Friday, 16 September 2011

Oracle vs. Google Lawsuit

I have read news about Oracle’s lawsuit against Google regarding its Android platform, alleging that Google is copying from Java. Some had even concluded that Android is in jeopardy. I had not paid much attention to the details of the lawsuit, until today when I came across Google’s rebuttal by a technical expert Prof. Owen Astrachan of Duke University. The report is published on Groklaw - it’s really fun to read.

The central issue of the lawsuit seems to be whether the Java API (or API of any language, library, even C-header files) are copyrightable. Google’s argument is that APIs are not creative expression, hence not copyrightable; but the implementation of the APIs are. Prof. Owen gave strong arguments backed by facts and through analogies.

Surely, anyone who has done software programming would not consider interfaces copyrightable. What do you think? – click your preference in the poll on the upper right hand corner of this page to express your view.

Updated 2011-10-30: the verdict is out. Total votes: 6; Yes vote: 5 (83%); No vote: 1 (16%).