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. https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/18-956_d18f.pdf
I have not read through all of it yet, enjoying the how nicely the opinion is written. I guess the high hope is that they would have held that API is in fact un-copyrightable ?
@cjd Yes, though I never thought they actually would. Fair use fits the legal landscape better here. It just leaves us needing to do a lot more fighting to establish the ambit of API fair use and just how public benefit fits in.
@cjd Actually, in re-reading, this is pretty broad. Google (1) reimplemented a user interface, (2) took only what they needed, (3) used "accrued talents", and (4) made a "new and transformative program". That adds up to "fair use... as a matter of law". That gets us really, really far to "APIs are generally cool to reimplement in competing FOSS, interoperable software."
(Weird that you only get to do this if you have talent, but whatever, I can fake that)
@douginamug @cjd Great question! This is good for so many reasons, but for me it's that if we want open source versions of proprietary services, we have to be able to implement the APIs used by those services. This Supreme Court decision establishes that we'll be allowed to do that work in many (and perhaps eventually almost all) cases.
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