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

Mark Morgan Lloyd markMLl.lazarus at telemetry.co.uk
Tue May 8 10:15:25 CEST 2012

michael.vancanneyt at wisa.be wrote:
> On Tue, 8 May 2012, 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.

Before anything else, I want to make it clear that I am critical of 
Google's business model, which amounts to "it's probably illegal, it 
might be in the common good, it's definitely to our advantage, let's do 
it". But I think a bit more clarity from Oracle as to what they're 
trying to achieve would be in order: are they trying to protect their 
intellectual property, or are they trying to force a precedent?

> Well, not verbatim. There are differences.
> Now, if he so judges, that would mean the end of the wine, samba and 
> many other open or closed source projects.
> I suspect that this would be taken to a higher court by the FSF and 
> other organisations  as Redhat, Linux.org.
> They would all have to close shop after such a ruling.

Although I think that people would argue that the unix API was based on 
work which has ended up in the public domain, and has been extended in 
ways that are obvious to anybody "skilled in the art".

Superficially, Oracle can't wreck Linux since they sell an 
implementation. However they also own Solaris, and since their high-end 
kit works better with Solaris than with Linux my own feeling is that 
they'd like more people to use it.

> In each case, we are not US-based; a ruling by a US judge does not 
> affect us.
> At worst it would mean FPC/Lazarus cannot be used in the US.

In the UK, it could potentially mean extradition without trial: we've 
got an extremely lopsided treaty which is now being implemented as the 
law, despite the fact that the USA has not ratified it.

In any event, don't plan to go to Florida for your next vacation.

Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]

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