[Lazarus] Embarcadero vs Lazarus/FPC (Oracle vs Google)

Reinier Olislagers reinierolislagers at gmail.com
Fri Jun 1 18:04:16 CEST 2012

On 8-5-2012 9:55, Reinier Olislagers wrote:
> On 8-5-2012 9:16, Graeme Geldenhuys wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I'm following the trial between Oracle vs Google and wondered about
>> the following... Judge Alsup told the jury to assume API's are
>> copyrightable - something Alsup still has to determine later during
>> trial. Now if he does rule that API's are copyrightable, how will this
>> affect the Lazarus and Free Pascal projects? Both the latter projects
>> copy Embarcadero's API's verbatim.
>> http://www.osnews.com/story/25918/Google_infringed_Java_copyrights_but_we_don_t_know_if_that_s_illegal
>> http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/05/jury-rules-google-violated-copyright-law-google-moves-for-mistrial.ars
> On the other hand, apparently EU judges ruled that programming languages
> are NOT copyrightable... the extract of the ruling seems to indicate (to
> me) that that specifically includes APIs:
> http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/eu-court-rules-programming-languages-not-copyrightable/76076
> I think a lot more projects will have problems if APIs are deemed
> copyrightable and doubt any sane person would rule that... but we are
> talking about the legal system... ;)
> Suppose it's wait and see...

And yes:
apparently, the judge ruled the APIs in question can't be copyrighted.
>From the ruling: "So long as the specific code used to implement a
method is different, anyone is free under the Copyright Act to write his
or her own code to carry out exactly the same function or specification
of any methods used in the Java API"
"It does not matter that the declaration or method header lines are
identical. Under the rules of Java, they must be identical to declare a
method specifying the same functionality — even when the implementation
is different. When there is only one way to express an idea or function,
then everyone is free to do so and no one can monopolize that expression."

More quotes from the judgement as well as the entire verdict, I think:
... where the judge also says the structure/hierarchy
(java.package.Class.method) of the API is a bit creative but also a
command structure, a symbol or method of operation and therefore not

Glad the judgement came down on the side of sanity and together with the
earlier European case, at least some sense prevails...


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