Only the last round of the US Supreme Court's final decision, which took a lot of money between Oracle and Google. One of the many targets before the lawsuit is whether the API can be subject to copyright protection.
Several subtle issues, such as pure suspicion of suspicion, were held before the lawsuit. However, the issue that gives programmers and lawyers a controversy directly related to revenue is the concept of the API and whether it can be copyrighted.
On one side of this debate is a programmer wondering and wondering if there is one more legal issue to worry about when writing code. They said, “Is there any reason to have more discussions with more lawyers?” I wonder and worry.
The people on the other side are also programmers. He is a programmer who has invested a lot of time to build a good API and wants to reward his efforts while controlling the result. In the case of lawyers, it is a matter of the opportunity to obtain a licensing fee by verifying the legitimacy of the programmer's creation.
In the meantime, at various stages, courts have often ruled against Google and sometimes against Oracle. Most recently, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that “in terms of law, Google's use of the Java API package is not fair,” and has begun the process of assessing damages. The Supreme Court hearing, which could result in a final legal decision on the case, was originally scheduled for March 24. However, it may not last forever because 'eternity' is too long (the Supreme Court hearing is Corona 19) Due to the postponed situation indefinitely.
Programmers and lawyers focusing on Java development for the Android platform will be very interested in the details of the Google and Oracle litigation, but the bigger question about 'Copyrightability' is that almost every API calls and uses almost every day It affects most programmers. Almost all programmers deal with the API on a daily basis, except for the minority coders that handle code at the lowest level.
Should the API be copyrighted? How much power should programmers exercise over other programmers? Here's why you should agree or disagree with giving programmers permission to create your own API.
Pros: Programmer created an API
The law on copyright is very clear. If the programmer wrote the code, the programmer owns the copyright for the work he has created. Programmers can choose whether to trade this copyright commercially or donate it to an open source project. This choice is entirely up to the programmer.
The API may not be standalone code, but it's still the result of the programmer's effort. Programmers will make many creative decisions about the best and most appropriate way to share their computer output and rewards. Developers would have endured many meetings and code reviews. If so, it deserves recognition for its efforts in the form of copyright.
Opposite: API is a feature
The API is a function, and the copyright law does not protect simple functional expressions. Just saying yes to the flight attendant who recommends coffee does not infringe or steal the copyright of the ancient humans who made the word yes. It's just that you answered in the only way you could.
Imagine a situation where a car manufacturer has copyrighted the steering wheel and pedal position. Automakers have a myriad of unique ways to create fins and paint colors. So, should we borrow a vehicle or make it impossible to borrow without learning how to adjust it? There are good reasons and reasons for not allowing the copyright to control functional expression. The API is not a code output. It's just a collection of functional buttons that make your code move.
Pros: Function evolves
My new car is a semi-autonomous vehicle. There is no need to use a pedal on the highway. Adjust the speed and spacing using a few of the switches on the steering wheel. Then the computer takes care of the rest.
Just because the auto industry has been sticking to the steering wheel and pedal positions adopted for decades as a standard does not mean there is no room for change or improvement. Automotive companies are working on joysticks and levers and other controls and controls.
Coders can express the same basic work in many different ways in their own style. You can quickly notice that you have done a 'replication' when you are in a programming class. This is because each programmer has different ways to answer questions. There are numerous solutions to achieve the same result in the simplest problem. While the API may be just a functional gateway to a very large block of code, we must compensate for the creative decisions made here.
Opposition: There can be only one way
Sometimes there is only one way to do something. And the copyright law makes this an exception. The Doctrine of Merger provides a limited escape from copyright regulation when there is no other option. This means that if there is only a small number of ways to express the idea, then the idea is to combine it with other available prime options. Since the law prohibits the reproduction of an expression of an idea rather than the idea itself, everyone should be able to use this concept of coalescence. Those who want to clone code blocks will also want to clone the API.
Pros: API is closer to code than ever before
There was a time when the API was just “what” on top of the big results. It means that it was like a cherry on the top of sundae ice cream. It is said that it was just the tip of the iceberg exposed above the water. But not anymore.
Thanks to automation and clever developers, many of the code under the API often becomes ‘repeated phrases’. While most of the effort is devoted to building APIs, the rest are increasingly filled with a combination of serverless systems and frameworks, CMS tools, and smart databases.
The choice of architectural aspect of the developer's input format, workflow, state transition, and response is often the biggest decision. Much of the large block of code is a combination of libraries and auto-generated functions. There may be some real creativity, but it's a mistake to ignore the effort that created the API.
Objection: Name (title, title) cannot be subject to copyright
Copyright law recognizes that strict regulations may make things impossible. The author spends a lot of time looking for short, intense phrases to use as titles for books and movies. However, these short and intense phrases are limited. For this reason, courts decided long ago that titles or names cannot be copyrighted.
For example, there are 19 books titled “Night Shift,” and three books titled “Winter's Tale.” They are all written by different authors.
The function has a name. These names are limited like the title. For example, there are only a few ways to express ‘print’ or ‘data search’. It would have been possible for all programmers to name new functions in the 1970s, when programming languages first appeared. However, many features have appeared since.
Pros: API is more than a name
It would be easiest to choose a name for the function call from the effort involved in writing the API. Code reviewers will be upset if programmers try to demonstrate their ‘recovery’ or ‘humor’ skills. That's why most programmers know names like “horse joke” or “joke” that will never pass, and discard these.
The real effort is the data structures, formats, and other options available for API calls. After these parts have been decided, the name is decided by itself.
Opposition: The principle of fair use protects limited reproduction
The API is just a small part of a large block of code. Copyright law has long encouraged limited duplication under the “fair use” principle. This is the same principle that applies to citing a copy of a work in a condensed form without worrying about the lawsuit of students, journalists, and writers being infringed on copyright.
Pros: Commercial competition is not subject to fair use principles
Questions about fair use have been in court for decades. In general, the principle of fair use is intended to help you do things related to books, music and images without worrying about copyright infringement. In the sense that new authors add insights or perspectives to broaden their understanding of society as a whole, it is encouraged to quote some phrases in academic papers or newspaper articles.
In addition, exceptions pursuant to the Fair Use Principles apply to backup copies of digital works.
However, the scope of the use of this process is limited based on the extent to which it damages the sale of the original work. The law does not allow the API to be reproduced to compete commercially with the original work or to replace the original work in the marketplace.
Opposition: Open API is about freedom
The API is an open source “kin”. Both are made for ‘connecting’ and ‘integrating’. Developers create APIs for others to use. Allow others to clone the API without approval, creating a healthier and more competitive environment. Allowing you to create blocks of code that compete against each other with the same API will foster innovation.
Developers should not spend time locking their APIs. You have to spend some time improving the code behind the API.
Pros: Open source likes copyright
There are many definitions of 'open' on the Internet. Some are close to anarchy, but the most successful are open source teams. This open source team often relies more on the law than most think. All major open source licenses are assisted by copyright law. If copyright laws are weakened, open source licenses will also be weakened.
Opposition: Copyright protection of the API will destroy the Internet
The Internet relies on cooperation. If this cooperation is hindered, innovation will be difficult. If you add another ‘law layer’ to the API, everyone will stop coding and start fighting for rights and powers. Then it won't work. The service will be stopped while all are suing each other.
Pros: API copyright was allowed by law
Since Oracle won the most recent lawsuit, it remains in effect until the Supreme Court decision. However, the Internet has never stopped functioning. The API has never caused problems. It was maintained.
Not important: API copyright is not an issue
Future court decisions will certainly affect Google and Oracle shareholders. It will also provide law schools with new material to discuss in the coming decades. However, most programmers will not notice the impact. This is because most of the creators of the API want people to use their own API. You can create an interface for profit purposes. There may be information to share. However, most APIs are designed to be widely used without any restrictions on the code.
However, in a very pure and unopen situation, the Supreme Court ruling will play an important role. So, if you plan to use a different block of code and build something important based on it, you need to think about your motives and investigate the license.
Is it aimed at education and contribution, one of the foundations of fair use recognized by law? Or is it the intention not to give money to someone else (who made the code you want to use)?
If you are doing something that is contrary to someone else's interests, or if you are greedy, the law is likely to take care of it and punish it. The good news is that most API authors want their APIs to be used, and most programmers want to build long-term and mutually beneficial relationships by following the API author's expectations. firstname.lastname@example.org