* Posts by jilocasin

139 posts • joined 20 Apr 2012

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Microsoft under fire again from open-source .NET devs: Hot Reload feature pulled for sake of Visual Studio sales

jilocasin
Facepalm

Doesn't help....

Microsoft may:

"...give away the community edition of Visual Studio for free..."

but last I checked it's a Windows only product.

Mac users get the warmed over, rebranded Ximian Studio and Linux users are poop outta luck.

Of course, .Net is supposedly open source. One doesn't usually strip working features just to give your proprietary product a leg up on the community.

Texas law banning platforms from social media moderation challenged in lawsuit

jilocasin
WTF?

Sorry, but no, **no** state can secede from the union. We even had this little thing called the Civil War that put that misguided idea to rest. The United States isn't the European Union. Members can't just decide to leave (see Great Britain) whenever they want.

jilocasin
WTF?

Re: Someone

Sigh..... no matter how often you repeat it, it doesn't make it true.

Facebook et al aren't making any claims regarding their publishing status, nor do they have to. You should read the relevant section of the CDA yourself (it isn't that long, I'll wait....).

There is no proverbial cake that they have to either have or eat.

jilocasin
Boffin

Re: Forced speech

Sounds like you've been listening to too much Fox and OAN.

They aren't claiming that they are passive anything. The section of the communications decency act just clarifies that liability resides with the creator of the content. The people who **post** their ideas are liable. Always were always will be. All it does is short circuit the usual vexatious lawsuit process. Instead of having to spend thousands or millions of dollars defending themselves from frivolous lawsuits, they can simply point to this law and get the case thrown out. You can *still* sue whoever wrote the possibly offensive post, you just don't get to sue the most visible (and often most wealthy) organization instead. No one would think it's O.K. to sue Ford, if someone robbed a bank in a Ford SUV, or drove a Ford F-150 pickup though a crowd killing people. You would sue whomever did those acts. In the same vain, you can't sue Twitter for a potentially libelous tweet, you would sue the person who wrote it. There is nothing stopping you from suing Facebook or Twitter for something either company **created** themselves. Unfortunately for you, moderating a platform (deleting posts, keeping posts) or even adding fact checks to a post, doesn't make the company libel for those posts. Twitter is a publisher for whatever Twitter creates, that doesn't mean that they are publishing, nor are they responsible for, things created by others.

jilocasin
Facepalm

Re: Conflicted

Then start your own; web site, blogging platform, etc. No one's stopping you. Mr. Trump tried, he was just upset because his own site didn't have nearly the audience as Facebook & Twitter.

You weren't CANCELLED (nor was Mr. Trump), they just decided, either individually or as a group, that you and/or what you were tweeting/posting/etc. made you more of an *economic* liability than you were worth. Don't fool yourself, major corporations don't really care about which side of the political isle you sit or how truthful (however you want to define it) your actions are. If you bring more engagement without offending their advertisers or the majority of their audience, it stays, otherwise it goes. It's that simple.

jilocasin
FAIL

Re: Censorship (not)

Uggg.... Web sites are **NOT** public spaces. Beating that dead horse won't make it run.

There have been *many* *many* attempts to get Facebook or Twitter declared either a public space (a.k.a. like a public park) or a government agent, so that the First Amendment would apply to them in the manner that you are hoping. They have **all** been shot down by the courts.

Also, there's a difference between a private business of general accommodation physically excluding people based on a *protected* attribute (sex, age, race, religion) and a private business preventing people from posting flyers, posters, playing music, etc. on private property. While the grocery store can't refuse to do business with someone because of their protected status, they don't have to allow you to play the music of your choice or plaster the windows with whatever posters you want to put up.

It probably shocks you to know that a business that doesn't generally accommodate; a private club, religious institution, etc. can exclude anyone they want for any reason that they want. You can have a hunting club that only allows white men, a religious group that only allows Muslim women, or an anti-blue group that forbids anyone who wears any item of clothing containing the color blue.

Web sites are private companies who are protected by the First Amendment (at least in the United States) from having the government either require them to keep any information on their sites, or take down any information from their sites, barring a few limited illegal types. You are free to start your own blogging service or web page and host whatever you want. Former President Trump tried that. Unfortunately for him, it wasn't as popular as he had hoped.

What folks such as yourself want isn't so much a place to post their ideas, regardless of relative merit, what they want is access to the *huge* built in audience places like Facebook and Twitter provide.

More than three years after last release, X.Org Server 21.1.0 RC1 appears

jilocasin
Happy

Re: Not Really Off Topic!!!

Gotta give props to xfce here as well. Unfortunately, they still haven't fixed its issues with extending the desktop to the left. If you have, for example, two monitors and need to have the primary monitor on the right with the secondary monitor on the left, xfce just can't handle that. It's the main reason I've had to switch to KDE (I agree with your Gnome sentiments). I still use xfce on my laptops that only have a single screen.

jilocasin
FAIL

Re: Wayland a no go on Kubuntu 21.04 and an older graphics card.

I might be inclined to agree, excepting that X.Org has **no** problems with this card. Wayland on the other hand.....

jilocasin
Thumb Down

Wayland a no go on Kubuntu 21.04 and an older graphics card.

Running Kubuntu 21.04 here. X.Org is **all** that works. Wayland is marked *experimental* and the few times I've tried it yielded a big fat nothing. After the listing of services et al finish, the login screen is presented, if you enter your credentials and select Wayland, it crashes back to the previous services listing so hard the only recourse is to hard reboot the system. If you choose X.Org, you see the desktop and everything is good in the world.

Until it can at least run the KDE desktop on my old graphics card (Nvidia Quadro K420) and an Intel i7 with 32 GB ram they can keep it.

Seagate UK customer stung by VAT on replacement drive shipped via the Netherlands

jilocasin
Big Brother

Re: But, but

The European Union (EU) was never meant to be just a free trading zone. It was a response to the fact that the member countries of the EU are too small to compete effectively in the modern world, either economically or militarily.

The main problem with the setup is that it is modeled more after "The Articles of Confederation" than the US Constitution. In the end it suffers from the same problem. The individual European countries (like the individual American states under the Confederation) retain far too much power to make it an effective setup. Too many of the European countries have kept their languages, and even their money. There is no European military (well not a serious one anyway). When a law is passed at the European level, it doesn't actually mean anything until each individual country passes their own law to implement it, and they don't even have to be the same.

We all witnessed the disaster, and the lack of support of the southern countries by the larger northern ones when it came to the economic crisis. When COVID-19 hit, it was every country for themselves (not that the US under Trump was much better). When the southern US states tried to seceded, there was a civil war fought to prove that wasn't an option.

Europe (and by extension the UK) is going to have to come to grips with the fact that they can not stay as separate countries forever. They either need to merge under their own terms, or accept the fact that an empowered Russia, China, or some other larger entity will do so under theirs.

jilocasin
Coat

Re: But, but

Trans-Pacific Partnership

Huh?

Isn't the UK in the Atlantic?

Apache foundation ousts TinkerPop project co-founder for tweeting 'offensive humor that borders on hate speech'

jilocasin
Coat

Re: Hey, Apache Software Foundation ...

How about;

A-patchy Software Foundation

Their symbol can be a ball of multicolored/broken wires with a few sticking out.

Texas blacks out, freezes, and even stops sending juice to semiconductor plants. During a global silicon shortage

jilocasin
Meh

Yes it's unusual.

Yes it's very odd. Texas is the only state on it's own grid. The rest of the continental United States is divided into two semi national grids. Texas didn't want to fall under federal jurisdiction, specifically that of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

jilocasin
FAIL

Actually, the Texas grid has lots of renewables

Actually, the Texas grid has lots of renewables. In fact their wind farms were producing above forecast. The problem seems to be more one of rampant deregulation and cronyism. Huge swaths of the power grid haven't been winterized. So far this has been a net win for the power companies.

- safe costs on winterizing

- drive up the spot cost of electricity when plants go offline

- profit !?!?!!

Unfortunately, in this case, too much of the state was hit by deadly cold at the same time. This is compounded by a grid that for political reasons can't get help from one of their neighboring grids and a governor who's more concerned with whether or not professional sports teams play the national anthem at local games.

The killing of CentOS Linux: 'The CentOS board doesn't get to decide what Red Hat engineering teams do'

jilocasin
Linux

Re: When somebody says it's not about money...

it's still about the money.

jilocasin
Happy

Re: So?

Now that you've hooked up with that IBM trollop, you never call, never write, you don't interact with us at all...

Over long US weekend, GitHub HR boss quit after firing Jewish staffer who warned Nazis were at the Capitol

jilocasin
Headmaster

Re: what symbols?

I think the word you're searching for is Neo-Nazis

Open-source contributors say they'll pull out of Qt as LTS release goes commercial-only

jilocasin
Mushroom

One less reason to bother with QT.

Shame really, I actually prefer KDE to Gnome these days. The QT mouthpiece commented that he expected people wouldn't be doing anymore free work, I don't think he realized that was for 6+, not just the recently closed 5.15 version. The company has just lost a lot of developers, reviewers, etc.

AWS open sources porting assistant for .NET: Early days for 'a broad problem'

jilocasin
Boffin

Re: We can already deploy C# and ASP application programs on Linux.

That might be a valid conspiracy theory if Microsoft hadn't bought out Ximian years ago (after a brief ownership from Novel).

Microsoft knows what side of their toast is buttered on, and it's *not* operating systems. There are even rumors of Microsoft releasing a version of Windows based on Linux. Going forward Microsoft's biggest money makers are going to be cloud hosting services (Azure already hosts more Linux servers than Windows ones) and SAS (think Office 365).

Moving C# to be multi-platform/opensource was the next logical step for them to take. .Net (previously .Net Core) is the evolution of the .Net platform. Which of course means that old legacy Windows OS dependencies have to fall by the way side.

So there you go, no genies, conspiracy theories, or walking dead needed. Just a boring old evolution from what used to make Microsoft lots of money to what they believe will make them more money going forward.

Developer survey: C# losing ground to JavaScript, PHP and Java for cloud apps, still big in gaming

jilocasin
WTF?

Re: Java & C# & Lotus Notes

Not really. C# is more like a more modern, slightly less verbose Java.

LibreOffice rains on OpenOffice's 20th anniversary parade, tells rival project to 'do the right thing' and die

jilocasin
Unhappy

Re: "We were caught quite off guard"

The only thing that I miss running LibreOffice is competent envelope printing. And no, creating a special *envelope* *document* and printing that isn't the same. Besides, it rarely works correctly.

After ten years, the Google vs Oracle API copyright mega-battle finally hit the Supreme Court – and we listened in

jilocasin
Meh

Re: Good analysis

True, until they get the CAFC's rulings appealed to the Supreme Court and the justices either side with the CAFC or rule against them. If for no other reason than to bench-slap them and keep all of these cases from bubbling up to them.

jilocasin
FAIL

Re: The case is about the APIs themselves

Too bad you don't seem to understand the limitations of copyright before you posted. Not all; "...collection of words that forms an original expression...". And it not just the insufficiently original that can bar a work from enjoying copyright protection. According to US Copyright law section 102. (https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html ) :

"(b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work."

Did you notice the; "...procedure, process, system, method of operation..." portion of the law that states what's *not* able to be copyrighted? Guess what an API is? Spoiler alert: it's a procedure, process, system, method of operation.

The fact that the notoriously intellectual property maximal appellate court decided to rule to *expand* intellectual property wasn't all that surprising. If they had to ignore the black letter of the law, prior court cases, Supreme Court precedent and a lower judge and jury to do so, so be it. It hasn't stopped them before. If the Supreme Court agreed with their findings it wouldn't have taken up the case. The fact that it did, means that they aren't pleased with the appellate court (again).

So no, no "... rhetorical stunt created by Google’s PR department ...", just an accurate stating of the facts. Just because you don't seem to understand neither copyright law, or APIs, or even the history of this court case, doesn't make you right.

You might want to look into all three *before* calling other people's premises faulty.

jilocasin
Boffin

Re: @iron The devel is in the details - Part II

Mike,

No, that about sums it up. Oracle is arguing that you need a license to copy the collection of the structure of functions and the signatures themselves. Everything else is just smoke from people trying to conflate APIs and source code.

jilocasin
Boffin

Re: The purpose of the Supreme Coart is not to decide who is guilty.

Here in the U.S. of A. copyright protects an *expression* of an idea, not the idea itself (there are patents for that). Even that is limited in some cases. If the amount of work is too small (like a single word or phase), a fact (like news or a phone number), are obligatory in a genre (scènes à faire) like a Swiss bank account, and a femme fatale in a spy novel, is the only way to accomplish something, or is a method or process, then it can't get copyright protection. Similarly the U.S. doesn't recognize "sweat of the brow" copyrights, or getting a copyright just because something was difficult to do.

So, having written that, it's clear that APIs fail to be copyrightable under three different cases:

it's an idea, not an implementation

it's a method of operation

there's only one way to express it

For example: if we have the API:

long java.Math.Add(long a, long b)

the idea is adding two whole numbers together

the method is to call this function supplying the two numbers you wish to add and getting the result as a whole number

if you want to be compatible with other programs or systems using this API this is the *only* way you can express this.

It doesn't matter how beautiful or expressive or how many things you can accomplish with an API. Nor does it matter how long it took you to come up with this API. None of that transforms it into something copyrightable.

I see you have also fallen victim to the confusion between the API and source code. While the API is *not* copyrightable, the software that implements it it.

Oh, and Google *did* write their own virtual machine. They wrote their own compiler, their own development kit, their own run time and their own byte code. All that they used from Sun was the *language* and the *API*.

I hope that clears things up.

jilocasin
Boffin

Re: Fundamental principle of Java

Yes, that was a major 'claim to fame' for Java, though in practice it was more like 'write once, fail many'. Google's problem wasn't keeping it interoperable that prevented it from taking a license it was that Sun didn't want to license them Java SE for use on mobile. They insisted that Google license Java ME (like all the other mobile developers did at the time). Java ME sucked and was completely useless for what they needed in Android. No one would have been under the illusion that a Java application written for a mobile phone was going to run on a text based phone, or a set top box, or a desktop. Google wanted something that had a large pool of available developers (something CS degree programs were churning out in droves at the time) and that was legally malleable. Java, specifically Apache Harmony, fit the bill and so they went with it. Sun was even supportive of Google's work at the time rightly believing it would lead to more developers learning Java. It wasn't until; 1) Android's popularity took off, and 2) Oracle bought out Sun and the rights to Java that we are in the dumpster fire you see before you.

jilocasin
Boffin

Re: IBM BIOS replication

Then you don't know what an API is. It doesn't depend on a header (only certain languages use them, I don't recall ever needing one in FORTRAN for instance). Any other text, is by definition, not copyrightable. Assembler is in fact a language. It may be written in hexadecimal and not look like English, but that doesn't mean it not a language. If the API were copyrightable, then the IBM BIOS could not have been reimplemented. The API is simply the related structure and function signatures that allow disparate programs to get the same functionality on the same system.

If I write an MS-DOS program, it'll run on an IBM-DOS computer. If I write a Java SE program with the Oracle SDK it will run under the Oracle JRE, or any of a number of OpenJDK JREs. If I write an application under Sun's Glassfish server it will run under Apache's Tomcat server. The list goes on and on. This is only possible because APIs have until now been recognized as uncopywritable.

jilocasin
FAIL

Re: will have to think about getting a license each time he/she overrides a library method

Because sbt has no idea what he's talking about.

He's apparently got it in his head that Oracle's right, Google's wrong and that an API == source code. Anything to the contrary will be conveniently ignored, misinterpreted, or misconstrued.

It's why he keeps repeating that:

* the SCOTUS already ruled that Google copied too much code illegally (they didn't).

* that an API == source code (it isn't)

* that Google could have licensed Java SE from Oracle (they couldn't)

* that Google copied vast amounts of source code directly from Java (they didn't just the API, the majority of the files copied were done so legally from Apache Harmony)

* that the fact that the API was contained in a computer file as opposed to a book is in any way legally significant (it isn't)

* that the number of function signatures you copy is legally meaningful (if you can copy one you can copy a million, it doesn't change the legal analysis)

* that there haven't already been lower court cases that have decided an API wasn't copyrightable (there was, see USL v. BSDi 1992, Lotus Dev. Corp. v. Borland Int'l, Inc., 1996, heck even Baker v. Selden all the way back in 1879)

I could go on, but you get the idea.

jilocasin
FAIL

Re: Because no one will risk being sued to oblivion

Keep repeating the 'big lie' in hopes that people start believing it.

The practical status quo is that software retains copyright protection, but APIs which *aren't* software don't. If that's the case development can continue as it has since the beginning. Software will be built to be interoperable, with the decision to re-implement or license an existing implementation based on the needs and ability of the company/developer not on arbitrary limitations of the originator (Do you really think IBM was pleased when the first company re-implemented the BIOS for the IBM PC?).

If Oracle wins, the chilling effect, as mentioned many times before, is that no one's safe. No software is safe. Every Unix/Linux/MacOs re-implements at least some portion of the original Unix API. Most relational databases re-implement SQL, Most GUI's re-implement at least some of the original Xerox Parc work (you know the folks that invented the windowing system + mouse that we all love and hate). API trolls tie up software development for years and people strive to create purposefully incompatible software lest there be any whiff of illegal re-implementation going on.

jilocasin
Facepalm

Re: An analogy

Alsup got it right. You keep getting it wrong on settled law (see Bell Labs, and Quartro pro cases for a start).

jilocasin
FAIL

Re: An analogy

Again you illustrate why your comments fail to add anything approaching usefulness to this conversation.

Oracle changed the license on the *run* *time*, not the API. You *do* realize that a run time is a *compiled* *program* that lets you run Java byte code on a particular operating system right? So, Oracle changed the license on one of their programs. That's no more news than if they changed the license on their Oracle database. Kind of sucks if you are using that database, doesn't really effect you if you are using a *compatible* database. Since OpenJDK there are at least 10 alternate JRE's besides Oracle's to choose from.

Once again, doesn't involve API's, not even remotely applicable.

jilocasin
FAIL

Re: Of course, we all know why.

You sir are obviously not a programmer, nor are you qualified to play one on T.V. (or on the internet for that matter).

jilocasin
Windows

Re: C# anyone?

C# never came up because it wasn't relevant to this discussion. You don't seem to be too familiar with your history. Microsoft *did* write their own Java that they called 'J++'. It was included back in their old Visual Studio package along with Visual Basic 6 and as a standalone product. Microsoft *extended* Java so that it would only run correctly on Windows machines (something Microsoft was fond of back in the day). Sun sued Microsoft and they lost. It wasn't about the API it was about the Java name/trademarks and the contract that Microsoft had with Sun at the time. Microsoft had expressed agreed *not* to do what they turned around and did. So, not unsurprisingly, they lost. They stopped selling J++ and the version of Visual Studio that contained it. While you can still get that *version* of Visual Studio on MSDN, it's missing the J++ portion (I still have the actual CDs that contain it).

Microsoft wrote QuickBASIC, then Visual Basic, they write their own C and C++ compilers (which some people still think isn't a 'good' thing). It is no surprise that they took the principals of Java, and all the other interpreted languages that came before and wrote their own interpreted language. Personally, having coded in both Java and C#, I much prefer C# (and I'm glad that Microsoft's opening it up to the wider community with Linux run times).

Yes, it's expensive and time consuming to design an API, so what's your point? US copyright law doesn't recognize any "sweat of the brow" based claims. At the time Google wanted to get it's phone out to market quickly and have a ready based pool of programmers who could hit the ground running writing new software for it. They weren't a software company and there was lots of languages that already exist to choose from. C, C++, Python, FORTRAN, JAVA, etc. etc. etc.

The question was what language was easy enough to use to have a large pool of developers, powerful enough to use to get the kind of application written that they wanted to see, and had a license compatible with their use case. Well at the time JAVA was being taught to practically every CS major. It was simpler than C or C++, and with the Apache Harmony project there was an Apache licensed base they could start with. Seems like a no brainer. I mean it's not like Sun was going to license Java SE to them for use in a mobile device, never mind the changes they wanted to make.

jilocasin
Thumb Down

Re: Oracle will win.

I am glad to hear you are so confident, I just figure you probably don't actually make your living in this field.

Oracle has the weaker case, it always did. If they didn't sneak those ridiculous patent issues into the case it would have been heard by a sane appellate court. They would have, you know actually followed the law and denied Oracle's appeal and that would have been that.

Google *could* have licensed Java ME, but then they could have *also* decided to use assembler written in hexadecimal. Sure it would have been more difficult to use and there would be a smaller pool of developers initially, but at least it would have had the benefit of, I don't know, actually being useful. Java ME sucked for the set top boxes and the character screened phones is was being used on. It was completely useless as the basis for a GUI fronted phone to compete with the Apple iPhone.

jilocasin
Unhappy

Re: This could all have been avoided...

It could have also been avoided if Oracle never bought Sun and acted so typically like Oracle.

jilocasin
Pint

Re: When did SCOTUS rule on the copyrightability of the Java API?

Glad to hear someone else calling sbt out on this bovine excrement.

jilocasin
Unhappy

Re: Good analysis

That's because, until now, Oracle's version of reality has been on hold pending the appeals process. API's have always been uncopyrightable. Technically *that* is the status quo. As far as the progress of this case is concerned allowing APIs to be copyrightable is the status quo insofar as that's what the appellate court has ruled to date. It's important to keep the two straight.

Until this case is decided, programming and the software world get to continue as it has since you programmed computers by moving plugged wires from one socket to another. API's are uncopyrightable.

When this case is decided either;

Google wins, in which case the current status quo stays the legal status quo.

Oracle wins, in which case the current legal status quo becomes the *new* practical status quo and the flood gates open to API trolls, among the other ills that people here are concerned with.

Oracle wins with a 4-4 deadlock. Oracle gets their money but there is no precedent set. The rest of us get to breathe a sigh of relief until the next greedy company takes a swing at the API pinata. Google stops using Java, and everyone revisits their use of Java with an eye to abandoning it as soon as possible.

jilocasin
Black Helicopters

Re: claim that you need a license from them simply to use that function signature

Sorry, but no. Google didn't want to license Java ME under any terms and the official GPL's Java SE had a use restriction clause in the license that prohibited it from being run on mobile devices. Sun made their Java money licensing Java ME to phone manufacturers and set top box developers.

Since the IBM backed Apache Harmony project did a clean room re-implementation of the Java API and licensed it under the much more permissive Apache license, Google was free to use that. Java SE wan't fit for use in Google's new Android phone so they dropped those portions of the API that were useless on a phone, added missing ones that their phone would need and wrote their own compiler, runtime, and bytecode. If you really wanted to you could have done the same yourself with Google's API. You wouldn't be able to legally reuse their source code without their permission, but you were free to create something compatible with the API.

So no, contrary to popular believe, it wasn't the GPL that scared bad old Google away.

jilocasin
FAIL

Re: claim that you need a license from them simply to use that function signature

You can keep claiming that the Supreme Court ruled against Google after their first appeal, but that won't make it true. The Supreme Court denied certiorari.

The Supreme Court has never ruled on the subject of APIs and they certainly didn't rule that; "...taken as a whole, what Google copied was worthy of protection."

You really should stop claiming otherwise.

jilocasin
FAIL

Re: wholly negative implications

You are being dishonest by omission.

Google implementation of the Java API doesn't contain any *Oracle* (really Sun) source code either. Any source code that was copied was copied from the Apache licensed Harmony project which was a *clean* *room* implementation. The Apache license expressly allows this. The only exception being the rangeCheck function and eight security files which were a copyright infringement.

jilocasin
Facepalm

Re: wholly negative implications

An Oracle win, besides changing the landscape of software development going forward forever, would mean open season on a large amount of software currently in existence. This doesn't include the court time and expense defending yourself from API trolls claiming your software violates their newly acquired copyright to the API you've been using for decades. It wouldn't matter if it does or not, you'll still have to defend yourself. Unlike patents which only last for 20 years (and that's already too long) copyright can last from 95-120 years.

So basically forever.

jilocasin
Flame

Re: For decades the 'status quo' has been that APIs weren't copyrightable

That's a non-sequitur. There is no such thing as; "Oracle's source code which defined the Java API...".

The appellate judges incorrectly conflated the API with the source code, it isn't the same. One is a list of structure and function signatures and the other is an attempt to use the former to accomplish something. Justice Alsup ruled correctly. The fact that they might look remotely similar to the untrained eye doesn't mean that they are in fact the same.

For decades, and there have been previous cases on this point, it's been that API's were uncopyrightable. The appellate judges, who have a history of ignoring both the black letter of the law and Supreme Court precedence in order to expand intellectual property protections when ever they can, overruled him. When it was sent back for remand, the jury *again* found no problem with what Google had done. Just as predictably the appeals court overruled the jury this time.

Hopefully the Supreme Court gives the lower court the bench-slap they so rightly deserve.

jilocasin
Coat

Re: Nine Laypeople

Actually at the moment there are only eight people (God rest her soul).

And if you've been reading some of the comments posted here, I think the Supreme Court Justices may have a better understanding of what and API is and how it's different than source code than many of the commentors.

jilocasin
Big Brother

Re: Re-implementation of APIs is common ... and legit

That's assuming the conclusion. You are assuming that APIs are copyrightable and that makes any unlicensed copying problematic. It is, and should be, a 'free-for-all' to re-implement API's. It doesn't matter if they are proprietary or not. If it did, we wouldn't have non-IBM BIOS, Microsoft-DOS, Quatro Pro, Oracle's database, GIMP, Linux, Apple's GUI, the Amiga's GUI, Windows, OS/2's Windows compatibility layer, the list goes on and on and on.

Any software written for Amazon's cloud would have to be rewritten for Oracle's cloud. If you didn't like the compiler written by the manufacturer, then you wouldn't be free to write your own. The software industry will become a fragmented mess as people try to make sure anything new doesn't use any existing APIs, and companies are forced to defend themselves in court against the new breed of API trolls.

jilocasin
Boffin

Re: If Oracle wins, you lose?

Actually I think you might be a bit confused. There are actually a few different parts of this case, the current Supreme Court case is only about the last one the API question.

First there was the very small amount of code that Google had copied without a license, they said by accident, into their software. That was ruled O.K. under a de minimis defense. Google removed it anyway.

Next there's the *legally* copied source code that Google got from the Apache licensed Harmony project. This project was an IBM backed open source project to re-implement the Java API through a clean room process in order to have a version unencumbered by any Sun restrictions. It was never certified as *Java* because the compliance tests required agreeing to a use restriction that was incompatible with the Apache license. This is where I think you are confused. Yes, Google copied Java code, no it wasn't Sun's and no it wasn't illegal. There's no disagreement between Oracle and Google on this point.

Finally there's the case of the APIs, the form, structure and signatures of the Java language. Oracle's arguing that they never licensed these separately. You only get to use them if you use an Oracle blessed version of Java, either the open sourced GPLed Open JDK version, or their closed source version. In effect they are arguing that they have the right to prohibit anyone else from ensuring compatibility with Java without their say so. Remember, Google wrote their own compiler, their own runtime, and the resulting files are stored in their own bytecode. You can't take a Google compiled program and run it with a 'Java' runtime, nor can you take a program compiled with a 'Java' compiler and run it under Google's runtime. The only thing the two share in common is the *language* and the *API*.

That's what this case is about.

jilocasin
Unhappy

Re: If Oracle wins, you lose?

And Sun never showed any sign of having an issue with what Google did, that was until they were bought out by Oracle, and gee look, now they do.

So, if Oracle wins you can expect companies to by out old companies that could be considered the copyright owners of the APIs in use and start suing everyone else that implemented them.

jilocasin
FAIL

Re: this is exactly what Google did with Java

So you *still* don't know what you are arguing (or are purposefully ignorant).

Larry copied the API from a piece of paper (well lots of pieces). Google copied the API from a software file. It's a difference without a difference. Would it make you happier if Google had *printed* *out* the API before they reimplemented it?

jilocasin
Boffin

Re: almost certainly prevents me writing down the list of names myself and going from there

Nope. An API is an API is an API. It doesn't depend if it's in a header file (like in some C like languages) or used in an individual program. An API is a method of operation, in order to have multiple programs be compatible, to be essentially using the same *language*, they have to be using the same API. So, if the listing of function signatures is in a separate file, included as part of a larger file, in the back of a book you bought, or written down on a bunch of index cards, it doesn't matter. It doesn't change the essential fact that an API is a method of operation, a collection of function signatures, and as such is excluded from copywritable material.

As for licensing Java from Sun (they couldn't Sun only wanted to license JavaME, and the GPL'd version of JavaSE had a range of use limitation *forbidding* it's use in mobile applications) Google didn't have to. If Java was fit for purpose, they could have just used the Apache Harmony version of Java SE that was licensed under the Apache license. The only restriction was that they could not call it Java (hence Harmony). But Java wasn't, and some would argue still isn't. Google's dialect of the Java *language* was better for Google's needs (which required them to rewrite the compiler, the runtime and even the bytecode). Just like Apple with it's transition from Objective-C to Swift, Google is transitioning from Java to Kotlin to better support development on their respective platforms. It may even make the Go language an option.

Either way, even *if* Oracle would win this case (shudder) it won't do a thing for the GPL, it wouldn't force Google to release *anything*, it would just put a lot of money in Oracle's pocket and hasten Google's transition away from the Java language.

What it will do is spawn a new cottege industry of API/copyright trolls.

jilocasin
Coat

Re: almost certainly prevents me writing down the list of names myself and going from there

Not really. A recipe is a method of operation (for example on how to make a delicious chocolate cake) and as such isn't entitled copyright protection. A *collection* of recipes along with any commentary would be. It's why, at least on this side of the pond, you can't copyright the phone numbers in a phone book, but you could copyright the book itself along with the ads, notes commentary it may contain. It's also why there can legally be a hundred books containing that same delicious chocolate cake recipe. ;)

jilocasin
Facepalm

Re: what Google copied was a list

Incorrect, the Supreme Court never ruled in that manner. They refused to hear Google's appeal of the case the first time. The Court denied the certiorari petition on June 29, 2015. That's *not* the same thing. They obviously didn't think it was ripe for appeal at that time. Now that they have granted certiorari, they obviously believe that it is (or they were hoping that it would be resolved/allowed under Fair Use and keep them from having to step in).

You *can* *not* by definition provide a novel implementation of an API without *using* that API. Something Oracle's arguing if the API itself is granted copy right protection.

You seem to be commenting quite a bit about something that you are obviously confused over. I would suggest that you learn more about what an API actually is and not what Oracle, the notoriously patent friendly United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, or other arm chair programmers think it is.

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