Oracle v. Google, compatible API

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hawat....@gmail.com

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Nov 15, 2014, 1:25:02 AM11/15/14
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"Copyrightable APIs would discourage this innovation by creating potential liability for the mere act of writing a compatible program."

p 19
BRIEF OF AMICI CURIAE
COMPUTER SCIENTISTS
IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONER
Attorneys for Amici Curiae
Computer Scientists
November 7, 2014

This is the most absurd fear mongering imaginable. To start with, it's written into law that reverse engineering software is absolutely legal. Secondly, if it's just using an API, of course that's permitted through fair use. What they seem to be saying is that for a RESTful API, that making a compatible competitor wouldn't be allowed??? I think it depends on how you define compatible.

If a competitor, literally, copies an API verbatim, or sections of it, but it's only "compatible" in the way Android is "compatible" with Java, then, err, that sounds shady. I mean, why even try for that level of "compatibility" if not to ride the coat tails of the original?

However, if a competitor's API is a drop-in replacement, I say "go for it."

Madness.


-Thufir
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