Saturday 4 July 2015 by Bradley M. Kuhn
I'm seeing plenty of people, including some non-profit organizations along with the usual punditocracy, opining on the USA Supreme Court's denial for a writ of certiorari in the Oracle v. Google copyright infringement case. And, it's not that I expect everyone in the world to read my blog, but I'm amazed that people who should know better haven't bothered to even read the lower Court's decision, which is de-facto upheld upon denial by the Supreme Court to hear the appeal.
I wrote at great
length about why the decision isn't actually a decision about whether
APIs are copyrightable, and that the decision actually gives us some
good clarity with regard to the issue of combined work distribution
(i.e., when you distribute your own works with the copyrighted material
of others combined into a single program). The basic summary of the blog
post I linked to above is simply:
The lower Court seemed genially
confused about whether Google copy-and-pasted code, as the original trial
seems to have inappropriately conflated API reimplemenation with code
No one else has addressed this nuance of the lower Court's decision in the year since the decision came down, and I suspect that's because in our TL;DR 24-hour-news cycle, it's much easier for the pundits and organizations tangentially involved with this issue to get a bunch of press over giving confusing information.
So, I'm mainly making this blog post to encourage people to go back and read the decision and my blog post about it. I'd be delighted to debate people if they think I misread the decision, but I won't debate you unless you assure me you read the lower Court's decision in its entirety. I think that leaves virtually no one who will. :-/
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