Supreme Court agrees to review disastrous ruling on API

The Supreme Court has agreed to review one of the decade's most significant software copyright decisions: last year's ruling by an appeals court that Google infringed Oracle's copyrights when Google created an independent implementation of the Java programming language.

The 2018 ruling by the Federal Circuit appeals court "will upend the longstanding expectation of software developers that they are free to use existing software interfaces to build new computer programs," Google wrote in its January petition to the Supreme Court.

The stakes are high both for Google and for the larger software industry. Until recently, it was widely assumed that copyright law didn't control the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) - standard function calls that allow third parties to build software compatible with an established platform like Java.


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***** Moderator's Note *****

If it wasn't for API access, Microsoft would be a small-time software design firm: they bought MS-DOS from a developer who had used the CP/M API to create a competing operationg system.

This is as big as it gets, and it's going to be a great test of the quality and wisdom of the new crop of SCOTUS appointees coming out of the current administration.

Bill Horne Moderator

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Monty Solomon
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