>> Friday, May 9, 2014
The US Court of Appeals has ruled that the Java API is copyrightable, and that Google used it improperly in its Android devices. The terrible ramifications of this decision can't be overstated. From now on, programmers will have to ask who owns the language before they start coding. Also, Oracle can (and probably will) go after everyone who develops applications with Java, which is one of the most popular programming languages in the world. And remember: while patents last 14-20 years, copyrights last seventy years. Apple owns the trademark for OpenCL, but who owns the copyright for the API? What would happen if the owner(s) decided to sue for infringement? If someone developed a programming language based on the English language, could they sue everyone who writes English? How would you legally distinguish a computer program from regular text?