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post #161 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf

 

my system had better contain a header file called "windows.h" and it had better declare the MessageBox function as specified by the Win32 API.

The only thing that really matters is that Microsoft went out of its way to make WINE possible, and WINE doesn't infringe any of Microsoft's copyrights. Different companies have different API strategies. Duh.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

When the EU Court of Justice (roughly equivalent to SCOTUS) considered the same question of API's and copyright they ruled they were in fact not eligible for copyright protection.

Nope, the EU ruled that the functionality of APIs isn't copyrightable. That's the same as in the US—functionality can't be copyrighted, however in the US, functionality never "trumps" expression. In other words, just because a piece of code is functional, it doesn't lose copyright protection for the expressive elements. But that was the essence of Alsup's ruling, and why it's being overturned.

post #162 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruddy View Post
 

The only thing that really matters is that Microsoft went out of its way to make WINE possible, and WINE doesn't infringe any of Microsoft's copyrights. Different companies have different API strategies. Duh.

You haven't actually described how these are different. Sun went out of its way to make Android possible but you claim that doesn't change anything. Sun also had a different strategy which you claim doesn't change anything.

 

Reimplementing a similar API is extremely common, and Google's copy is no different to MinGW as I see it. Please illustrate exactly how they are different.

post #163 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsTheInternet View Post
 

You haven't actually described how these are different. 

Yes I have. Reverse engineering the functionality of software is legal. It copies no code. It doesn't even copy the SSO of the code. Reverse engineering is not the same thing as VERBATIM COPYING of 7000 lines of code. Both achieve the same objective, one is easy to do and is illegal. The other is very hard to achieve and perfectly legal.

 

Got it yet?

post #164 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruddy View Post
 

The only thing that really matters is that Microsoft went out of its way to make WINE possible, and WINE doesn't infringe any of Microsoft's copyrights. Different companies have different API strategies. Duh.

 

Microsoft hates Wine. They would rather it not exist, because every person who is running photoshop or MS Office on Wine is someone would otherwise have had to buy a copy of Windows. Do you think Microsoft would pass up the chance to go after Wine if there were legal precedent for doing so? Do you really think it wouldn't look to extract copyright fees as aggressively as it licenses its patents?

post #165 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruddy View Post

The only thing that really matters is that

Nope, the EU ruled that the functionality of APIs isn't copyrightable.

What do you mean "Nope"? 1confused.gif
The EU didn't rule that API's were not protected by copyright? Sure looks like it.
http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2012-05/cp120053en.pdf

The Court recalls, first, that the Directive on the legal protection of computer programs extends copyright protection to the expression in any form of an intellectual creation of the author of a computer program.
However, ideas and principles which underlie any element of a computer program, including those which underlie its interfaces, are not protected by copyright under that directive. Thus, only the expression of those ideas and principles is protected by copyright. The object of the protection conferred by Directive 91/250 is the expression in any form of a computer program, such as the source code and the object code, which permits reproduction in different computer languages.

On the basis of those considerations, the Court holds that neither the functionality of a computer program nor the programming language and the format of data files... used in a computer program in order to exploit certain of its functions constitute a form of expression.
Accordingly, they do not enjoy copyright protection.
To accept that the functionality of a computer program can be protected by copyright would amount to making it possible to monopolise ideas, to the detriment of technological progress and industrial development.
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post #166 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruddy View Post
 

Yes I have. Reverse engineering the functionality of software is legal. It copies no code. It doesn't even copy the SSO of the code. Reverse engineering is not the same thing as VERBATIM COPYING of 7000 lines of code. Both achieve the same objective, one is easy to do and is illegal. The other is very hard to achieve and perfectly legal.

 

Got it yet?

 

Right this clearly illustrates that you do not fully understand what you are talking about. WINE not only reverse engineered the Windows code, they reimplemented it using exactly the same principles as Google with regard to the 37 API packages.

 

If WINE did not do this, then those symbol entries would not resolve, and the functionality the Windows program depends on could not be replicated by WINE.

post #167 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


Hmmm. Maybe I'm not remembering the details correctly but I though Oracle accused Googs of lifting swaths code instead of just element names.

 

That was Oracle's original stance.  After scouring the android code they found 9 lines were copied, out of over 15 million.  Oracle changed gears and whether you love or hate Google, had Oracle won it would make existing court congestion pale in comparison as every programmer from 1960 would try to claim they own the copyright/patent on any routine that 'sorts' or 'adds' or ... well pretty much anything.

post #168 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post
 

Microsoft hates Wine. They would rather it not exist, because every person who is running photoshop or MS Office on Wine is someone would otherwise have had to buy a copy of Windows. Do you think Microsoft would pass up the chance to go after Wine if there were legal precedent for doing so? Do you really think it wouldn't look to extract copyright fees as aggressively as it licenses its patents?

 

Oh quite possibly, but in this particular case they'd be up against a reverse-engineering defense with no provable access to their codebase or opportunity for copying their code. That situation is much different than with Java, Google not only admits access and opportunity, they admit they copied the code. The cases would be lightyears apart and MS wouldn't stand a chance and they know it. Would they do it for the nuisance value? Possibly, but hard to say, a lot of the old Microsoft is going to be swept away, at least one hopes for Microsoft's case. Will there be other API cases once this precedent is set? Oh most definitely. Will there be as much disruption as the chicken littles are jumping up and down about? I'm very doubtful of that, for the same reasons I'm extremely doubtful this ruling would have any effect on Microsoft's position wrt WINE. Will software engineers have to think differently about APIs? Absolutely. No doubt you think all that a bad thing in the long run, but what happens historically whenever something starts becoming more valuable because of copyright protection (books, music, photography, movies, etc.) is that industries and economies expand around them (which after all, was the whole point of the copyright clause in the Constitution). APIs becoming more valuable is going to mean more industry investment in APIs, more software engineering jobs, more entrepreneurial opportunities, and more companies competing to create innovative stuff that's cooler than their competitors. 

post #169 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

What do you mean "Nope"? 1confused.gif

I mean nope because the EU does not contemplate protectable expression co-existing alongside functionality. However US copyright case law expressly does, and still protects it. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ItsTheInternet View Post
 

WINE not only reverse engineered the Windows code, they reimplemented it using exactly the same principles as Google with regard to the 37 API packages.

Honestly, what is your problem with understanding that WINE did not copy any code? Google did copy Java code. 7000+ lines of it verbatim, and they even admit it. That is the source of the infringement. No one has even accused Google's implementation code of infringement, why do you pretend that's what it's about?

post #170 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruddy View Post
 

Honestly, what is your problem with understanding that WINE did not copy any code? Google did copy Java code. 7000+ lines of it verbatim, and they even admit it. That is the source of the infringement. No one has even accused Google's implementation code of infringement, why do you pretend that's what it's about?

 

I think you are just confused. The code at issue here is dictated by the names you choose (WINE has no choice in this) and the datatypes (exactly the same) and by the language you write the code in.

 

The only freedom Google had was either to abandon any sort of Java interoperability or use identical code. Of course they admit it, anyone trying to implement that function must copy the definition exactly or the function wouldn't work correctly. For this reason, any reimplementation must always copy the code (or translate an identical copy to whatever language they use). This is true for Google and Mono and all the other examples you've been given.

post #171 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruddy View Post
 

 

Oh quite possibly, but in this particular case they'd be up against a reverse-engineering defense with no provable access to their codebase or opportunity for copying their code. That situation is much different than with Java, Google not only admits access and opportunity, they admit they copied the code

No they didn't. From an Arstechnica article a few months ago (emphasis added):

"Circuit Judge Kathleen O'Malley said the fact that Java is freely available and widely used by programmers doesn't mean the code can't get copyright protection. She asked Google's lawyer, Robert Van Nest, if the company could go ahead and use APIs from Apple or Microsoft. "This would apply to every possible computer program out there," she said.

 

Yes, but only the command structure,” Van Nest responded. “They would have to rewrite millions of lines of code. That’s what Android did. Fifteen million lines of Android code are all original.”" (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/12/googles-copyright-win-against-oracle-is-in-danger-on-appeal/)

In other words, Google took the function declarations ("the command structure") in the Java API and wrote their own implementations just like the Wine project performed a clean room implementation of the Win32 API. If the court decides in Oracle's favor then Wine would be in danger of falling, because what they did with the Windows API is no different from what Google did with the Java API. I think it's no accident that MS filed an amicus curiae supporting Oracle. They want the legal precedent, which they've lacked prior to this case, to be able to go after the reimplementations of the Windows API.


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 2/19/14 at 5:34am
post #172 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruddy View Post

I mean nope because the EU does not contemplate protectable expression co-existing alongside functionality. However US copyright case law expressly does, and still protects it.

Ah, so nope actually meant yup, the EU high court ruled API's don't get copyright protection. Gotcha. Not sure how you came up with the excuse that they don't contemplate expression co-existing alongside functionality since they reference it in their explanation of the ruling. 1hmm.gif

I even quoted it for you.
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post #173 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post
 

No they didn't. 

You are in denial. Google admitted to copying more than 7000 lines of declaring code verbatim before the trial began. It was never in dispute. But keep pretending otherwise.

post #174 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruddy View Post
 

You are in denial. Google admitted to copying more than 7000 lines of declaring code verbatim before the trial began. It was never in dispute. But keep pretending otherwise.

 

The one that os trying to twist the reality is you, they didn't copy code, they did copy, as anyone has to do, copied the fracking  API structure.

 

I suppose that you're the same ruddy from Ars Technica, perhaps is better that you don't make predictions,. All of your predictions for the trial were wrong even if you seem to be the world best IP lawyer. Ups, like you're doing here

post #175 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruddy View Post
 

Honestly, what is your problem with understanding that WINE did not copy any code? Google did copy Java code. 7000+ lines of it verbatim, and they even admit it. That is the source of the infringement. No one has even accused Google's implementation code of infringement, why do you pretend that's what it's about?

The one that doesn't understand what an API is is you.

 

And by the way, it was not Google show copied the API, was Apache Foundation. 

post #176 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsTheInternet View Post
 

 

I think you are just confused. The code at issue here is dictated by the names you choose (WINE has no choice in this) and the datatypes (exactly the same) and by the language you write the code in.

You can pretend all you like the world will fall apart when the CAFC reverses Alsup's ruling. The plain fact is it's extremely hard to convince a trial judge of copyright infringement for software without code actually having been COPIED. To prove it you must prove the defendant had both access and opportunity, and you must show that the accused code itself is identical or nearly so. Not a problem in Oracle v Google since Google admits to copying Java's declaring code verbatim, so it was easy for the jury to find them guilty of infringement. Regardless of what the CAFC decides on the copyrightability of APIs, Microsft has no proof of anyone involved with WINE actually copying their code--nor will they. Reverse engineering does not involve the copying of code. Google coming up with their own implementing code won't let them off the hook for copying the declaring code for the 37 Java API packages, unless a judge or jury finds that the copying was fair use. 


Edited by ruddy - 2/21/14 at 9:14am
post #177 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post
 

All of your predictions for the trial were wrong

All my predictions come right as soon as the CAFC overturns Judge Alsup's ruling.

post #178 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwydion View Post
 

And by the way, it was not Google show copied the API, was Apache Foundation. 

Apache copied Java, Google copied Apache. Are you such a dim bulb to think that magically lets Google off the hook? That's a weasel's argument.

post #179 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruddy View Post
 

You can pretend all you like the world will fall apart when the CAFC reverses Alsup's ruling. The plain fact is it's extremely hard to convince a trial judge of copyright infringement for software without code actually having been COPIED. To prove it you must prove the defendant had both access and opportunity, and you must show that the accused code itself is identical or nearly so. Not a problem in Oracle v Google since Google admits to copying Java's declaring code verbatim, so it was easy for the jury to find them guilty of infringement. Regardless of what the CAFC decides on the copyrightability of APIs, Microsft has no proof of anyone involved with WINE actually copying their code--nor will they. Reverse engineering does not involve the copying of code. Google coming up with their own implementing code won't let them off the hook for copying the declaring code for the 37 Java API packages, unless a judge or jury finds that the copying was fair use. 

"declaring code" is the same thing as an API. After all, an API is precisely a collection of declarations for functions and constants. Copying Microsoft's API (as WINE and MinGW have done) is the same thing as putting the declaring code on MS's website in your header files, just as WINE and MinGW have done. Every line of code in MinGW's header files is lifted faithfully from Microsoft's documentation. The compiler wouldn't work otherwise; how could you compile a program that calls MessageBox() from windows.h unless MinGW provided a file called windows.h that declares the MessageBox() function exactly as Microsoft does?


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 2/21/14 at 9:38am
post #180 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post
 

"declaring code" is the same thing as an API. After all, an API is precisely a collection of declarations for functions and constants. Copying Microsoft's API (as WINE and MinGW have done) is the same thing as putting the declaring code on MS's website in your header files, just as WINE and MinGW have done. Every line of code in MinGW's header files is lifted faithfully from Microsoft's documentation. The compiler wouldn't work otherwise; how could you compile a program that calls MessageBox() from windows.h unless MinGW provided a file called windows.h that declares the MessageBox() function exactly as Microsoft does?

I think basically ruddy doesn't program, or doesn't understand enough of programming in order to be able to appreciate why this is an issue.

 

I don't know if I could explain it any more succinctly, and I don't want to insult him or pointlessly repeat myself so I'm just going to end it here. I'm not a lawyer nor in the US so I have no idea if the ruling will be overturned, I just speak from the position of a developer that sees this as a serious problem.

post #181 of 206

You guys keep wanting to pretend that declaring code isn't literal code, that it's magic fairy dust instead of something extremely complex and creative that can be copied. Alternatively you want to pretend that the API itself has no creative expression, that it can't be infringed, that it can't be hijacked by a ruthless competitor. Guys like you want to make it easy for huge companies like Google to hijack the copyrighted achievements of competitors. You would make it easy for the Googles and Microsofts to ripoff any API innovations from upstarts and independent developers. 

 

I've not written code for a living since 1981, but I fully recognize the creative expression that goes into developing, it goes far beyond mere problem solving. That's the real difference between our points of view. There is creative expression in API code as well as the noncopyrightable functionality. In the US we're not going to buy into the idea that because the purpose of APIs is functional, the original expression in them automagically goes away. That's Alsup's theory for the noncopyrightability of APIs, as well as the EU's. The CAFC sounds very much like they are in unanimous disagreement with that and will reverse the trial court's decision. Unless the Supreme Court has radically altered its copyright thinking since Feist, it's hard to see they will want to stop protecting the original expression found in any kind of software code. 

post #182 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruddy View Post
 

You guys keep wanting to pretend that declaring code isn't literal code, that it's magic fairy dust instead of something extremely complex and creative that can be copied.

Because I write it every day and I know that the method declarations pale into insignificance compared to the complexity and creativity of implementing the actual method

 

Quote:
Guys like you want to make it easy for huge companies like Google to hijack the copyrighted achievements of competitors. You would make it easy for the Googles and Microsofts to ripoff any API innovations from upstarts and independent developers

Innovations can be granted patents. We're talking about the organisation of the APIs, not their innovations.

 

Quote:
There is creative expression in API code as well as the noncopyrightable functionality

No denying that, but there's also creative expression in producing a list of chapter titles and minimal factual annotations. That doesn't mean it's sufficiently creative to gain copyright over not only the names, but the structure.

 

I'm glad that regardless of this decision I am unlikely to be directly affected, I do very little coding for US interests.

post #183 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsTheInternet View Post
 

I think basically ruddy doesn't program, or doesn't understand enough of programming in order to be able to appreciate why this is an issue.

I understand perfectly well why it's an issue. You don't seem to understand why the historic principles of copyright will protect the original expression of APIs, and why an exception won't be made for them simply because it goes against the ideology of some software developers.

post #184 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruddy View Post
 

You guys keep wanting to pretend that declaring code isn't literal code.

I never stated that. Declaring code is literal code just as chapter titles of a book are literal text. My point of contention is that what Google did is no different from what WINE, MinGW, and other software projects have done (including Linux and *BSD, which took the ATT Unix API and provided their own implementations). A ruling that APIs are protected by copyright would be a radical change in the software industry and could put many well-established software projects in legal jeopardy. As I said earlier, MS hasn't sued WINE and MinGW - two projects with deleterious effects on MS's bottom line with no possible benefits - only because they've had no legal precedent for doing so, and they are probably hoping for this case to set that precedent.

post #185 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post
 

A ruling that APIs are protected by copyright would be a radical change in the software industry and could put many well-established software projects in legal jeopardy. As I said earlier, MS hasn't sued WINE and MinGW - two projects with deleterious effects on MS's bottom line with no possible benefits - only because they've had no legal precedent for doing so, and they are probably hoping for this case to set that precedent.

Fact is the legal precedents for copyright protecting APIs have been there in both the Statutes and the case law for some time If Microsoft had really wanted to go after the those guys. That some software developers have gotten away with copying APIs without being sued (eg: Sun never sued Apache, but then never gave them a license either) isn't going to make a shit of difference for what the Supreme Court says is copyrightable. As it stands today, and since Feist established the precedent in 1991, it's the merest "spark" or "minimal degree" of original expression that warrants copyright protection. I doubt you'll find many judges who'll support the idea that the 37 accused Java APIs lack "spark" or a "minimal degree" of original expression, which is why this impending reversal has _always_ been a foregone conclusion.


Edited by ruddy - 2/21/14 at 4:06pm
post #186 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruddy View Post
 

Fact is the legal precedents for copyright protecting APIs have been there in both the Statutes and the case law for some time If Microsoft had really wanted to go after the those guys. That some software developers have gotten away with copying APIs without being sued (eg: Sun never sued Apache, but then never gave them a license either) isn't going to make a shit of difference for what the Supreme Court says is copyrightable. As it stands today, and since Feist established the precedent in 1991, it's the merest "spark" or "minimal degree" of original expression that warrants copyright protection. I doubt you'll find many judges who'll support the idea that the 37 accused Java APIs lack "spark" or a "minimal degree" of original expression, which is why this impending reversal has _always_ been a foregone conclusion.

As supported by the various examples I've cited (WINE, MinGW, *nixes), "some software developers" should really be "all software developers until this case." That's why this case is a big deal for the software community; it could invalidate how software development has worked practically since the dawn of the concept of an API.


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 2/21/14 at 4:39pm
post #187 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsTheInternet View Post
 

Because I write it every day and I know that the method declarations pale into insignificance compared to the complexity and creativity of implementing the actual method

Obviously you exaggerate since an implementation without an API is meaningless and nonfunctional. That's like saying you can make human beings without any DNA.

 

Quote:

Innovations can be granted patents. We're talking about the organisation of the APIs, not their innovations. 

There is no granting of patents for original expression. Patents protect methods, copyright does not. Copyright protects expression, patents do not. Either can be innovative. Intelligent debate about IP issues includes knowing the basic differences between what patents and copyrights protect, to avoid muddling them together like you're doing. The organization of an API is an expression, not a method. Functionality is achieved, however the functionality is not protected, only the way it in which was expressed in the code. 

 

Quote:
 Quote:
There is creative expression in API code as well as the noncopyrightable functionality

No denying that, but there's also creative expression in producing a list of chapter titles and minimal factual annotations. That doesn't mean it's sufficiently creative to gain copyright over not only the names, but the structure.

Like I said, the Supreme Court has already set the precedent that copyrightability needs only the merest spark and minimal degree of originality in expression. How are you going to claim that the Java APIs, which not only work with Sun/Oracle's implementations, but work with all the other licensed Java implementations out there, lack even a spark of originality? 

post #188 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post
 

As supported by the various examples I've cited (WINE, MinGW, *nixes), "some software developers" should really be "all software developers until this case." 

Really? Apple allows competitors to hijack its APIs? IBM? How come Google doesn't let anyone hijack its Google Earth APIs?

post #189 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruddy View Post
 

Really? Apple allows competitors to hijack its APIs? IBM? How come Google doesn't let anyone hijack its Google Earth APIs?

Can you provide some examples where people tried to create their own implementations of Apple or Google APIs and got shut down in court over copyright (and not over corporate trademarks)? What APIs does IBM have? IBMs main proprietary software product is their own version of Unix, and the Unix API has been "hijacked" multiple times (for example, GNU/Linux most certainly did not write to AT&T requesting permission to use the Unix API). I doubt many parties could reimplement the Google Earth APIs because an implementation would require not only software but also a large library of mapping and satellite data as well as server capacity.


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 2/21/14 at 6:55pm
post #190 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post
 

Can you provide some examples where people tried to create their own implementations of Apple or Google APIs and got shut down in court over copyright (and not over corporate trademarks)? What APIs does IBM have? IBMs main proprietary software product is their own version of Unix, and the Unix API has been "hijacked" multiple times (for example, GNU/Linux most certainly did not write to AT&T requesting permission to use the Unix API). I doubt many parties could reimplement the Google Earth APIs because an implementation would require not only software but also a large library of mapping and satellite data as well as server capacity.

First I think you're going to have to give up the idea that copyright law is going to treat declaring code any different from any other kind of code, or maybe you could lobby Congress to rewrite the copyright statutes to do that, because it's hard for me to see where the Supreme Court has the authority for it even if they wanted. Only Congress is empowered to change copyright law, the Supreme Court is limited to interpreting what Congress said. Next I'd point you to one of the most important precedents for this case, since it has many parallels and that's Apple v Franklin. As for IBM, I was referring to OS2 in its heyday. Unix is definitely a tangle, but in the end, how'd all those copyright lawsuits work out for SCO? Perhaps when the copyrightability of APIs is reaffirmed there'll be some nuisance suits like that, but I doubt they'd be any more successful than SCO was. In any case, that's what we have courts for.

post #191 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruddy View Post
 

First I think you're going to have to give up the idea that copyright law is going to treat declaring code any different from any other kind of code...

 

Next I'd point you to one of the most important precedents for this case, since it has many parallels and that's Apple v Franklin. As for IBM, I was referring to OS2 in its heyday. Unix is definitely a tangle, but in the end, how'd all those copyright lawsuits work out for SCO?

I did not make any predictions on how the court is "going" to rule on copyright law. My examples merely support the point that copying declaring code has long been standard practice in the software industry, and that no one until this case had been taken to court for it. 

 

In Apple v. Franklin, Franklin lost for lifting an entire OS. If WINE had lifted Microsoft's implementation code, they would have lost in court a long time ago. That MS still hasn't sued WINE over copyright, despite attempting to hobble WINE in various other ways, supports my claim that the concept of a clean room API implementation was not legally challenged until this case; why would MS resort to half-measures, such as trying to prevent Office from updating itself when running under WINE, if its legal team could nip the problem in the bud by killing WINE altogether? SCO accused Linux for lifting proprietary Unix implementation code and lost the copyright suits, but did not dispute the practice of reimplementing the Unix API. The commercial Unix vendors had every reason to sue Linux over its use of the Unix API if they thought they had legal ground, since Linux was eating their business in the server market, but they never sued.


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 2/21/14 at 11:28pm
post #192 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post
 

I did not make any predictions on how the court is "going" to rule on copyright law. My examples merely support the point that copying declaring code has long been standard practice in the software industry, and that no one until this case had been taken to court for it. 

That's not in dispute. Nor will it have the slightest relevance to what the Courts decide wrt the copyrightability of APIs.

 

Quote:
That MS still hasn't sued WINE over copyright, despite attempting to hobble WINE in various other ways, supports my claim that the concept of a clean room API implementation was not legally challenged until this case; why would MS resort to half-measures, such as trying to prevent Office from updating itself when running under WINE, if its legal team could nip the problem in the bud by killing WINE altogether? 

Not necessarily. No one knows Microsoft's internal policies wrt WINE and you are making some pretty huge assumptions. There are usually cost benefit analyses on these things. MS could sue and lose for example, MS could sue and there would be costs beyond legal fees such as developer resentment and bad PR. How big those costs are I have no idea, I have no privileged information. There are definite risks to suing anyone over WINE. Just as there may be benefits to leaving WINE users alone while making their user experience a pain in the neck, much like there are definite benefits for Apple having Hackintoshes around. They make sure the experience sucks but Hackintoshers think that suckiness is cool while they stick it to Apple. I'm doubtful many actual sales are lost due to Hackintoshes, meanwhile all those hackintoshers are learming Mac OS, and many of them will buy Macs one day because they got to know MacOS. Maybe WINE is a gateway like that for MS. Least i don't assume just because MS doesn't make WINE easy that they want to be rid of it. I'm more inclined to assume that they have WINE right where they want it, which includes their public posture towards it.

 

Quote:
 SCO accused Linux for lifting proprietary Unix implementation code and lost the copyright suits, but did not dispute the practice of reimplementing the Unix API. The commercial Unix vendors had every reason to sue Linux over its use of the Unix API if they thought they had legal ground, since Linux was eating their business in the server market, but they never sued.

Like I said, code is code and I don't think the courts are going to go along with pretending that declaring code is somehow magically immune from copyright.

post #193 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruddy View Post

Like I said, code is code and I don't think the courts are going to go along with pretending that declaring code is somehow magically immune from copyright.

So Google's use of the API's is clearly and obviously illegal then? At the end of the day that seems to be the position you're taking.
Edited by Gatorguy - 2/22/14 at 5:10am
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post #194 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruddy View Post
 

Obviously you exaggerate since an implementation without an API is meaningless and nonfunctional. That's like saying you can make human beings without any DNA.

 

There is no granting of patents for original expression. Patents protect methods, copyright does not. Copyright protects expression, patents do not. Either can be innovative. Intelligent debate about IP issues includes knowing the basic differences between what patents and copyrights protect, to avoid muddling them together like you're doing. The organization of an API is an expression, not a method. Functionality is achieved, however the functionality is not protected, only the way it in which was expressed in the code. 

 

Like I said, the Supreme Court has already set the precedent that copyrightability needs only the merest spark and minimal degree of originality in expression. How are you going to claim that the Java APIs, which not only work with Sun/Oracle's implementations, but work with all the other licensed Java implementations out there, lack even a spark of originality? 

 

This is ridiculous, Obviously an implementation without an API is nonfunctional, but you then go on to confuse expression with functionality. In the declaration code the two are identical. They can not be separated. The expression is the method.

 

It may require only a spark, but you simply cannot deny that APIs are methods or systems of operation.

 

This argument is just going round in a circle with what seems to be two professional devs telling you you're wrong, and you claiming you're right because you programmed 30+ years ago.

 

I honestly don't care what US copyright law states, the fact of the matter is that protecting APIs means a vast majority of software out there infringes. Even trivial code I have written fundamentally will copy the structure/organisation of other APIs. Just like any book copies the chapter structure of my theoretical book.

post #195 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruddy View Post
There are definite risks to suing anyone over WINE. Just as there may be benefits to leaving WINE users alone while making their user experience a pain in the neck, much like there are definite benefits for Apple having Hackintoshes around. They make sure the experience sucks but Hackintoshers think that suckiness is cool while they stick it to Apple. I'm doubtful many actual sales are lost due to Hackintoshes, meanwhile all those hackintoshers are learming Mac OS, and many of them will buy Macs one day because they got to know MacOS. Maybe WINE is a gateway like that for MS. Least i don't assume just because MS doesn't make WINE easy that they want to be rid of it. I'm more inclined to assume that they have WINE right where they want it, which includes their public posture towards it.

 

The fundamental difference between WINE and Hackintoshes is that while Hackintoshes are basically Sunday DIY projects and nobody is making money off them, WINE is supported by commercial Linux vendors like Red Hat which compete against Microsoft in the enterprise sector. Every user who thinks Office runs just fine on Linux is a potential lost sale for Microsoft and a win for the Linux vendors. Moreover, there are entire businesses, like Codeweavers, whose sole objective is to make Wine run Windows killer apps like Office more smoothly on non-Windows machines. I find it implausible that the people at Microsoft looked at these companies over the last fifteen years and decided, "meh, WINE helps us in the long run."


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 2/22/14 at 7:53am
post #196 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


So Google's use of the API's is clearly and obviously illegal then? At the end of the day that seems to be the position you're taking.

I doubt it will be clear and obvious to folks like yourself even after the appeals are all said and done.

post #197 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruddy View Post

I doubt it will be clear and obvious to folks like yourself even after the appeals are all said and done.
You've avoided a specific answer.

You're stating that Google has illegally copied the API's, which would be a fact the Appeals Court could establish as a matter of law. Am I correct? You're confidently declaring that if (when according to you) the copyright portion is overturned then "Fair Use" can't then be ruled dismissing the copyright claims, unlike the recent copyright case involving book scanning?

So then what's going to happen. You must be predicting an injunction order?
Edited by Gatorguy - 2/22/14 at 8:18am
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post #198 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsTheInternet View Post
 

It may require only a spark, but you simply cannot deny that APIs are methods or systems of operation.

Yes, but that's not the issue, because they are not _only_ methods of operation, they also contain original expression, and copyright will protect the expressive part.

 

I honestly don't care what US copyright law states, the fact of the matter is that protecting APIs means a vast majority of software out there infringes. 

Oh so you're just trolling then. Good to know.

 

Quote:
Even trivial code I have written fundamentally will copy the structure/organisation of other APIs. Just like any book copies the chapter structure of my theoretical book. 

Just like a paranoid novelist then, best not to write anything because you'll get sued.

post #199 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post
 

The fundamental difference between WINE and Hackintoshes is that while Hackintoshes are basically Sunday DIY projects and nobody is making money off them, WINE is supported by commercial Linux vendors like Red Hat which compete against Microsoft in the enterprise sector. Every user who thinks Office runs just fine on Linux is a potential lost sale for Microsoft and a win for the Linux vendors. Moreover, there are entire businesses, like Codeweavers, whose sole objective is to make Wine run Windows killer apps like Office more smoothly on non-Windows machines. I find it implausible that the people at Microsoft looked at these companies over the last fifteen years and decided, "meh, WINE helps us in the long run."

Well I don't know much about WINE, all I'm saying is that Microsoft's reasons for not going after WINE in the courts is perhaps more complex than you assume.

post #200 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


You've avoided a specific answer.

You're stating that Google has illegally copied the API's, which would be a fact the Appeals Court could establish as a matter of law. Am I correct? You're declaring "Fair Use" cannot be found, unlike the recent copyright case involving book scanning?

Google has already been found guilty of infringing the Java APIs. Soon Alsup's denial of copyrightability for them will be reversed, if you think that's unlikely I'll say again, listen to the judges yourself. I have my opinion about Google's Fair Use defense but am not declaring it impossible they can't win there. I'm saying it's possible Google will lose that too and Google will then face an all-out injunction. If Oracle wins an injunction, then Google will appeal to the SC, and the CAFC will perhaps grant a stay pending the appeal. Google might even settle once Alsup's ruling is demolished. There's all kinds of scenarios that could play out, this case is going to be in the headlines for a couple more years. Don't know which book scanning case you're referring to.

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