Re: Op-ed: Oracle attorney says Google’s court victory might kill the GPL

RA Stehmann anwalt at
Di Mai 31 09:16:35 UTC 2016


Lawrence Rosen, den ich wegen der Lizenz seiner Ausführungen nennen darf
und muss, hat folgendes hierzu geschrieben:

"<Licensed under CC-BY.>

About a year ago I was on a panel to help explain to developers the effect
of the CAFC opinion on software APIs. One of my co-panelists was a lead
outside counsel for Oracle, who had just seen the court uphold her oral
argument that what Google copied was Oracle's copyrighted API. She held up
to the audience an art deco brass lamp, about eighteen inches high, set in
the figure of a Roman-garbed woman, carved with a rim around its head for a
shade and holding a place for a light bulb at the top. The figurine was set
on a heavy brass base that also anchored a light switch and a long
electrical cord.

That was Oracle's example of an API: That lamp was, in her words, an
artistic copyrighted work that also created light. That, she said, was like

No wonder, with such arguments before it, that the CAFC was confused about
APIs. An old, ornate figurine in brass from an artistic period we no longer
allow in our homes became itself a representation of an "application
programming interface" that deserved copyright protection.

There was no Google attorney speaking to that audience to call this Oracle
argument nonsense, although Prof. Pamela Samuelson from Berkeley tried
valiantly to distinguish copyright law from that Oracle attorney's opinion.

I responded to the audience that the "API portion" of that ugly brass lamp
was not the figurine in a classic pose. That figurine part - for whatever it
is worth - is copyrightable and cannot be copied without permission. The
light bulb socket, however, and the on-off switch, and the AC power cord at
the bottom - those were manufactured objects subject to an API. Oracle and
the figurine's creator could no more claim those a copyrightable work than
could Faraday claim electricity or Edison claim all electric lights made
with a screw-like metal connector at the bottom.

There is still no court decision that explains what an API is.

This does not mean that any knowledgeable attorney you hire won't help you
decide whether copying something that someone calls an "API" is worth the
risk. Lamp sockets and electrical cords defined in a specification can't be
copyrighted so as to prevent their implementation no matter what label is
placed on them.

I am always willing to grab from private ownership any claims to
intellectual works that cannot be owned.

/Larry Rosen"

Hierzu gab es dann noch folgende ergänzende Information, deren
Übermittler ich nach der Chatham House Rule nicht nennen darf, die
jedoch erhellend ist:

'For a non-US list participants, the example given in the presentation
is straight from the Mazer v Stein case from our US Supreme Court, where
the court held that a "useful object" (a lamp) normally protectable only
by patent, nonetheless also could be protected by copyright, for its
expressive features: '

In Deutschland kennen wir übrigens auch Geschmacksmuster:


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