Computer scientists ask US Supreme Court to ban copyright on API

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) , the Electronic Frontiers Foundation , a non-profit human rights organization, on behalf of 77 computer scientists, requires the judges of the supreme court to reconsider the decision that the API (application programming interface for applications) could be subject to copyright protection, according to the official EFF website . This decision, adopted in May, turned upside down the practice that has developed over decades.

    Five Turing Prize Winners Signed a Petition, four medalists at the National Technology Award, and a host of people from the Computer Science Association, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the American Academy of Science and Arts. The list also includes developers of such computer systems and programming languages ​​as AppleScript, AWK, C ++, Haskell, IBM S / 360, Java, JavaScript, Lotus 1-2-3, MS-DOS, Python, Scala, SmallTalk, TCP / IP , Unix, and Wiki.

    “The decision of the appellate court in the federal district is wrong and dangerous for technological innovation,” said EFF Intellectual Property Director Corinne McSherry. “The exclusion of APIs from copyright was necessary for the development of modern computers and the Internet.”

    The statement clarifies that freedom to reproduce and extend existing APIs is key to having competition and progress in developing both software and hardware. Many different areas, which we now take for granted, could not have arisen and developed without this - mainframes, personal computers, workstations, servers. This freedom enabled developers to compete with the giants of the market and promote computer science.

    The lawsuit began a few years ago when Oracle sued Google over the use of the Java API on Android OS. Google created its own version of the Java API, but in order for developers to write programs for Android, Google used the same names, structure and functionality as the Java API.

    In May 2012, California judge William Olsap ruled that the Java API could not be the subject of copyright. The court ruled that otherwise Oracle could control the “utilitarian and functional character set” that underpins the large amount of innovation and collaboration that we rely on. The federal court did not agree, believing that the Java API packages could be considered a copyrighted object, and sent the case for review.

    “For decades, computer scientists and courts have understood that copyright does not need to be used to protect the API. We hope that the Supreme Court will review this case and overturn the Federal decision, which crosses out many years of industry practice, and threatens the basic principles on which our technology sector is based, ”says Michael Barclay, EFF Special Advisor.

    In May 2012, the High Court of the European Union made an important decision on a similar issue , deciding that copyright could not be extended to programming languages.

    Also popular now: