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08.24.11

New Copyright FUD Against Java/Linux (Android)

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents at 6:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FUD

Summary: The mobbyists (mob-like lobbyists) are shedding uncertainty and doubt over Android using new talking points that ought to be ignored

Dana Blankenhorn is once again quoting the mobbyist, Florian Müller, who is looking to exploit lazy journalists who do no double-check the facts or apply critical analysis. Just because someone claims something does not necessarily make it true. “Oracle could not only claim copyright over the mySQL database,” writes Blankenhorn, “but over the interfaces that connect it to other programs, and the names of the routines within the program.”

No, this is not true. This is more spare-able nonsense from the mobbyist, who would rather confuse the danger of patents blocking APIs with copyrights. The switch-and-bait with copyrights and patents is deliberate and it has helped draw in some more people who fail to see that Müller is merely a lobbyist (as covered in last night's TechBytes show, it’s his business model) and they parrot what he tells them. To whit:

If Google’s motion for summary judgment were granted, it would blow a pretty big hole in Oracle’s case. If APIs were found to be non-copyrighted, then Oracle could hardly claim Google caused a problem by using the Java APIs.

But Oracle’s response to the August 1 motion is to challenge the entire premise of API copyrights (or lack thereof). In a motion filed over the weekend, Oracle’s motion of opposition argues that APIs do indeed fall under copyright.

If Oracle’s motion is upheld, then this would have enormous consequences for the software industry in the US, which–like other nations–has traditionally held that APIs are not enforceable by copyright.

To examine the impact, here’s the beginner’s guide to APIs. APIs are the aspect of a computer program that enable programmers to “plug in” to that program. They are what enable applications to communicate with each other. Historically, APIs have been regarded as not falling under copyright–the reasoning being that APIs are not creative implementations but rather statements of fact. “To access library A, use this command.”

Right. So why give the FUD any credibility at all?

For those who are looking for news which has not been distorted by Microsoft’s cartel and its lobbyists, go to Groklaw which currently tells us of “Potentially Important Victories for Google” in this case. From the latest post of Professor Webbink:

In a flurry of filing activity in the Oracle v. Google case this past week, a couple of rulings by the court stand out. First, Google has won the right 325 [PDF] to file a motion for summary judgment on the Oracle affirmative defense of “assignor estoppel.” Second, Google has won the right 328 [PDF] to file a motion for summary judgment on the issue of infringement outside the U.S. under 35 U.S.C. § 271(f). This last one is really important for reasons we will explain.

Most of the rest of the filing and entry activity (there were 40 separate filings or entries from Tuesday through Friday) related to the on-going discovery disputes, including the dispute over the Lindholm emails. In regard to the Lindholm emails, in the latest round Google argues that the declaration filed by Fred Norton in support of Oracle’s position was improper because it was not limited to factual information, as directed by the court, but included legal arguments. Oracle says that is not true. So much of this argument has now digressed into “he said; she said”. We are inclined to wait for the court to rule before spending more time analyzing this particular dispute.

The situation for Android is not as grim as Microsoft and its minions wish manufacturers to believe. It’s just a reality distortion field. Android keeps expanding despite the FUD.

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