/// Judge Says Oracle Can’t Copyright Java APIs

May 31, 2012  |  All Things Digital


One of the more controversial stances that the software giant Oracle had taken as part of its dispute over Java with the search giant Google was that 37 specific application programming interfaces — software tools that programmers use to work with Java — could be subject to copyright protections. Today the judge hearing the case ruled that they cannot. Judge William Alsup ruled only on the issue of the 37 specific APIs and didn’t tackle the wider issue over whether or not an API actually can be protected under copyright law. Some software developers had worried that it might be an overbroad interpretation that would tie up some widely used techniques under tricky copyright rules. Oracle you’ll recall had sued Google alleging both copyright and patent infringement over Google’s use of Java in creating the Android mobile operating system. Google had countered that Java is free to use and that the APIs are more or less required to use Java in the first place

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Judge Says Oracle Can’t Copyright Java APIs


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