May 9, 2014

Programming APIs Should Not Generally Be Subject to Copyright

The Federal Circuit Court once again revealed its lack of understanding about the intersection of copyright and tech by overturning a lower court verdict and declaring that programming language application program interfaces (APIs) are subject to copyright.

The ruling came on appeal of a case brought by Oracle Corp. against Google Inc. for infringement of Oracle’s claimed copyright on all of the APIs in the Java programming language. That language was developed by Sun Microsystems more than 20 years ago and was purchased by Oracle in 2009.

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