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Microsoft, BSA and Others Push For Appeal On Oracle v. Google Ruling

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the poor-innocent-business-model dept.

Software 191

sl4shd0rk writes "In 2012, Oracle took Google to court over the use of Java in Android. Judge William Alsup brought the ruling that the structure of APIs could not be copyrighted at all. Emerging from the proceedings, it was learned that Alsup himself had some programming background and wasn't bedazzled by Oracle's thin arguments on the range-checking function. The ruling came, programmers rejoiced and Oracle vowed Appeal. It seems that time is coming now, nearly a year later, as Microsoft, BSA, EMC, Netapp, et al. get behind Oracle to overturn Alsup's ruling citing 'destabilization' of the 'entire software industry.'"

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"Destablization" (5, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973533)

Means "we've built an industry by holding our boot to your necks. Now how will we accumulate billions?"

Re:"Destablization" (1)

martiniturbide (1203660) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973585)

"we need to squeeze more money out of consumers to pay the lawyers."

Re:"Destablization" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42973589)

You. Don't.

Re:"Destablization" (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42973605)

Not as bad as Ubuntu £inux. They steal your infos and hard drive contents and sell them to the NSA. Ubuntu phones and tablets cant run the hit release Aliens: Colonial Marines and have black ops NSA tracking technoloy.

Re:"Destablization" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42973759)

show me the proof....

Re:"Destablization" (2, Insightful)

LordThyGod (1465887) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973905)

He/she is off his/her meds.

Re:"Destablization" (5, Funny)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973997)

Being off your meds is the first stop towards Score:5 on Slashdot.

Re:"Destablization" (0)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974065)

He/she is off his/her meds.

I'm guessing the paranoia meds conflicted with the transgender meds.

Re:"Destablization" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42974463)

I hope they win. Whatever it takes to get Java out of our systems can only be a good thing. Besides, Android, and everything else from Google is pure spyware. We should use something else.

Re:"Destablization" (5, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42975375)

You're serious? We have a ruling that almost begins to makes some limited sense of patent and copyright law, and you hope it's overturned because you dislike Java?

There is no thing, no process, no work that is so valuable that I wouldn't sacrifice it in favor of making patent and copyright law sane.

Re:"Destablization" (5, Insightful)

buybuydandavis (644487) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974479)

"citing 'destabilization' of the 'entire software industry."

They say that like it's a bad thing.

Re:"Destablization" (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974621)

"They say that like it's a bad thing."

Yeah. Even if it might not be desirable, "destabilization of the industry" is NOT a legal argument.

Our legal system was not designed as a support for any particular kind of business model. Especially one that is inherently predatory and against the public interest. One might even say that, since it would be another restriction on software, allowing an API itself to be copyrighted is contrary to the interest of the industry as a whole.

Re:"Destablization" (3, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42975383)

"Our legal system was not designed as a support for any particular kind of business model" except banking.

Microsoft, BSA, EMC, Netapp et al... (5, Interesting)

Umuri (897961) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973559)

You mean just the BSA?

I mean maybe it's just me, but why is it ok for one entity to object multiple times to the same case and have it count as a a widespread rejection just because they've created several shell companies to espouse their ideas? i mean how many times have we seen "numerous" organizations write into a court case only to later find out they're all being paid by a single entity with a vested interest?

Legal Reform Idea: Any objection to a case must be done by individual companies, not group membership, and must declare conflict of interest

Re:Microsoft, BSA, EMC, Netapp et al... (4, Funny)

sunderland56 (621843) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973701)

You mean just the BSA?

Why are the Boy Scouts interested in this anyway?

Re:Microsoft, BSA, EMC, Netapp et al... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42973937)

because the gays

Re:Microsoft, BSA, EMC, Netapp et al... (0, Offtopic)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973941)

You mean just the BSA?

Why are the Boy Scouts interested in this anyway?

Because sharing things is so gay .. and we can't have our little preciouses exposed to gay things .. it might .. you know .. convert them.

Re:Microsoft, BSA, EMC, Netapp et al... (2)

NotBorg (829820) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974211)

They use overheating processors running Vista to start their camp fires.

Re:Microsoft, BSA, EMC, Netapp et al... (4, Funny)

anagama (611277) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974299)

This has nothing to do with some lame ass Boy Scouts. It's about cool old motorcycles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_BSA_motorcycles [wikipedia.org]

Re:Microsoft, BSA, EMC, Netapp et al... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42974413)

Because APIs are like merit badges...they tell people what you can do without really specifying how you'd go about doing it. Imagine the chaos if an organization like Outward Bound were able to just come along and copy the available merit badges...suddenly children from any economic background or sexual orientation would be certified in how to start fires, weave baskets and paddle canoes. The world, as we know it, would crumble as society trusted those with possibly-inferior training to take on these non-essential tasks. The first step in this direction is allowing Google's possibly-inferior implementation of the Java API to accomplish all the non-essential tasks people do on the phone these days.

Re:Microsoft, BSA, EMC, Netapp et al... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42974779)

Why are the Boy Scouts interested in this anyway?

Business Software Alliance
Read the cited article...

Re:Microsoft, BSA, EMC, Netapp et al... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42973911)

BSA is a front for Microsoft, with its other members being enlisted purely to disguise Microsoft's dominant role

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_Software_Alliance#Criticism [wikipedia.org]

Re:Microsoft, BSA, EMC, Netapp et al... (1)

thoth (7907) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974203)

I mean maybe it's just me, but why is it ok for one entity to object multiple times to the same case and have it count as a a widespread rejection just because they've created several shell companies to espouse their ideas? i mean how many times have we seen "numerous" organizations write into a court case only to later find out they're all being paid by a single entity with a vested interest?

That's corporate America for you, using the interpretation that a corporation is legally a person. They're just cloning themselves in order to create more "people" on their side.

Destabilization (5, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973561)

Like the hell POSIX [wikipedia.org] brought down upon the industry.

Re:Destabilization (5, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973957)

That's what I was thinking. They claim that a Google win would devastate the industry, I claim an Oracle win would do the same. Do they have any idea how much of the world's technology is built on common API's? Their own included?

Re:Destabilization (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42974515)

Oracle has time and again proven itself self-destructive or incompetent.

Re:Destabilization (5, Interesting)

jkroll (32063) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974735)

That's what I was thinking. They claim that a Google win would devastate the industry, I claim an Oracle win would do the same. Do they have any idea how much of the world's technology is built on common API's? Their own included?

Couldn't agree more. Wouldn't be ironic if MS' support for Oracle helps them win the appeal. Then Oracle turns around and sues MS by claiming the original .NET implementation violated the Java API copyright.

The only way Oracle should deserve to win this copyright case is if they had shown Google copied large parts of the actual Java implementation into their software. The API claim they are making is almost as bad as a musician claiming copyright over all songs written in the key of C.

Re:Destabilization (0)

See Attached (1269764) | about a year and a half ago | (#42975453)

What happens when someone patents a loop that has a condition and has tests embedded to make predictable decisions.... Every script I'd ever written would then be violating some patent, and my company would have to pay some patent goons for something I dreamed up. Who does that work for? Keeping up with my pseudonym, would someone patent Mime Attachments?

Well there you go (5, Insightful)

razorshark (2843829) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973573)

Everyone's been telling me (not here, just everyone else on the web) that Microsoft is better now - that they aren't quite the assholes they were in the 90's/early 2000's. There we were thinking the worst was behind them with their support for open standards on the web and not trying to kill kittens in their sleep. That if anyone still hated them in 2013 that they were being difficult, stubborn, misguided and childish.

Think I'll stay away from Neowin for a while.

Re:Well there you go (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42973925)

Yep. Their faces must surely be red now.

Never. EVER. Trust Microsoft. Ever.

They have done this crap before, and they will do it again.

Hell, the do it every other damn OS release and trick millions of idiots in to getting it because "they fixed everything".
Did they hell, you think they fixed everything, they just made the last OS not hell. Doesn't stop the new one from being anything less than still hellish.
Just watch as so many idiots eat up Windows 9 when it comes out to "fix" everything wrong with Windows 8 when all it would have likely done was replace Metro with a start menu an few other fixes that would have been in any general service pack.
Hell, Windows 7 was literally a service pack that got renamed and they forgot to remove it from the registry in an RC.

Re:Well there you go (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42974173)

Never. EVER. Trust Microsoft. Ever.

They have done this crap before, and they will do it again.

s/Microsoft/Apple/
s/Microsoft/Google/
s/Microsoft/Canonical/
s/Microsoft/Any Software Corporation/

Like it or not, businesses will sacrifice any law, ideal or morality upon the altar of profit, if only because their competitors are doing the same thing.

Is Apple not evil, with a walled garden and app censorship?

Is Google not evil, with usurping AdWord revenue, kowtowing to China, collecting information without end user knowledge?

Is Canonical not... Well, I guess lolAmazonIntegration isn't evil, more like stupid. Okay, you get a pass for now, Canonical, but I'm watching you.

At any rate, all of these companies put together do not equal the dark malfeasance of Ellison, who is Morgoth - Black Foe of the World.

The man blotted out the Sun.

Re:Well there you go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42974587)

Like it or not, businesses will sacrifice any law, ideal or morality upon the altar of profit, if only because their competitors are doing the same thing.

Okay. Why can't employees of a corporation acting outside the law or immorally knife each of the executives and transition the corporation into a responsible citizen actor given the corporation's legal status as a person? The only legitimate businesses are small businesses, not the multi-national corporate conglomerates we have today.

Re:Well there you go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42974263)

I think they'd be alright if they loose the overweight, chair throwing, monkey dancing, type who love that company.

Re:Well there you go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42974061)

They are just as evil, but a lot more stupid so it backfires on them. Sort of like a mean person tripping. You can't help but laugh and not take them seriously.

Re:Well there you go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42974071)

Everyone's been telling me (not here, just everyone else on the web) that Microsoft is better now

Sounds like everybody needs to do their homework http://wayback.archive.org/web/20120116153542/http://www.msversus.org/ [archive.org]

And that doesn't contain their latest crimes, e.g. ooxml and "secure boot".

Re:Well there you go (2, Funny)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974133)

Everyone's been telling me (not here, just everyone else on the web) that Microsoft is better now - that they aren't quite the assholes they were in the 90's/early 2000's.

In all fairness to Microsoft's formerly-evil self, the new Microsoft certainly is "better", and they aren't "quite" the assholes they used to be, even considering this. It's like they've gone from chaotic evil to neutral evil.

Re:Well there you go (1)

Threni (635302) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974237)

> In all fairness to Microsoft's formerly-evil self, the new Microsoft certainly is "better",
> and they aren't "quite" the assholes they used to be, even considering this. It's like
> they've gone from chaotic evil to neutral evil.

Better how? The confusing nightmare world of Windows 8, the tabtop abortion that is the Surface, or this old-skool "we own the simplest shit an offshore developer could knock up in a few hours because it's worth millions"?

Re:Well there you go (1)

peragrin (659227) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974275)

Hey windows 8 could be worse. It could be MS Bob, with clippy the dog, running on Windows ME.

Re:Well there you go (1)

armanox (826486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974433)

From a UI standpoint I like Windows Me better. If only I could run a newer web browser in it....

Re:Well there you go (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974545)

Hey windows 8 could be worse. It could be MS Bob, with clippy the dog, running on Windows ME.

of course not what do you think will be in service pack one?

Re:Well there you go (5, Interesting)

MrDoh! (71235) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974257)

I'd (humbly) argue that they're just as evil as before, they're just not as good at is as they used to be. Everyone's on to them, so many people have been burned by their antics, and people see other routes to A) avoid falling into MS's trap again B) enjoy a bit of revenge. It's not just Bill leaving, the company as a whole, just doesn't do evil as well.

Re:Well there you go (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974513)

I'd say they're just as good at doing evil as before, they just don't have the leverage they used to, that, and there's a lot more better options out there. Well, that, and the fact that there is a truly absolutely evil ass-clown out there known as Sony, and even Oracle has been jumping through hoops to make them selves look more evil.

Re:Well there you go (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42975425)

These days a tablet or smartphone with HDMI output to a HDTV monitor and a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse can replace a standard desktop or notebook computer so many people. If schools want students using computers then equipping them with a smartphone or tablet and at school a keyboard, mouse and monitor which the parents can provide at home if they are choose or the student can use the built-in keyboard of the smartphone or tablet.

Re:Well there you go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42974917)

I'd (humbly) argue that they're just as evil as before, they're just not as good at is as they used to be.

Google: Don't be evil.

Microsoft: Can't be evil.

Re:Well there you go (1)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | about a year and a half ago | (#42975267)

Incompetent evil is still evil.

Re:Well there you go (5, Insightful)

alvinrod (889928) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974423)

I don't even think that Microsoft cares about the ruling. They just want to screw over Google in any way that they possibly can. If the sides were flipped, Microsoft would change their argument. It's all about making Android as expensive as possible so that the third party handset manufacturers dump it in favor of Windows Phone.

Re:Well there you go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42974491)

They're worse than ever!

With Win 8 and Metro they've declared war against their users and developers. They've recently increased their CAL prices significantly. MS Office 2013 is now locked to a single PC, as in, you have to buy it again if you upgrade. They're now competing against hardware OEMs with their Surface hardware. And they're spreading more FUD now than ever, like their latest "Don't get scroogled!" BS.

I love Windows 7, but MS is now utterly destroying their core products so it's over for this guy. Steve Ballmer is Apple's best salesman! They should have fired him years ago. Even if they fired him today it would take them years to recover. Goodbye MS, you just lost one of your core users, a complete MS fanboy since MS-DOS 3. It's sad it had to end this way, especially since Windows 7 was so great.

Re:Well there you go (2)

dido (9125) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974691)

I beg to differ. They're every bit the same assholes they were in the late nineties/early 2000's. But they certainly have changed. Remember that old adage about malice and incompetence? These days however, it looks more like Microsoft has become malice and incompetence rolled into one, which makes them much more the object of ridicule than terror the way they were in their heyday.

Re:Well there you go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42974775)

It's actually even worse - Microsoft is only doing this to try and hurt Google. Microsoft recognizes that Google is destroying them currently, and MS will do anything to try and hamstring them, even if it harms their own interests.

This is why Bing still exists, even though it's losing billions of dollars with no current hope of becoming profitable.

This is why Microsoft is filing bullshit patent suits against Android phone manufacturers.

This is why Microsoft has hired Republican-backed political firms (the same ones used by Karl Rove) to try and tarnish Google's name.

This is why Microsoft is latching onto the Oracle patent case to try and get a judgment against Google.

This is why Microsoft has hired shills (oh, sorry, "PR firms") to attack Google in the comments every article they can find online.

Microsoft simply cannot compete in today's market, so they've latched onto their #1 competitor and are trying to destroy them instead, and it's not working. Everyone's recognizing that Microsoft is just as evil as they've ever been, but instead of getting the hint, MS is just resorting to more and more evil schemes.

Thank god they're dying.

Re:Well there you go (0)

razorshark (2843829) | about a year and a half ago | (#42975227)

Humorous fact (as the OP) - despite being a long-time Slashdot reader I don't feel any attraction to accounts. This is a brand new account as I like to start fresh from time to time.

That comment (basically an anti-Microsoft comment) was my first comment with this new account - and I'm ALREADY positive karma and being offered the option to "Disable Advertising - as our way of thanking you for your positive contributions to Slashdot".

Doesn't take much does it. :)

HAAAAATE (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973615)

I'm filled with an all consuming hate for some reason. Oh yes. I know why. It's like trying to copyright the idea of a recipe for chocolate cake instead of the particular recipe you devised. These companies deserve to be dissolved. Not even kidding.

Re:HAAAAATE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42973713)

Man, this is really turning into WW1 here. Do you think that Apple will join in, or are they going to be Switzerland?

Re:HAAAAATE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42973979)

Apple has never bothered with GNUStep. However, nobody uses it.

Re:HAAAAATE (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974533)

Man, this is really turning into WW1 here. Do you think that Apple will join in, or are they going to be Switzerland?

Whenever you see the TLA "BSA", you're seeing Apple. They've already joined in by proxy. Which sucks for them, because with a win here, they could have much of their IP ripped out from under them or at least held in limbo while their lawyers fight a war of attrition Same goes for MS and Oracle actually.

Re:HAAAAATE (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42974585)

If history is any indication, Apple will stick to the sidelines until Oracle torpedoes a Google argument that Apple cares about. Apple will attempt to stay neutral, but that event will eventually force its hand and Apple will step in and help Google crush Oracle. Unfortunately, the final settlement will force Oracle to accept all responsibility for the mess that's been created and, once Ellison is forced to step down, a new CEO will be appointed that whips Oracle council into a frenzy that they were wronged in the first trial and that Oracle software is fundamentally superior to all Google and Apple software despite all evidence to the contrary. After starting out with successful legal motions against smaller companies (Computer Associates, Adobe and VMWare), the legal battle against Google and Apple will resume. This time, however, the pseudo-communist open source movement, with comparatively few resources but lots and lots of manpower, will step in to sue Oracle and the two simultaneous court cases will eventually become too much to overcome.

Re:HAAAAATE (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42973763)

I'm filled with an all consuming hate for some reason. Oh yes. I know why. It's like trying to copyright the idea of a recipe for chocolate cake instead of the particular recipe you devised. These companies deserve to be dissolved. Not even kidding.

Recipes don't qualify for copyright protection in the US. The prose you write down at the bottom, in some cases, may, but in general they don't. They're a list of instructions and therefor not considered creative in nature.

Re:HAAAAATE (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42973851)

I'm filled with an all consuming hate for some reason. Oh yes. I know why. It's like trying to copyright the idea of a recipe for chocolate cake instead of the particular recipe you devised. These companies deserve to be dissolved. Not even kidding.

Recipes don't qualify for copyright protection in the US. The prose you write down at the bottom, in some cases, may, but in general they don't. They're a list of instructions and therefor not considered creative in nature.

WAIT...you mean a list of human-readable instructions cannot be copyrighted, but machine-readable ones can?

Huh.

CAPTCHA: incense

Re:HAAAAATE (1)

jbengt (874751) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974405)

Functional aspects of a written recipe are not copyrightable, but expressive aspects are, so a recipe book is copyrightable, overall. Same with code. Functions are for the most part not copyrightable, but the creative expression of the overall program may be. Yes, the line between the two are debatable, which is why these types of rulings get argued over in appeals court.

Re:HAAAAATE (5, Insightful)

DrJimbo (594231) | about a year and a half ago | (#42975061)

Functions are for the most part not copyrightable, but the creative expression of the overall program may be.

The powers of evil are trying to make APIs copyrightable. APIs consist of function declarations.

Their evil plan is to destabilize the entire software industry by making it illegal for people who are not working for large corporations to program. The Armageddon they're striving for with their stupid patent wars against Google will look like small potatoes once they're allowed to copyright APIs. Patents only last 20 years. In the USA copyright is forever. While allowing APIs to be patented may be evil, it is far less evil than letting them be copyrighted.

Of course, in order to destabilization the entire software industry they are trying to trick some stupid judges into believing that Judge Alsup's well reasoned ruling which maintains the status quo would destabilization the entire software industry. Alsup is far from stupid. Let's hope some of his wisdom rubs off on the judges in the higher courts who read his ruling.

Shame on all of the people who are trying to hoodwink the nation with this nonsense. Especially shame on Eugene Spafford who really should know better. I had no idea he turned to the dark side.

Re:HAAAAATE (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974639)

I'm filled with an all consuming hate for some reason. Oh yes. I know why. It's like trying to copyright the idea of a recipe for chocolate cake instead of the particular recipe you devised. These companies deserve to be dissolved. Not even kidding.

Recipes don't qualify for copyright protection in the US. The prose you write down at the bottom, in some cases, may, but in general they don't. They're a list of instructions and therefor not considered creative in nature.

WAIT...you mean a list of human-readable instructions cannot be copyrighted, but machine-readable ones can?

Huh.

CAPTCHA: incense

Hmn... So would a program written in a scripting language like bash or python be copyright-able as they are essentially just a list of human readable instructions? What about source code as it is a list of human readable instructions? if so then would all source code be public domain but binaries be protected? then what if two people were to compile the code with the same options on the same compiler resulting in two identical binaries which would hold the copyright? this is why we need to fix copyright on software.

Re:HAAAAATE (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42973867)

.... They're a list of instructions and therefor not considered creative in nature.

And a computer program is what?

Huh? (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973649)

Isn't there pretty strong case law against copyrighting APIs? It strikes me that there's not a whole lot to appeal here.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42973777)

No, there isn't.

Re:Huh? (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974549)

Isn't there pretty strong case law against copyrighting APIs? It strikes me that there's not a whole lot to appeal here.

Which is why it's a cash-cow for IP lawyers across the land.... the little bit that can be appealed can be twisted like an animal balloon. I sure hope it doesn't come out toy poodles.

Not only wrong, but 100% wrong (5, Insightful)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973653)

The Software Mafia's argument is the exact opposite of the truth. Up until now, everyone has generally assumed that APIs could not be copyrighted, and overturning that finding would be incredibly destabilizing and harmful to the industry, as it would redefine as "infringement" practices that have been considered perfectly acceptable for over 30 years.

Re:Not only wrong, but 100% wrong (5, Interesting)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973721)

It would put an end to WINE and ReactOs (although react never got off the ground).

Re:Not only wrong, but 100% wrong (1)

Khyber (864651) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974163)

React never got off the ground? It's still rolling along just fine.

Re:Not only wrong, but 100% wrong (4, Interesting)

dissy (172727) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974285)

Wine? It would put an end to Windows, Office, Exchange, Active Directory (all things created by other people/companies) and Microsoft is handing them a the copyright over.

Oracle DB would be done for as well, as SQL will now be copyrighted by the people that created it and not Oracle. Not to mention all the other software Oracle claims is theirs.

The only possibly good thing is that pretty much not a single company in the US will own their own technology, since there has never in the past been a need to transfer copyright ownership for these APIs from the person that invented it to a company.
Since no transfers have ever happened, no companies at all would control the things they sell.

Destroying every aspect of capitalism with one moronic legal claim.

Re:Not only wrong, but 100% wrong (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42973775)

Not every API, just 'special' ones you see? And only the indices of certain books... Next up, Microsoft council to explain the concept of being "a little bit pregnant".

Re:Not only wrong, but 100% wrong (4, Interesting)

rb12345 (1170423) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974617)

Finding APIs copyrightable could get extremely interesting if parts of HTML5 or new network protocols count and were implemented in GPL-licenced code first... Would that essentially prevent Microsoft and Apple from legally implementing those standards?

Android and Java (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42973673)

ok wait a minuet.... if thats the case then all of the Linux users are in trouble oh wait no they arent that's because java has been a part of linux for years now and the last time i checked the Android OS comes from linux and even uses the linux kernel so whats the issue???

Re:Android and Java (1)

jc42 (318812) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974319)

... ... if thats the case then all of the Linux users are in trouble oh wait no they arent that's because java has been a part of linux for years now ...

Well, I know that various linux-based systems have included java in their libraries for years. But I'm not aware of any version of linux (i.e., the kernel OS) that includes java code, and that's what "has been a part of linux" would mean. But maybe I've missed something. Can you name a few linux releases in which linux itself (i.e., the kernel OS) contains java?

I wouldn't imagine that including java or other proprietary languages in a distro would be any sort of threat. I could just ignore such languages, and maybe not use library things that are written in them, if I can even determine that. We can see this idea in the widespread inclusion of PDF software in distros of most systems, not just linux. But you don't find PDF (or PDF-munging routines) in the kernel, to my knowledge.

(Of course, I wouldn't actually be surprised to find that MS and Apple have incorporated PDF tools into their kernels. They're run by people who don't understand the concept, and will use any scheme available to lure users into their "walled gardens". ;-)

Re:Android and Java (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974599)

(Of course, I wouldn't actually be surprised to find that MS and Apple have incorporated PDF tools into their kernels. They're run by people who don't understand the concept, and will use any scheme available to lure users into their "walled gardens". ;-)

I was going to write an informative explanation of why this is ludicrous, but then realized that the sentence speaks for itself.

Microkernel much? Linux is about the only kernel where you COULD bake PDF tools right in.

Re:Android and Java (1)

NotBorg (829820) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974651)

Java is a requirement for Android. Java does not require Android or Linux.

Linux is a requirement for Android. Linux does not require Android.

Water is a requirement for Kool-Aid. Kool-Aid is not a requirement for Water.

With all those on one side (3, Insightful)

SoupGuru (723634) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973679)

With all those players on one side of the issue, it's pretty easy choose sides... even if you don't know what the issue at hand is.

Re:With all those on one side (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42973899)

What a dumb way to form an opinion. Go back to the playground and take your black and white thinking with you.

Past and present (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42973681)

Too bad there's no giant meteor to wipe out this batch of dinosaurs.

Re:Past and present (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42973733)

We just missed it. Too bad we couldn't have convinced these BSA goons to take a vacation in Russia...

Counterexample: UNIX/POSIX/Linux (5, Insightful)

david.emery (127135) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973727)

Any vendor of a Unix based operating system (including Apple, HP and IBM) should in fairness oppose this motion because they've all been very successful selling systems based on an open API. And that's just one example. I'm sure there are examples from the Graphics/GPU world.

Re:Counterexample: UNIX/POSIX/Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42974699)

That should include vendor of Linux like oracle.

Bummer

Ethics (5, Insightful)

labnet (457441) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973751)

Remember, most businesses ethics are only governed by what their government has legislated. There are always execptions but this is the general rule. This is why the USA is having so many structural problems. By making being elected such an expensive exercise, a politician who's most important priority is re-election, needs funding from corporate sponsors. This creates an obigation to support those sponsors, which creates legislation to support corporates over the public interest which courts must enforce.
The best thing to happen for American Politics is to break the obligation cycle. I'll leave that to others on how you would achieve that.

Judge Awesome (5, Interesting)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973765)

> Judge William Alsup himself had some programming background and wasn't bedazzled by Oracle's thin arguments on the range-checking function.
At long last, an awesome judge. Many other decisions from the courts about IP reflect minds still set in the stone age. Check into him. We may have a hero.

> Microsoft, BSA, EMC, Netapp, et al. get behind Oracle to overturn Alsup's ruling citing 'destabilization' of the 'entire software industry.'
Well that is funny. Microsoft, a company becoming irrelevant, could end up locking itself out of future markets.

> The ruling came, programmers rejoiced and Oracle vowed Appeal.
On careful reflection I think it is better if Oracle goes and fucks itself.

Re:Judge Awesome (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42974085)

Yes, Oracle can take their appeal and stick it where the Sun don't shine.

From the article (2)

PhamNguyen (2695929) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973769)

Oracle's stock price has dropped $.49 for the week or .018 percent. Google stock price has dropped $10.45 for the week or .017 percent. So the court decision’s have not a major impact of their stock values.

Did Oracle also have a copyright on the ConvertToPercent function?

Microsoft, BSA, EMC, Netapp, et al. Are Correct (3, Insightful)

sk999 (846068) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973795)

The only way to bring stability to the software industry is to make sure that compatible APIs are outlawed. You know, like what we had during the UNIX Wars http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix_wars [wikipedia.org]

Java and Linux (-1, Troll)

freemenow-linux (2825877) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973855)

last time i checked the Android OS used a linux kernel... for those who dont know, for years now any and all distributions of linux have used java so whats the big issue here (thinking thinking thinking.......... oh wait what am i thinking for they are IDIOTS)

Re:Java and Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42974495)

The big issue is that you don't obviously know shit about the reason behind this case. I suggest you promptly read up before pulling more words out of your arse.

Re:Java and Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42974539)

...all distributions of linux have used java...

They have? Where? So I can take the damn thing out. There should be no Java on a Linux machine outside the browser extensions... or some Hello Kitty application

Re:Java and Linux (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974787)

Define "hello kitty" application.

Isn't this that "look & feel" thing? (1)

aklinux (1318095) | about a year and a half ago | (#42973863)

It seems to be worded a little differently, but this sounds an awful lot like that "look & feel" thing Apple beat Microsoft on some years back.

Re:Isn't this that "look & feel" thing? (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974063)

That's for a Design Patent not copyright or even Utility Patents. Whole different beast.

None of them understand what they are doing!!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42973919)

Software is an abstraction of routing control of electrons.

Routing electrons is not subject to copyright. No matter how pretty the illusion of information looks.

Re:None of them understand what they are doing!!!! (1)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974295)

With that argument, you could say photocopying a book is an abstraction of routing control of atoms, simply controlling where the various atoms that ink is composed of are placed on the paper. I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but I don't think that argument would hold up in court.

"Destabolizing" (1)

v1 (525388) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974053)

oh everyone's having fun with that word today. My take: "'destabilization' of the outdated, abusive-to-the-public, outdated business model still being relied on by a large portion of the software industry, including us.'"

But how they said it is so much shorter.

Obligatory (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42974175)

Obligatory [youtube.com]

It reminds me of when FOX News tried to sue Al Franken [wikipedia.org] , the judge "said that the case was 'wholly without merit, both factually and legally'. He went on to suggest that Fox News' trademark on the phrase 'fair and balanced' could be invalid. Three days later, Fox News Channel filed to drop the lawsuit."

Provoke the legal system at your own risk, Oracle.

No legal standing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42974311)

Microsoft, BSA, EMC, and other mentioned parties have no legal standing to voice their opinion in this case since they weren't a party in this court case.

The opinion that something may or may not destabilize some industry should have no legal baring, since it isn't made within the framework of any particular court case.

Re:No legal standing (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974407)

They're not suing. They're just filing amicus briefs.

Creativity... in an API? (4, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974369)

Well, pedantically (but not legally), they are correct. There is creativity involved in designing an API. The problem is that an API is also a functional element. According to case law precedents, functional elements (e.g. chip masks) are protected only if there is more than one way to do something. By definition, it is not possible to create something that is functionally compatible with an API without copying everything that makes that API a creative work (everything but the parameter names, essentially), and therefore it cannot be protected under copyright law under any circumstances. There simply are no situations in which allowing copyright to protect API would not result in a substantial judicial overreach that dramatically expands the scope of copyright.

Put another way, an API is the software equivalent to the shape of a connector. Just as a connector is the physical interface for electrically connecting one thing to another, an API is the software interface for programmatically connecting one piece of software to another. There is no less creativity involved in the design of a connector than in the design of an API. Therefore, given that you can patent connectors, but you cannot copyright them, this lawsuit has exactly zero chance of success.

I am of the opinion that the BSA's appeal should be declared frivolous, and that they should be spanked with a hefty fine for bringing this lawsuit in the first place. That would set a strong precedent that such absurd abuse of copyright in an attempt to protect obviously non-copyrightable things will not be tolerated.

Re:Creativity... in an API? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year and a half ago | (#42974415)

Small correction. The BSA isn't actually doing anything other than filing amicus briefs. Oracle is doing the suing. So Oracle should be spanked with a fine for bringing the lawsuit in the first place.

The game laid out for all to see (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42975001)

East European nations, when under the rules of the Soviets, all recognised the principle "scum rises to the top". The filth that own, control and manage the big computer companies make previous industrial barons seen like saints by comparison.

Everyone of them would happily ruin the general IT business that arose with the microprocessor, and make it impossible for any software engineer to work for anyone outside the big corporations. The major investors and stock-holders of these companies loathe the "dysfunctional smelly" engineers that created the industry. The sociopaths that head these companies are talentless vicious conmen, whose only ability is in acting as effective ring-master for said engineers.

What makes this all the more interesting is that the 'foot soldiers' are intelligent, highly motivated, and well capable of coming together and exterminating any common enemy. Team Microsoft is NOT waging war on Google, it is waging war on all of us. Did you really think this BSA alliance was about asking people not to pirate software? Computer science is one discipline and industry where we need anarchy (look up the meaning of the word if you are moronic enough to think it implies something 'bad'). Computer companies, and their bosses, need to be slapped down, and slapped down HARD when they dare to over-step the mark. Their success comes from our freedoms and efforts.

These Amicus briefs are disgusting, and show that Microsoft and Oracle need to fall, and the BSA needs to be disbanded and replaced with an organization that stays true to its purpose. MS, Oracle and the BSA are like the family dog that has just gone mad and savaged several children to death. Take note of Oracle's companions, and swear to hurt all on this list whenever possible in one's professional life. These named companies should get nothing but ill-will from anyone who cares about the future of our industry.

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