and metallaria – blacksmithing and metallurgy)[5] were practised and developed in guild environments. The modern distinction between "artistic" and "non-artistic" skills did not develop until the Renaissance. In modern academia, the arts are usually grouped with or as a subset of the humanities. Some subjects in the humanities are history, linguistics, literature, theology, philosophy, and logic.

              The Statute of Anne created copyright to advance learning and the USA changed that to advancing the arts and sciences. It seems they both had the same purpose, to grant a limited time monopoly to advance knowledge. Software, as an art form, can advance knowledge.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:47PM (15 children)

    by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @05:47PM (#943153) Journal

    A bunch of rich people are spending billions of dollars on lawyers to decide who owns and who stole an idea? Google pirated Ocacle's limited edition copy of Moon River.mp3 and implemented it in a mobile spy operating system to trick and track everyone who doesn't like iphones?

    And if one of the sets of rich people loses, every idea will have to be paid for up front? And sharing itself will be broken so we'll be at each others' throats for every required package? Will I be able to see ideas accidentally without paying for them?

    When pondering whether a law is a good one, impossibility and/or invasiveness of enforcement without cracking open everyone's brain and doing surgery is a pretty good indicator of a bad one. Unless you are into that, which I kinda sorta think these people might be.

    But then that is just me and no one is paying me to say anti-intellectual bullshit, so I can just talk about ideas without holding everyone over a barrel for them. As the custom of republicans and their stoogiciary, as they are only fulfilling the wishes of their puppetmasters to end the entire idea of individual liberty and an open marketplace of ideas.

    A world without public interest technology is not worth living in, yet those of us pointing this out might starve to death for doing so.

    r/stallmanwasright
    https://archive.is/xXs6r [archive.is] reminder
    thesesystemsarefailing.net but especially everything having to do with this 'court case'

    • (Score: 1, Troll) by barbara hudson on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:21PM (13 children)

      by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:21PM (#943236) Journal
      If stalman was so right how come he always had to go begging on his web site for a room for a few months at a time? The real winners of open source were google Facebook, amazon, etc. We can add IBM to that list, which explains systemd even though most non-big-Corp users don't want it.

      Moving from selling software to selling services inevitably leads to the software becoming secondary, and being seen as a cost rather than the goose that lays the golden eggs.

      Google and Facebook make $10 a month each off their users selling their personal data. The companies they sell it on to make even more, or they wouldn't buy your data. All this runs on cheap open source software. So, if they and their partners are making over $100 each month off your data, why aren't you demanding your cut?

      Is free email worth $100 a month?

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      SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:53PM (9 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @08:53PM (#943256)

        Neither is healthy for you, let alone both.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by barbara hudson on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:25PM (7 children)

          by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:25PM (#943279) Journal
          Yes, people shilling for Stalman is a bad thing. The open source model has made it almost impossible for independent developers to make a living, except for some game devs. We need to realize that the damage has been done, how it happened, and how it inevitably led to "software as a service " and the surveillance economy.

          Do I envy stalman? Of course not. I have been living at the same address for almost 5 years. Stalman begs online for a room for a few months at a time. His bohemian lifestyle is false pride, same as it's been all these years. Fact is nobody would hire him except for free (his "salary " when he was with the FSF).

          I work for free volunteering several days a week. But I won't work for free debugging someone else's shit. That's something I've always been paid to do, and it's something nobody likes doing - which is why so many open source bags are marked WONT_FIX or NOT_A_BUG or just ignored.

          Paying customers expect more. And nowadays the paying customers for open source are the big companies that hire developers to work in the companies best interests; not anyone else's. People have been trained not to pay for software, and they get shit that's invasive as all hell and buggy in return. Because in the end you get what you pay for, and Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc are the ones signing the cheques and calling the shots.

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          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @11:34PM (6 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14 2020, @11:34PM (#943350)

            The open source model has made it almost impossible for independent developers to make a living

            Can you demonstrate such with a specific example/scenario?

            • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Tuesday January 14 2020, @11:50PM (5 children)

              by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday January 14 2020, @11:50PM (#943360) Journal
              Sure. You used to be able to buy Netscape at the local office supply store. Same with compilers, databases, etc. There was real competition. Not any more. Same with all sorts of productivity apps, such as flow charters, word processors, note taking programs, calendar and appointments software, utilities like PCTools, multitasking DOSes, desktop publishing programs, etc. All pretty much wiped out or struggling along on their 10th corporate owner.

              There used to be dozens of home CAD programs for sale, same with everything else under the sun, and they were sustained by people buying them, and that provided programming jobs, and opportunities for programmers to create their own market. Now? It's all about unicorns and getting bought out, because users have been conditioned not to pay for software directly, and little players don't have the platforms to sell their users data.

              There's far less variety today than in the past - it's all duopolies and monocultures. Even the infrastructure to sell software through stores directly to the consumer is nonexistent except for games and antivirus.

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              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 15 2020, @12:30AM (4 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 15 2020, @12:30AM (#943365)

                Ahh. ok. Different AC here but was confused by what you meant as well. I think your definition of "independent developer" is quite narrow. I've worked many many years as an "independent developer" making a living selling my skills to any corporate that need it. You're talking about independent developers creating products/apps/software and selling them first hand.

                Sure - but my question is why does it matter when you can also do what I did make the "product" the skill you have and sell that instead. You make a living either way. What does that nostalgic notion bring to the table in terms of making a living?

                • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Wednesday January 15 2020, @01:27AM (3 children)

                  by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Wednesday January 15 2020, @01:27AM (#943386) Journal

                  "What does that nostalgic notion bring to the table in terms of making a living?"

                  Glad you asked, because the fact that you phrased it as nostalgic shows just how sick the whole industry has become.

                  Independence, for one. The ability to sell your code more than once, instead of letting your masters sell it more than once. After all, if it's okay for them to do it, and they don't have the skills to develop it or customize it, why not cut them out of the loop? After all, they won't hesitate to do the same to you.

                  Control, for another. Ever had an asshole for a boss? A toxic work environment? Been conned into doing crunch time while they go off at 2pm? Fuck that shit! All are grounds for quoting and suing for constructive dismissal. And getting both compensation and having any non/compete tossed. So why not do what you enjoy the way you want? Sure, there's risk, but great risk brings great rewards.

                  Power. Set your own agenda, your own direction. No need to listen to bosses who want to monetize your talent by turning your code into software as a service and raping everyone of their privacy.

                  Money. Potentially more than you'd make as a wage slave. The industry started out with people writing software on kitchen tables in their spare time, financed by day jobs, no need for venture vulture capitalists. That hasn't changed. Computers cost 1/20 what they used to, while being far more powerful, so it's not like you need invest large sums for a comp, extra ram, a math coprocessor, keyboard, mouse, and screen - the cheap laptop already has all that, plus a built in UPS and networking.

                  So what does your boss supply? A regular paycheque, in return for profit from your work. So why not do like the early startups did, work at day jobs and code at night, then when you have a product sell it repeatedly.

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                  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 15 2020, @07:06AM (2 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 15 2020, @07:06AM (#943491)

                    I do believe that you are looking at only the tail of the elephant and concluding its a snake.

                    The software is shitty because of Apple and Google. Apple showed people that normal people don't know, don't care and can't be bothered to learn about how many processes it takes to run a mp3 player if it looks cool. Google showed that there is more money in advertising than selling software. If Stallman wasn't there, Google would have released chrome into the public domain.

                    You are angry that most people don't care about software as much as you. But guess what, most people want to be on Facebook all the time, not on a browser. There is less diversity because people don't care. They have not been trained - what a disrespectful thing to say about your "consumers". They don't give a shit.

                    • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Wednesday January 15 2020, @01:49PM (1 child)

                      by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Wednesday January 15 2020, @01:49PM (#943571) Journal
                      It took decades to get to our current surveillance capitalism economy. It didn't happen overnight. It took a couple of decades to get people used to the idea that it's acceptable to have a device with a microphone always listening to what goes on in your bedroom connected to a computer run by an advertising company or a marketing company. It's the whole "frog in a bucket of water" scenario - boiled slowly over two decades.

                      Developers have to take responsibility. Most of them can't write programs that don't use a server and a browser to do anything significant. They can't even create their own libraries for something as simple as as a string class or a gather/scatter array of buffers in c, or even a ring (circular) buffer to manage disposable events. Linked lists? iSAMs? Loadable modules and thread pools?Even reading a file locally, never mind opening a socket to read it over the network, is beyond most of them. If there isn't some premise code on stack overflow, forget it.

                      We've gone from assembler to c to pascal to JavaScript, and each step has reduced the capabilities of developers to create something new and exciting. When the only tools in your toolbox are JavaScript and pho and a web browser, every problem looks like it needs a remote server to solve. And that's the hook on which the surveillance economy is built. 30 years ago we didn't need a remote server to do home automation, text to speech, speech to text, etc. All that was done on my 286 with 4 megs of ram running Windows 3.1. Same as computers could communicate directly with each other without the internet - just a modem or even a serial cable. No 3rd party server needed. Same as running a bbs. It was nobody else's business what we did, and nobody could insert advertising or gather data except the government.

                      People will pay for games, but everything else has been subsumed, and crappy developers who only know web client development are a big part of the problem. So is an education system that doesn't actually teach anything else any more.

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                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 15 2020, @07:34PM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 15 2020, @07:34PM (#943730)

                        That's an incredibly insightful observation that the other "anonymous coward" simply doesn't even try to understand.

                        When I was in college 20 years ago, I had a professor who wrote, and sold, his own tax filing software. He inspired me to write my own software about a decade later when I needed to manage a side business and the market offered nothing suitable. What shows me how sick the industry has become is how employers react to that when I interview (or, God help me, actually join a project). They have no idea why (and, I suspect, how) I ever did such a thing. Their approach to development is much like your observation about Stack Overflow; if there isn't a prepackaged library/service, forget it. It's not that I don't appreciate those resources, just limiting yourself as a "programmer" to cobbling together whatever ill-fitting components you can scrounge up and changing your business model to suit those inadequate tools. The stories I could tell you about modern "development" are as true as they are absurd. I can hardly imagine how much worse things have gotten since I was pushed into operations/management where all I have to do is shrug or parrot ITIL buzzwords to pull down more than I ever did as a developer.

        • (Score: 2) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Wednesday January 15 2020, @02:59PM

          by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Wednesday January 15 2020, @02:59PM (#943596) Journal

          Thank you.

          Check the date on this return to journaling, something else big happened on that day if you cross ref the calendar:
          https://archive.is/MvM1G [archive.is]

          Like ali g says if you encounter the bad guys you are going in the right direction:
          https://archive.is/cKeB9 [archive.is]

          And a positive psa I threw together over the weekend:
          https://archive.is/2gVPq [archive.is]

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:38PM (2 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:38PM (#943287) Journal

        If stalman was so right how come he always had to go begging on his web site for a room for a few months at a time?

        Trump never had to beg on his website for a room, thus Trump is more right (at least on open source and free as in speech software) than Stallman! What's the reasoning here? First, it's Einstein must know a lot about socialism because he knows a lot about physics. Now, it's Stallman must be wrong because his lifestyle and abrasive personality(ies) requires him to look for a room every few months.

        Google and Facebook make $10 a month each off their users selling their personal data. The companies they sell it on to make even more, or they wouldn't buy your data. All this runs on cheap open source software. So, if they and their partners are making over $100 each month off your data, why aren't you demanding your cut?

        You are. Your cut is free web search and socializing.

        • (Score: 2, Disagree) by barbara hudson on Tuesday January 14 2020, @11:35PM (1 child)

          by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday January 14 2020, @11:35PM (#943353) Journal
          I don't use google or Facebook, and yet both still track me via 3rd parties. I want my cut. In real $$$, not in services I don't use.

          As for stalman, more of us would have made more money working independently if free software hadn't given people that software should be free, forcing the monetization of software as a service in the hands of a few multinational companies that are basically monopolies. Do you like not having nearly as much choice in browsers as you did 20 years ago? Do you like being data mined because everything that we used to be able to do locally 30 years ago (speech recognition, text-to-speech, home automation) on a win3 computer with 4 meg of ram now needs a network connection the better to spy on you and collect both your data and monthly fees?

          Because that's what happened. Free software got people out of the purchase of software, driving independent producers out of business. So we're stuck with either Microsoft office or libreoffice. Thanks for nothing!

          Or look at how shitty every free operating system has become in just the last 5 years. Fragmentation sucks. Distro hopping was always a thing, but lately they've all gone down the tubes.

          Since they're all equally shitty, this left an opening for Microsoft to make their OS crappier by forced upgrades and advertising. After all, there never will be a year of Linux on the desktop.

          There's no excuse for a machine that has NO servers running to have over 200 processes running while it sits there waiting for the user to log in. No wonder performance on quad core machines with 2 threads per core is worse than a single core machine from almost 20 years ago. The hardware engineers giveth , the bloatware taketh away.

          With real competition for clients purchasing dollars, there'd be more incentive to increase performance via smarter code, with knock-on benefits of less energy consumption and less hardware obsolescence because "the machine has gotten slower and slower with every update."

          See what killing the market for buying software got us? What good is "free as in beer" if someone took a big dump in the keg?

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          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by khallow on Wednesday January 15 2020, @03:10AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 15 2020, @03:10AM (#943424) Journal

            I don't use google or Facebook, and yet both still track me via 3rd parties.

            You're thus not worth $100 to them.

            As to the RMS stuff, you got me. I'm stupefied by the sheer banality and irrelevance of your complaint, which is impressive even by internet standards. Now, all you have to do is show this complaint somehow has something to do with RMS. It certainly has nothing to do with his ability to get a room.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:24PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday January 14 2020, @09:24PM (#943278)

      Will I be able to see ideas accidentally without paying for them?

      The non-compete clause at my current employer basically says this... it scared away most of the acquired sales staff who were very concerned about being harassed for working at competitors.

      --
      John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
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