Developer Freedom At Stake As Oracle Clings To Java API Copyrights In Google Fight

TechCrunch

Java_logoEditor’s note: Sacha Labourey is CEO of CloudBees was formerly CTO at JBoss. Follow him on Twitter @SachaLabourey. Steven G. Harris is senior vice president of products for CloudBees and was formerly SVP of Java Server Development at Oracle. Follow him on Twitter @stevengharris.

You could hear a collective sigh of relief from the software developer world when Judge William Alsup issued his ruling in the Oracle-Google lawsuit. Oracle lost on pretty much every point, but the thing that must have stuck most firmly in Oracle’s throat was this:

So long as the specific code used to implement a method is different, anyone is free under the Copyright Act to write his or her own code to carry out exactly the same function or specification of any methods used in the Java API. It does not matter that the declaration or method header lines are identical. Under the…

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