"Oracle" entries

Copyrightability of Java APIs revisited

Google has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the CAFC’s ruling that Oracle's Java APIs are copyrightable.

Editor’s note: this is a forthcoming article for the March 2015 issue of Communications of the ACM (CACM); it is published here with permission.

For more than 20 years, the prevailing view has been that application program interfaces (APIs) are unprotectable elements of copyrighted computer programs. Under this view, programmers are free to reimplement other firms’ APIs in independently written code. Competition and innovation in the software industry has thrived amazingly well in part because of rulings upholding this understanding.

Challenging this view is the Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit (CAFC) May 2014 decision in Oracle v. Google. The CAFC held that the “structure, sequence, and organization” (SSO) of Oracle’s Java APIs that Google reimplemented in its Android software are protectable expression under copyright law. It reversed a lower court ruling that the Java APIs were not copyrightable.

Google has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the CAFC’s ruling. Several amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs have been filed in support of this effort. Hewlett-Packard, Red Hat, and Yahoo! (PDF) are among these amici (as am I and 77 computer scientists).

The Supreme Court may take the case because the CAFC’s decision is in conflict with other appellate court rulings that exclude APIs from copyright protection.

This article will explain the Oracle and Google theories about the copyrightability of Java APIs and the precedents on which each relies. The stakes in this case could not be higher. Read more…

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Java 8, now what?

What you'll need to know to start your Java 8 migration process today

There was recently a thread on the London Java Community mailing list about when people should think about adopting Java 8. Lambdas, an improved collections library, new date and time support, and a host of under-the-hood tweaks, add up to a lot of compelling reasons for people to upgrade. There’s still a lot of confusion over when and how to accomplish it, though, so here’s a helpful guide.

When will Java 8 be released?

The GA (General Availability) release of Oracle’s JRE and JDK, which is probably the JVM that you’re using, released March 18th. It may take other JVM vendors a while to release their implementations if you aren’t using an OpenJDK or the Oracle JDK.

So I should just upgrade on release date, right?

That would be a very brave move to make. A huge amount of resources go into testing Java 8 and ensuring that things will work out of the box on the day of release. However, the massive ecosystem of Java libraries means that not everything can be tested to destruction in time. It’s incredibly likely that there will be outstanding bugs upon release. You should expect update releases a month or two after GA, they’ll solve the major problems.

It’s also important to think about what libraries or frameworks your application depends on. If you’re just writing plain old Java then an existing codebase is likely to work fine. If, on the other hand, you depend on a library or framework that tries to do something clever then you may run into problems.

Read more…

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End of a fishing expedition

The result of the Oracle-Google case blocks an inappropriate extension of copyright.

As the Oracle v Google trial shows, we get proper rulings on copyrights and patents when judges and jurors understand the technology they're ruling on.

Comments: 3
Developer Week in Review: Oracle's big bet fails to pay off

Developer Week in Review: Oracle's big bet fails to pay off

Google dodges a bullet, a new Perl in town, and GCC loses an OS.

Oracle fails to convince a jury that Google owes them big bucks, the annual refresh of Perl has arrived, and FreeBSD says goodbye to an increasingly restrictive GCC license.

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Developer Week in Review: Oracle’s big bet fails to pay off

Developer Week in Review: Oracle’s big bet fails to pay off

Google dodges a bullet, a new Perl in town, and GCC loses an OS.

Oracle fails to convince a jury that Google owes them big bucks, the annual refresh of Perl has arrived, and FreeBSD says goodbye to an increasingly restrictive GCC license.

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A federal judge learned to code

Code isn't just for programmers. It's a part of the world we live in.

The judge presiding over the Oracle/Google case learned Java, and that skill came in handy when coding specifics arose during the trial. It's proof that coding is a part of cultural competence, even if you never do it professionally.

Comments: 18
Developer Week in Review: Java on trial

Developer Week in Review: Java on trial

The trial of the century continues, cat feeders and coding, and PHP sites at risk.

Google and Oracle continue to duke it out in court, with more than just Android at risk. One developer uses cat feeders as a way to look at good software, and the PHP developers take a second try at fixing a critical bug.

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Developer Week in Review: Are APIs intellectual property?

Developer Week in Review: Are APIs intellectual property?

APIs may be IP, and C remains popular, even when obfuscated.

We look at the legal status of APIs and how the Oracle versus Google suit may be affecting it, along with the relative popularity of languages and the world's worst C programs.

Comment: 1

MySQL in 2012: Report from Percona Live

Checking in on the state of MySQL.

Contrasting deployments at craigslit and Pinterest, trends, commercial offerings, and more

Comments: 3
Developer Week in Review: When giant corporations collide

Developer Week in Review: When giant corporations collide

Oracle and Google head to trial, Microsoft and Linux are BFFs, and the dirty secrets of game cheats.

If Microsoft and Linux can kiss and make up, why is Oracle having such a hard time getting along with Google? Elsewhere, a look inside elaborate game cheats.

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