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Re: clickthrough license

From: Sven de Marothy
Subject: Re: clickthrough license
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2004 17:22:47 +0200

Per Bothner wrote:
>> I do? The API's are not as far as I am aware trademarked. It seems to
>> that defining a set of API's that match Sun's Java API's would be
>> them - hence infringing on copyright.

>Implementing a specification is *not* copying the specification.

This is correct. Under the US legal system the filtration-abstraction
-comparison test would not qualify the API itself as 'expressive' but
rather 'functional' code. The very case which set this precedent,
Computer Associates International, Inc. v. Altai, Inc was itself largely
about APIs. (The software in question was an API compatibility layer)

>However, I assume (as a non-lawyer) that copyright law does allow
>Sun to place restrictions on downloading/reading (i.e. copying) the
>specification, and hence there is a specification license. 
>Interpreting the license is I understand more an issue of contract law
than of copyright law.

This does not matter because the API itself is not expressive content
and therefore, copying it does not require license. It's simply not a
protectable expression.

Now, IANAL but having taken some courses on IP law, I think
you'd either have to be insane (or SCO) to try to sue someone over
reproducing a publicy documented API. 

(And obviously, patent and trademark issues are a different matter.)


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