Though the legal case between Google and Oracle over the use of Java APIs was not directly linked to any open source distributions, the case was significant in that its ruling could have impacted virtually all open source distributions and languages. The trial, in which Oracle claimed the popular Android operating system infringed on Oracle's copyright of Java, focused on whether APIs (a blueprint for languages and systems) could be copyrighted.
The jury in the Oracle vs Google trial declared that while it may be possible to copyright APIs, Google's use of APIs in Android were protected under "fair use" and therefore Oracle's case was dismissed. This is good news, not only for fans of Android, but any open source developers who rely on APIs to create systems which are compatible with each other. Ars Technica offered details on the verdict: "Google's win somewhat softens the blow to software developers who previously thought programming language APIs were free to use. It's still the case that APIs can be protected by copyright under the law of at least one appeals court. However, the first high-profile attempt to control APIs with copyright law has now been stymied by a 'fair use' defense."
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.