Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

Breaking News
posted by martyb on Monday April 05 2021, @06:48PM   Printer-friendly

We had two Soylentils write in with this breaking news. See other reports at Ars Technica, BBC, and c|net.

Supreme Court rules in Google's favor in copyright dispute with Oracle

Supreme Court rules in Google's favor in copyright dispute with Oracle over Android software:

The Supreme Court on Monday sided with Google against Oracle in a long-running copyright dispute over the software used in Android, the mobile operating system.

The court's decision was 6-2. Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was not yet confirmed by the Senate when the case was argued in October, did not participate in the case.

The case concerned about 12,000 lines of code that Google used to build Android that were copied from the Java application programming interface developed by Sun Microsystems, which Oracle acquired in 2010. It was seen as a landmark dispute over what types of computer code are protected under American copyright law.

Oracle had claimed at points to be owed as much as $9 billion, while Google claimed that its use of the code was covered under the doctrine of fair use and therefore not subject to copyright liability. Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world.

See also:
Supreme Court hands Google a victory in a multibillion-dollar case against Oracle

In addition to resolving a multibillion-dollar dispute between the tech titans, the ruling helps affirm a longstanding practice in software development. But the Court declined to weigh in on the broader question of whether APIs are copyrightable.

Justices wary of upending tech industry in Google v. Oracle Supreme Court fight

Several of the other justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, suggested they were sympathetic to Oracle's copyright claims.

Still, they appeared reluctant to rule in Oracle's favor because of arguments made by leading computer scientists and Microsoft, in friend-of-the-court briefs, that doing so could upend the industry.

GOOGLE LLC v. ORACLE AMERICA, INC.

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/18-956_d18f.pdf

Held: Google's copying of the Java SE API, which included only those lines of code that were needed to allow programmers to put their accrued talents to work in a new and transformative program, was a fair use of that material as a matter of law. Pp. 11–36.


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Snort on Monday April 05 2021, @06:51PM (8 children)

    by Snort (5141) on Monday April 05 2021, @06:51PM (#1133564)

    That they got it right.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DannyB on Monday April 05 2021, @07:41PM (7 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 05 2021, @07:41PM (#1133587) Journal

      They got it minimally right.

      They could have gone further. They wimped out on the actual question Google asked: can APIs be protected by copyright?

      Instead, the court left that important question unanswered but decided even if APIs were copyrightable, Google's use was "fair use".

      --
      I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by slinches on Monday April 05 2021, @08:45PM (5 children)

        by slinches (5049) on Monday April 05 2021, @08:45PM (#1133615)

        They got it minimally right.

        Isn't that exactly what they are supposed to do? Going further than the case minimally demands is how legislating from the bench happens.

        Instead, the court left that important question unanswered but decided even if APIs were copyrightable, Google's use was "fair use".
        Reply to This

        Still, there's now a blueprint for fair use of APIs that has been approved by the SCOTUS. That's worth quite a lot on its own.

        • (Score: 1) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday April 06 2021, @03:39AM (4 children)

          Not really, no. They should be making the most correct according to the law decision. Always. Legislating from the bench happens when they get the idea in their heads that they get to make the rules rather than saying "No. That's not what it says. Cut the bullshit." to the lawyers and judges. Small incorrect decisions and large incorrect decisions are both incorrect.

          --
          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
          • (Score: 2) by slinches on Tuesday April 06 2021, @04:44AM (3 children)

            by slinches (5049) on Tuesday April 06 2021, @04:44AM (#1133761)

            They should be making the most correct according to the law decision.

            Yes, as it pertains to the case in front of them. Making correct legal interpretations of laws not necessary for deciding the case seems like it would grant the judiciary branch the power make rulings on the laws directly instead of only on the cases brought to the courts. One could argue that it would be a good idea for the SCOTUS to have that power, but I don't think it was granted in the constitution.

            • (Score: 1) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday April 06 2021, @02:14PM (2 children)

              A correct decision is still a correct decision, broad or narrow. Their power is to rule on any issue that comes before them. The obligation to pick the most narrow, weaselly, chickenshit way of getting the result they want is their own invention.

              --
              My rights don't end where your fear begins.
              • (Score: 2) by slinches on Tuesday April 06 2021, @04:15PM (1 child)

                by slinches (5049) on Tuesday April 06 2021, @04:15PM (#1133914)

                Do you really not see the risks in unnecessarily broad decisions? What you call "weaselly" & "chickenshit", I would call prudent. Why set precedent where it isn't needed to decide the case except to take exception to the law itself? If it's to resolve some other ills not explicitly expressed in the case at hand, then it is encroaching on the legislature's powers of creating laws. The corollary to that is that the court should not create constructions of their own in order to avoid the consequences of badly written or insufficiently defined laws. Fair use is an example of such a legal crutch, but that was already established long before this case came before the court and has effectively become the law we are working within. Fixing that error now would, in effect, be changing the law. What really should be done is to use the legislative process to debate and agree upon how to codify fair use exceptions into law explicitly. Although, it is the legislative branch that has been too weaselly and chickenshit to do that.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @07:09PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @07:09PM (#1133972)
                  > Do you really not see the risks in unnecessarily broad decisions?

                  I see you've heard him wank on about minimal-government before.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @09:19PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @09:19PM (#1133627)

        Two R judges were addled enough to oppose even that.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @07:01PM (21 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @07:01PM (#1133566)

    Can specs be copyrighted?

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by DannyB on Monday April 05 2021, @07:17PM (4 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 05 2021, @07:17PM (#1133570) Journal

      Google is not even the one who copied anything.

      IBM was a sponsor and major contributor of a project called Apache Harmony. A Java 5 work-alike. Apache 2 license. Google was developing Android and decided to use Harmony. Harmony does not use any Sun source code.

      Later . . . Sun re-licenses Java under GPL+Classpath exception. Oracle acquires Sun, seeing a big "sue google" sign on Sun's back.

      Judge Alsop gets the case. Learns Java. It's not going well for Oracle. Oracle morphs its case to be about APIs.

      Google copied valuable API declarations such as:

      Math.sin( double n )

      Someone had to write actual code to implement every single API in Apache Harmony.

      Later, while this lawsuit was ongoing, Oracle complained Google should have licensed Java. So Google gave Oracle their wish, they changed Android from Harmony to use the official GPL+Classpath licensed Open JDK in Android.

      --
      I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @07:22PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @07:22PM (#1133573)

        "Apache Harmony" was just IBM-developed JVM, donated to Apache and renamed "Harmony."

        • (Score: 5, Interesting) by DannyB on Monday April 05 2021, @07:29PM

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 05 2021, @07:29PM (#1133578) Journal

          IBM is a major developer of Java, and a source code licensee. I'm sure IBM's lawyers cleared anything IBM did regarding Java.

          IBM's major interest in Java was to provide a JVM implementation on mainframes, just as they need to provide a Linux implementation on mainframes. Businesses who run big workloads tend to use (shocker!) Linux and Java. For similar reasons Red Hat has been a major Java developer for years -- and also recently acquired by IBM. Amazon also contributes development work on Java. SAP and others.

          --
          I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Tuesday April 06 2021, @03:16AM (1 child)

        by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday April 06 2021, @03:16AM (#1133736)

        Judge Alsop gets the case. Learns Java. It's not going well for Oracle. Oracle morphs its case to be about APIs.

        I have to give that guy credit: a judge who actually cares enough to *learn a little programming* to better understand a case he's judging? That definitely surprised me; at best I expected he'd get some advisors who were a bit tech-savvy.

        So of course they appealed his verdict :P

        --

        Unfortunately whenever I hear his name I remember a professor at my college (may have had a different number of L's in "Alsup") that I had for a Race, Class, and Gender Studies course. A couple years after I graduated I heard that they'd sacked him because they found out he was misappropriating funds for the Black Student Union he was in charge of, IIRC.

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @07:17PM (15 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @07:17PM (#1133571)
      Depends on the specifications. Facts cannot be copyrighted, so if the specification is just a bunch of facts, then no. The APIs are just a bunch of function names (the creativity is in the function bodies, which can implement the API names in different ways to achieve the same result).

      This has been the law for 30 years

      https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/499/340 [cornell.edu]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @07:24PM (14 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @07:24PM (#1133574)

        APIs themselves are design decisions, not just their implementation.

        What this points to is that laws are inadequate dealing with this issue.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday April 05 2021, @07:31PM (6 children)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 05 2021, @07:31PM (#1133579) Journal

          One thing SCOTUS pointed out in their decision was that regardless of the letter of the law, they didn't want to upend decades of what was ordinary universal practice within the industry -- that APIs can be copied.

          --
          I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
          • (Score: 1) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday April 06 2021, @03:42AM (5 children)

            That's not their decision to make. They have no legal authority granted them towards those ends.

            --
            My rights don't end where your fear begins.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @01:17PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @01:17PM (#1133847)

              It IS their decision to make when one court tries to overturn decades of established precedent by other courts in the land.

              If a law is indeed so ambiguous as to be read in two opposite ways, it is for the Supremes to fix the interpretation; and if judges can decide to read a law in an opposite way just because, the Supremes can too.

            • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday April 06 2021, @01:53PM (3 children)

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 06 2021, @01:53PM (#1133865) Journal

              Why is it not the SCOTUS's decision to make?

              It IS their decision to interpret laws. Even throw out laws, either partially or in whole.

              Example: A state has a law criminalizing something consenting adults agree to do of their own free will in private causing no unwanted harm to anyone else. Police mistakenly break in to wrong apartment and discover two adults engaged in a violation of this law. SCOTUS recognized the law as unconstitutional.

              There can be other reasons SCOTUS could throw out a law. Even for something as simple as being unconstitutionally vague. "The town's queen can declare 'off with their head!' to any person in town whom the queen is presently displeased with."

              --
              I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
              • (Score: 1) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday April 06 2021, @02:17PM (1 child)

                Common practice is not law until it has been around long enough and universally enough to attain the status of common law. And courts do not have the authority to rule on common business practices, only law. Now they could say it has attained common law status and rule from that direction but that's not what they did.

                --
                My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday April 06 2021, @05:41PM

                  by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 06 2021, @05:41PM (#1133940) Journal

                  As you say, they definitely did not do that.

                  Instead they simply took the path of least inductance and declared Google's use to be fair use.

                  I can't argue with it. It is functionally necessary to exactly comply with an API in order to create a legal work-alike implementation. Like building third party ink cartridges that will work in a modern printer.

                  --
                  I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @06:34PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @06:34PM (#1133955)

                SCOTUS spends most of it's time deciding whether it has the authority to decide things.

                The liberals: When the law is vague, interpret the law in a way that makes sense.

                The conservatives: When the law is vague, refuse to read anything into it that is not in the plain text. If it is vague enough, declare the law unconstitutionally vague. Refuse to ever make a decision that rightfully belongs to congress. If congress wants to fix the law, it will.

                This decision is actually interesting because some of the conservative justices signed on for an interpretation that makes sense, but can't be found in the plain text of the statute. The statute says computer code is copyrightable. And it says that fair uses are allowed even of copyrightable things. But it never says that reimplementing an API is a fair use.

                If you are just now figuring out your judicial philosophy, now is a good time to ask yourself: Would you rather have a SCOTUS that uses it's discretion to try to do the right thing, or would you rather have a SCOTUS that refuses to overstep it's authority?

        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Monday April 05 2021, @08:02PM (3 children)

          by HiThere (866) on Monday April 05 2021, @08:02PM (#1133600) Journal

          SOME APIs are design decisions. Others are just recognition of common practice.
          E.g., consider the common example of sine, implementing that as:
          float sin (float val)
          is only creative to the extent of whether you are passing the argument in radians, degrees, mils, or something else. I guess float vs. double would be another plausible "creative" decision, but I think it's primarily functional. Returning an integer or a string would be just silly, and requiring the argument to be an integer or a string would be stupidly clumsy.

          OTOH, it's a valid argument that the APIS aren't design decisions, they are only records of design decisions. The actual design decisions are the implementations. I'm not sure I totally buy that, however, considering the nature of "interface" elements.

          Really, I pretty much agree with the argument that current law doesn't properly deal with technical documentation. That said, I definitely prefer my software to be GPL.

          --
          Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
          • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday April 06 2021, @01:58PM (1 child)

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 06 2021, @01:58PM (#1133868) Journal

            EVEN IF, even if an API is a design decision, and is an expression of creativity, it should not be a copyright infringement to copy that API to create a work-alike or compatible implementation.

            A compatible implementation of anything, by definition, must conform to all externally visible interfaces.

            A car radio replacement, must be able to fit the same bracket, and connect to the same connectors to be a drop-in replacement. An in-cabinet dishwasher must have the same hook-ups as the one it replaces.

            This is a well understood principle.

            SCOTUS did not decide whether APIs could be copyright protected, but assuming for the moment that they can be, Google's use of the API was not a copyright infringement. This alone establishes a precedent. Google's purpose was to use a work-alike implementation.

            --
            I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @06:12PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @06:12PM (#1133950)

            Your example disproves your argument. As it happens, sin was one of the APIs at issue in this case.
            But it was not:

            float sin (float val)

            It was:

            package java.lang;
            public class Math {
              public static double sin(double a){
              }
            }

            The assignment of APIs to packages and classes was the creative element, and it was present in every single API, obviously.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @08:13PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @08:13PM (#1133605)
          Fair use covers API names. There is only one way to implement a set of API names, and this I by actually using the API names. If there is only one way to implement something, it becomes a fact, not subject to copyright. Same as setup code that has to work in a specific way - “mid en scene” isn’t copyrightable.

          Here’s the thing - if someone came out with something they called have but with different API names, Sun would have sued them. Remember J++? Different enough that Sun claimed it would fragment Java implementations, damaging Java.

          Remember when SCO tried to claim it owned the copyrights on c? The function names aren’t copyrightable, just the bodies, which can be implemented in many different ways. Same with the runtime startup library shipped with the compiler.

          • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Tuesday April 06 2021, @02:58AM (1 child)

            by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 06 2021, @02:58AM (#1133732) Homepage Journal

            Remember J++? Different enough that Sun claimed it would fragment Java implementations, damaging Java.

            what Sun was objecting to was calling it Java, which had been trademarked, and use of the name Java was allowed only if you followed the Java spec to the letter. Therefore the lawsuit and the ensuing renaming of J++ from Java to J++.

            • (Score: 3, Informative) by DannyB on Tuesday April 06 2021, @02:09PM

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 06 2021, @02:09PM (#1133876) Journal

              What Sun was objecting to, and won $1.2 BILLION was that Microsoft had clearly violated the black and white text of the agreement they signed to license Java.

              The agreement expressly stated that certain namespaces could not be extended in any way, creating an incompatible or "enhanced" or "extended" version. The very presence of a compatible but "extended" version violates the principle of Write Once Run Anywhere. That is why the license agreement expressly forbade that.

              Wandering quasi off topic:

              The zealousness with which Sun pursued this is why Java really is write once, run anywhere. At least it is, more so, than almost anything I can think of that came before it. Some ahead-of-time (AOT) languages (eg, C and others) might achieve this at the source code level. The UCSD p-System (Pascal) (early 1980s) achieved this at the binary level, like Java. Compile a p-System program (any source language, but usually Pascal) into p-Code, and it ran on any p-System from an Apple II to a Dec Vax, IBM, etc. With Java, I can (and did) take a program (mandelbrot) I wrote in 2004, and ran it on a Raspberry Pi which: (A) did not exist at the time, (B) it's ARM instruction set did not even exist in any sense I was aware of, and certainly no Java implementation existed for ARM, and (C) it's operating system (Linux) is different than what I tested my program on (Windows, Macintosh) during development. With Raspberry PI, it is evident that even Linux provides a certain level of write-once-run-anywhere, in that as long as your Linux program is built in tools available as standard packages in Linux, you can typically recompile your program on a new architecture, such as ARM (Raspberry PI) -- or soon RISC V.

              --
              I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by DannyB on Monday April 05 2021, @07:11PM (1 child)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 05 2021, @07:11PM (#1133568) Journal
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Monday April 05 2021, @07:14PM (5 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 05 2021, @07:14PM (#1133569) Homepage Journal

    Several of the other justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, suggested they were sympathetic to Oracle’s copyright claims.

    If Oracle needs or wants sympathy, they can put some music on.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRXGsPBUV5g [youtube.com]

    Copyright, trademark, and even patents, if not defended, roll into public domain. Sun gave tacit and explicit approval to almost any use of Java. They wanted to see it used. They gave tacit approval, if not explicit, to the use of Java in Android. The "rights" that Oracle was looking for just weren't there when they bought it up.

    Maybe the devil has sympathy for those assholes, I don't.

    --
    "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
    • (Score: 5, Funny) by DannyB on Monday April 05 2021, @07:24PM (3 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 05 2021, @07:24PM (#1133575) Journal

      Copyright, trademark, and even patents, if not defended, roll into public domain.

      I believe that is only true for Trademarks. If you don't enforce trademarks, people begin using them like ordinary words (kleenex, band-aid, nylon, aspirin), and your mark becomes unenforceable. Which is not quite the same thing as "public domain". The trade mark for "google" in this situation, if not already well past the unenforceable part.

      See my post above where IBM's Apache Harmony is what Google used for Android, not Sun's Java. Since not a single line of Sun's Java was used in Android, Oracle had to morph their case to be about APIs.

      Language warning . . .


      You have been warned . . .

      ORACLE - One Rich A**hole Called Larry Ellison
      --
      I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @08:18PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @08:18PM (#1133607)

        Re your sig:

        “ It is now safe to turn off your computer." -- HAL 9000

        In space, HAL9000 turns off YOU!

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday April 05 2021, @09:57PM (1 child)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 05 2021, @09:57PM (#1133646) Journal

          I thought that only happened in Soviet Russia.

          --
          I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @10:34PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @10:34PM (#1133655)
            Soviet Russia doesn’t expect any more, and Putins Russia is probably worse than soviet Russia. Ranks right down there with China and North Korea.
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Fnord666 on Monday April 05 2021, @07:39PM

      by Fnord666 (652) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 05 2021, @07:39PM (#1133586) Homepage

      Several of the other justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, suggested they were sympathetic to Oracle’s copyright claims.

      If Oracle needs or wants sympathy, they can put some music on.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRXGsPBUV5g [youtube.com]

      Copyright, trademark, and even patents, if not defended, roll into public domain. Sun gave tacit and explicit approval to almost any use of Java. They wanted to see it used. They gave tacit approval, if not explicit, to the use of Java in Android. The "rights" that Oracle was looking for just weren't there when they bought it up.

      Maybe the devil has sympathy for those assholes, I don't.

      If Oracle wants sympathy, they can find it in the dictionary between shit and syphylis.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @07:38PM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @07:38PM (#1133584)

    Still, they appeared reluctant to rule in Oracle's favor because of arguments made by leading computer scientists and Microsoft, in friend-of-the-court briefs, that doing so could upend the industry.

    So when does the impact to business determine the validity or merits of the case?

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday April 05 2021, @07:56PM (2 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 05 2021, @07:56PM (#1133597) Journal

      So when does the impact to business determine the validity or merits of the case?

      I can't directly answer. But the court's thinking and statements appear to indicate: they didn't want to upend decades of what was ordinary universal practice within the industry -- that APIs can be copied. Since the earliest days, before anyone but nerds cared about computers, it was standard practice that APIs could be copied. It was only the implementation that couldn't. This fits with the idea of standard interfaces and competing implementations.

      Apart from standard industry practice, in the Java world, there are LOTS of standard interface with competing implementations. It's the standard Java over-engineered way of doing things. Everyone needs, let's say, an XML parser. Therefore there must be at least five different implementations, written by different groups -- but they all share a common interface, and are thus interchangeable. You the user must decide which XML parser you want to use. Just as you must choose from multiple garbage collectors, each having different tradeoffs. Or choose from who you get your Java runtime from (Open JDK, Red Hat, Azul, Amazon, IBM, SAP, etc). Or which application server: Apache Tomcat, Jetty, Wildfly, GlassFish, Oracle WebLogic, IBM WebSphere, JBoss Enterprise (eg, Red Hat), Apache TomEE, Apache Geronimo, and others believe it or not. Your build process may build a single file: MyFizzBuzz.war; but each application server will have some kind of control panel or other mechanism to install/remove/start/stop/suspend your "MyFizzBuzz.war" file. Your application will run on application servers from a Ras Pi to a Mainframe -- depending on its resource consumption.

      THE POINT: In the Java world it is very much expected to have standard interfaces with competing implementations. Even fierce competitors work together to standardize interfaces.

      --
      I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Tuesday April 06 2021, @03:06AM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday April 06 2021, @03:06AM (#1133735)

        THE POINT: In the Java world it is very much expected to have standard interfaces with competing implementations. Even fierce competitors work together to standardize interfaces.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc [youtube.com]

        It's been a few years since I watched this, but from what I remember it was a fairly interesting watch.

        It's a talk given by somebody who worked for Sun before they got acquired by Oracle, who said that a good analogy is to think of Oracle as a lawnmower: You don't ask *why* the lawnmower does or doesn't do certain ethical things; a lawnmower has no feelings.

        There was also some stuff about, even banks will usually pretend to care about civic responsibility and charity and stuff to make themselves look good, but there was some interview with Larry (?) where he basically said "oh, no we totally do it all for the money."

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 1) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday April 06 2021, @03:46AM

        That it would hurt the industry isn't relevant. That it had become de facto common law is. Common law can be part of a legitimate decision, something being a major pain in the ass can't.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @09:35PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @09:35PM (#1133639)

      How about "when no other crazies even attempted this grab since the previous bunch of jackals was slapped down by lower courts 25+ years ago"?

      If your laws could suddenly reverse their accepted meaning by Larry Ellison's whim, why have laws at all?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @10:42PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @10:42PM (#1133660)

        If your laws could suddenly reverse their accepted meaning by Larry Ellison's whim, why have laws at all?

        Baby Larry needs a new boat.

      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Tuesday April 06 2021, @03:00AM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday April 06 2021, @03:00AM (#1133734)

        Larry Ellison's whim

        You know what they say,

        One
        Rich
        Asshole
        Called
        Larry
        Ellison

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @09:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @09:54PM (#1133645)

      So when does the impact to business determine the validity or merits of the case?

      More importantly, when are the folks at Google going to find themselves hoisted on their own petards? It can only be a matter of time.

      Popcorn, boys! I need more popcorn! Lots more popcorn!

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by mhajicek on Monday April 05 2021, @07:52PM (6 children)

    by mhajicek (51) on Monday April 05 2021, @07:52PM (#1133594)

    Imagine if you could copyright a cable pinout. Near as I can tell that's the hardware equivalent.

    --
    The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @07:53PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @07:53PM (#1133596)

      So... Apple?

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday April 05 2021, @07:57PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 05 2021, @07:57PM (#1133599) Journal

        Apple patents a cable pinout. Or using a magnet in a connector.

        And major innovations like bouncy scrolling.

        --
        I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by HiThere on Monday April 05 2021, @08:06PM

      by HiThere (866) on Monday April 05 2021, @08:06PM (#1133603) Journal

      No, the hardware equivalent would be patenting a cable pin layout. It may have been done. I'm rather sure that plug designs have been patented.

      --
      Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @08:23PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05 2021, @08:23PM (#1133608)
      Patents. IBM tried to put Amedeo out of business when they came out with plug-compatible hardware and peripherals, long before the whole Phoenix bBIOS clone for pcs.
      • (Score: 2) by martyb on Monday April 05 2021, @09:02PM

        by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 05 2021, @09:02PM (#1133623) Journal

        Patents. IBM tried to put Amedeo out of business when they came out with plug-compatible hardware and peripherals, long before the whole Phoenix bBIOS clone for pcs.

        s/Amedeo/Amdahl/

        As in Amdahl Corporation [wikipedia.org]

        --
        Wit is intellect, dancing.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by istartedi on Tuesday April 06 2021, @12:14AM

      by istartedi (123) on Tuesday April 06 2021, @12:14AM (#1133696) Journal

      The analogy that popped in to my head on Twitter (yeah, I know) was that you can sell shoes and laces, but not the instructions on how to tie your shoes. A world of API copyrights is like a world where men accost you on the street, check to see if your shoes are tied, and ask to see if your tying license is up to date.

      TBF, you *could* sell a book on how to teach your toddler how to tie shoes; but that copyright would be vested more in the art, layout, font and style of the book rather than the actual method of shoe-tying.

      I'm not sure what the SCOTUS ruling implies about a straight-up ctrl-c, ctrl-v of C or C++ header files implementing Java (assuming that's what they used), but I get the impression that you can most certainly "clean room" Java now without worrying.

      I'm also not sure how they used "fair use" doctrine to arrive at their conclusion, if that is indeed what they did. I regard the publication of software with a well defined API as being more like implementing a protocol. In the case of RFCs, the protocol comes first. You implement it, and your copyright on the implementation is separate from the copyright on the protocol (if any). It seems like one way to look at the SCOTUS ruling is that when an API exists, there's an implied publication of a protocol that's in the public domain. In some way, it was always like that since reverse-engineering protocols has been regarded as a generally accepted practice. I don't think SCOTUS thought about it like that though--I think they looked at the API as being more like a "sample", and thus fair use?

  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday April 06 2021, @12:16PM

    by VLM (445) on Tuesday April 06 2021, @12:16PM (#1133829)

    No discussion of how this is too little too late? Looks like Android is going full Kotlin to avoid Java. A couple years ago this might have prevented the kotlin-ization of android but its "too late" now.

    If you want a hyper sarcastic take on kotlin the syntax is close enough that machine translation usually works and when it doesn't most "kotlin" programmers are writing java-in-kotlin in the sense of how people used to write visual-basic-in-perl or similar.

    Am I the only guy here with the misfortune of having programmed Android apps in Java (lets be real, it kinda sux) and know about the whole Kotlin thing? I just thought it interesting nobody has mentioned the Kotlin thing.

(1)