INQUIRER READERS have had mixed reactions to the news that Oracle successfully appealed its right to protect APIs under copyright.
As we reported last week, the move is likely to cause trouble for Google, whose Android mobile operating system relies heavily on open source Java code. Because Oracle has successfully argued that the APIs are copyrightable, it could be owed licensing fees by Google if the decision stands.
Opinion was divided among our readers with riDDi dismissing the right to copyright APIs by saying, "The very thought of that is revolting."
Neutrino23 countered, "Google stole code. Now they have to pay for it. Nothing unusual or threatening about that."
Some readers questioned whether Oracle has the right to copyright code that it bought rather than wrote. CadiLACi pointed out that the decision has been made in US courts and therefore it is the US software industry that stands to suffer, writing, "If it is indeed enforced, tha only thing it will achieve is to alienate EVERY SOFTWARE developer from the USA. Software will be written in China, Vietnam, Taiwan and India."
Others questioned whether the code is identical in content, or just a piece of code with the same name doing the same job, giving rise to the question, when does a piece of adapted code become original code? Google supporters suggested that the code was changed just enough, deliberately, to avoid licensing.
Axyd questioned if the judges understood the ruling they made, saying "the judge probably never seen a java application till this case and does not understand the purpose of API's which is what this problem was all about."
The debate continues and you can add your voice here. The INQUIRER reads your comments and might join in the discussion.
The next stop for this case is back in US District Court. µ