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It's being widely reported today that in the decade-long battle of Google vs Oracle that the US Supreme Court has now finally ruled in Google's favour. This is huge, for Linux and Linux Gaming too.

To prevent being too long-winded, I won't go deep into the technical details. The basics of the case were that Oracle sued Google going back into 2010 over the Java API. This was because Google did a reimplementation of it for early versions of Android and Oracle threw the lawyers around claiming doing so infringed on their copyright.

Many developers across the world will now be letting out a huge relief sigh, as the Supreme Court has ruled in Google's favour. Why is this so important then? Well, this right from the PDF of the statement should explain it pretty clearly:

Google’s copying of the Java SE API, which included only those lines of code that were needed to allow programmers to put their accrued talents to work in a new and transformative program, was a fair use of that material as a matter of law.

Not just that though, it goes even further to mention this:

Finally, given programmers’ investment in learning the Sun Java API, to allow enforcement of Oracle’s copyright here would risk harm to the public. Given the costs and difficulties of producing alternative APIs with similar appeal to programmers, allowing enforcement here would make of the Sun Java API’s declaring code a lock limiting the future creativity of new programs. Oracle alone would hold the key. The result could well prove highly profitable to Oracle (or other firms holding a copyright in computer interfaces). But those profits could well flow from creative improvements, new applications, and new uses developed by users who have learned to work with that interface. To that extent, the lock would interfere with, not further, copyright’s basic creativity objectives.

Really, it doesn't get much clearer than that does it? If this ruled in Oracle's favour, it would have had far-reaching implications for the entire software industry and end up causing some to hold far too much power over what people are able to actually create. Basically, it would have handed out monopolies. Thankfully, we don't need to worry about it now.

So, hopefully and as a matter of fair use by law, projects like Wine (and so Steam Play Proton too) should technically be clear of any uncertainty around the APIs being reimplemented. Good news!

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Editorial, Meta, Misc
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35 comments
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Lanz 5 Apr
Great to see that it wasn't even a close decision. Hopefully this will cause Oracle to change its lawyer to programmer ratio.
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: The_Aquabatthis article never mentions which country's Supreme Court, many countries have Supreme Court, it's not obvious, had to click on the link to find out.
While technically true, how many countries have given us Oracle vs Google?
this is not what it is about. It's not obvious for the reader technically you are right, but it's totally possible scenario . Like Epic for example sued Google and Apple on UK courts... so why a Google vs Oracle in other country than the US is not possible?

Fun fact: I just bought Dirt 5, and read a very lengthy EULA, and apparently I agreed that if I have a problem with the game I can only sue over a UK court.

(the game doesn't work with proton btw, for me, only the menu and EULA, the game itself it's just full of artifacts and shader distortions, I only see like geometric shapes)


Last edited by The_Aquabat on 6 April 2021 at 12:25 am UTC
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: The_Aquabatthis article never mentions which country's Supreme Court, many countries have Supreme Court, it's not obvious, had to click on the link to find out.
While technically true, how many countries have given us Oracle vs Google?
Also true, but large tech companies seem to end up in court in countries other than their country of origin pretty often nowadays. While it might be a reasonable inference, simply prepending "US" to "Supreme Court" would be a simple two-letter tweak to the article that would immediately make it clearer for everyone who wasn't aware of this lawsuit beforehand.
CatKiller 6 Apr
Quoting: The_Aquabatthis is not what it is about. It's not obvious for the reader technically you are right, but it's totally possible scenario . Like Epic for example sued Google and Apple on UK courts... so why a Google vs Oracle in other country than the US is not possible?

The infamous case that's lasted for decades and ultimately turned on "fair use" (a US legal concept) happened, and could only have happened, in the US. While Oracle could have also sued Google elsewhere, an article about a new case would definitely have prominently specified that it was a new case.

I agree with you that if Liam were following strict journalistic norms he would probably have specified the country and it would be fairly straightforward to; I disagree with you that it is necessary in this case.

Clearer?


Last edited by CatKiller on 6 April 2021 at 2:07 am UTC
Grabby 6 Apr
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Phew, glad that's off our chest. With how uneducated the justice system is about IT stuff in general, this could have ended very badly.
DerpFox 6 Apr
Quoting: CatKiller"fair use" (a US legal concept)

Fair use or an equivalent exists in other countries laws. And I've often seen "fair use" as a translation from other countries laws in English.
sorry I don't like where this conversation is going and won't continue the discussion my arguments is pretty simple and it's just about common sense, common sense most of the times means that you don't need to be informed in the details of a matter to make a conclusion out of it.
you are missing the point. @CatKiller


Last edited by The_Aquabat on 6 April 2021 at 4:20 am UTC
Vulphere 6 Apr
Quoting: DerpFox
Quoting: CatKiller"fair use" (a US legal concept)

Fair use or an equivalent exists in other countries laws. And I've often seen "fair use" as a translation from other countries laws in English.

Yup, it is known as fair dealing in some Commonwealth of Nations countries
devland 6 Apr
Fuck Oracle.
CatKiller 6 Apr
Quoting: The_Aquabatyou are missing the point. @CatKiller
Then I'm really not sure what your point is. If it's that Liam could have put "US" in the opening paragraph or headline, then I've already agreed with that. If it's that Liam probably should have put "US" in the opening paragraph or headline, then I've already agreed with that, too. If it's that Liam must put "US" in the opening paragraph or headline, for a widely-known and infamous US case, then I don't agree, because it's already widely-known and infamous.
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