[License-discuss] Google wins

Ben Tilly btilly at gmail.com
Mon Apr 5 17:59:31 UTC 2021

Unfortunately the argument that APIs are fair use is, "a mixed
question of fact and law."  But did point to principles that will make
it easier for some future APIs to pass that bar.  But only some.  As
the decision says, "The fourth statutory factor focuses upon the
'effect' of the copying in the 'market for or value of the copyrighted
work.'"  They found as a question of fact that Google's
reimplementation increases the value of Java.  But if you're
reimplementing an API to create a directly competing product, that
statutory factor will work against you.

The Supreme Court did not rule on whether APIs are copyrightable.  So
the unfortunate previous ruling on that from the Court of Appeals for
the Federal Circuit on that still stands as precedent.

See https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/18-956_d18f.pdf for
the full decision.

On Mon, Apr 5, 2021 at 10:29 AM Lawrence Rosen <lrosen at rosenlaw.com> wrote:
> Google just won against Oracle in the dispute over Java code. The main argument was that APIs are “fair use.” /Larry
> Lawrence Rosen
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