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Parker Higgins @xor

The Federal Circuit has reversed ND Cal on Oracle v. Google, finding that Android's use of Java APIs was not a fair use. If anybody has any questions about the opinion or the case I'm happy to answer them.

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I'm not a lawyer but I do read a lot of law and I've followed this case very closely (including attending the trial that just got overturned).

What about OpenJDK? Is that affected?

@veryonline OpenJDK is AFAIK mostly not affected, as it's "official". (Other licensed projects will also not be affected)

Does this mean Google has to buy Oracle?

@veryonline the next step is remand back to the (same) district court, which will now determine damages.

@xor @veryonline Can Google try to appeal to the Supreme Court again?

@russss @veryonline yup, although iirc not on the copyrightability issue (instead, on the fair use one)

@xor @russss @veryonline do you have a link to a good rundown of whats happened so far?

@Satsuma @russss @veryonline the EFF summary goes up until the district court (so does not include today's ruling) and is reasonably good and quick

@xor is this possibly relevant enough to other API after the case was (formerly) settled that the computing world is going to have a terrifying legal Mexican standoff as they figure out who pays who what?

@Ashrand this case is certainly being closely monitored, and earlier rounds of litigation have led to follow-up suits. One prominent example is Cisco v. Arista, which is now in front of the same Court of Appeals

@xor Oof.

1) Does this mean that anyone implementing an API-compatible replacement for a library needs to license the API from the original library author?

2) Are there any sort of BSD/GPL-like "API licenses" that companies can use to authorize reimplementation of their API without open-sourcing their entire project?

@lm 1) I would say you'll see a lot of developers and companies spooked and looking for licenses where they hadn't needed to before.

2) this is a good question and I don't know the answer. There hasn't really been demand for such a license previously, as this was considered (properly so, imo) to be uncopyrightable material.

@xor Agreed that this shouldn't be a copyright issue in the first place...

I suppose the best way to limit damages here is to campaign for companies to permissively license their APIs?


Oh, 3) does this mean we get more judge alsup stories

@lm you'll have to ask sarah on that one

@xor yes, I have a question, where is the teespring for "you wouldn't reimplement an API"

@xor Just confirming my understanding of what you said: So the new ruling is that Google IS beholden in some way to Oracle after all?

@benhamill yes, Google infringed Oracle's Java copyright. It's now being sent back down to Alsup to do a damages trial (or will be appealed to SCOTUS)