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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. supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pd

@cjd Not as good as we wanted, but better than we expected!

@jamesvasile
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)

@jamesvasile @cjd but wouldn't making APIs non-copyrightable turn every GPL into LGPL?

@douginamug @jamesvasile
My answer is that it sends a message that you can't use copyright to prevent people from making things which are compatible with something you made.

@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.

@jamesvasile @douginamug @cjd I hate fucking google with all my soul but this time I agree with them. What Oracle wanted is just ridiculous.

@jamesvasile it's interesting that google is trying to leave java mainly because of this and replacing java with dart + flutter.

While I wouldn't be surprise if google in the future did the same as oracle in the future, way after they change from java to dart, oracle will probably loose their biggest userbase
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