snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister sees Oracle's suit against Google boiling down to calling dibs on the Java APIs, and if the court agrees, this will be bad news for developers everywhere. 'Oracle's argument is roughly akin to me claiming that because I own the copyright to a book of commonly used English phrases, publishers of Shakespeare need to pay me royalties. If it holds true for Java, it will hold true for any programming language, from any source. That could radically change the relationship between developers and platform vendors,' McAllister writes. 'For one thing, it raises questions about programming language licensing. If the most basic language APIs can be copyrighted, would that not in effect make any program written in any language a derivative work of that language's APIs? How would that work in practice? Who would developers have to pay? What rights would they have to sign away?'"
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