[License-discuss] Copyright on APIs

Lawrence Rosen lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Sun Jun 30 22:43:54 UTC 2019

Pam, I understood previously that was what you believe, but I don't agree with you. Not all amicus briefs focused on the fundamental legal issues in the Oracle v. Google case. Permission to use an interface (API) shouldn't depend on the functional purpose of that interface, whether it be Android to work with Java or as a replacement for Java for those running programs using Java. I appreciate that the lower courts referred to misleading fair use and other legal theories, but the bottom line for open source ("software freedom") is the ability for software to interface functionally with Java or any other program or language with impunity as long as they don't unnecessarily infringe copyright on expressive source code. /Larry



From: License-discuss <license-discuss-bounces at lists.opensource.org> On Behalf Of Pamela Chestek
Sent: Sunday, June 30, 2019 3:12 PM
To: license-discuss at lists.opensource.org
Subject: Re: [License-discuss] Copyright on APIs


The below is all well and good, also the law in the United States, and not at issue in Google v. Oracle. Google v. Oracle isn't about interoperability of devices or software. Android was not created to interface with Java or as a replacement for Java for those devices or programs running Java. The case is about whether it was lawful to copy portions of software to enhance the ease of development of software for an entirely different software ecosystem. I'm not expressing an opinion, simply pointing out that Google v. Oracle is a different factual situation than what everyone seems to be concerned about. 


Pamela S. Chestek
Chestek Legal
PO Box 2492
Raleigh, NC 27602
pamela at chesteklegal.com <mailto:pamela at chesteklegal.com> 
www.chesteklegal.com <http://www.chesteklegal.com> 

On 6/30/2019 5:51 PM, Lawrence Rosen wrote:

Thank you again Patrice-Emanuel, and thanks also to the EU for a much clearer explanation of functional software interfaces ("APIs") than the brief but equally relevant provision in 17 USC 102(b). I hope the US Supreme Court is as clear in its decision in the Oracle v. Google case. 


OSI should let "strong copyleft" die peacefully among the mistaken theories of open source in any future licenses it approves. It is not a positive feature of "software freedom."


Best, /Larry


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