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Communications of the ACM

Legally speaking

Oracle v. Google: Are APIs Copyrightable?

courtroom sketch of Oracle v. Google

Courtroom sketch depicting Google attorney Robert Van Nest questioning Oracle CEO Larry Ellison during Oracle v. Google.

Credit: Vicki Behringer /

Assessing the first phase of the trial based on claims that Google's Android platform infringes Oracle's Java-related copyrights and patents.

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Marco Alvarado

Interfaces are the base for all our modern computing based world. They are the foundation that permits that each component inside a computing system acquire power from other computing components within that or another system.

Just thinking that be illegal to create alternatives is similar to think that it is illegal to create different types of engines to pull a car, even if these engines are made by different manufacturers. Also would be illegal to create graphical cards or even to use batteries created by other companies inside our radios.

The world became a huge mesh when the big players started to move their pieces trying to twist what was defined to protect the intellectual property beyond reasonable limits, and this is not only limited to what is defined by copyright rules but also by patent ones. There is a moment when become necessary to raise the hand and stop this nonsense, for the well of the most, and I think that the legal reasoning behind this result only can be cataloged as historic, because provide tools for every designer and developer to be able to continue creating the new tools for the human future.

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