APIs MUST be Copyrightable

11:16AM Jun 10, 2016 in category General by Zoltan Farkas

With the Oracle vs Google lawsuit I have seen a lot of opinion articles where people claim that APIs should not be something that copyright should apply for... which I strongly disagree with...

Some opinions trivialize APIs, which is plain STUPID and the opinion of such a individual can be ignored. An API takes a lot of time to develop, get adopted... it is not Simple! And in the Oracle vs Google case the Java API is very complex.

The EFF opinion claims that it kills interoperability, which is nonsense! A famous contra argument is: Intel created the x86 instruction set which AMD licenses, while AMD created AMD64 which Intel licenses... News flash EFF, APIs can be licensed! This way creation gets rewarded which will incentivize more creation... Without incentives nothing happens... (see the Communist experience, and how well that worked...) Creator can create APIs without any restriction if they want, but they should be the ones making the decision, no others who want to take advantage....

Creation needs to be protected, and APIs are as important as any other part of a software component. If the author shares its code for free and through the GPL license asks you to keep the code free, please RESPECT that! 

Extracting the java API and simply relicensing it is wrong! It took a lot of investment to develop the java API, to get it used by millions of organizations and developers... you cannot simply copy something and disregard the license... it is stealing! The java API is licensed with GPL for a reason and everybody needs to respect that.

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