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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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DerpFox 6 Apr
Quoting: CatKillera widely-known and infamous US case, then I don't agree, because it's already widely-known and infamous.

Just to be sassy, I've never heard of that case. Really, first time I hear about it. That's also why I love this website it talks about that kind of things.
Freedom dodges another bullet. :)
QuoteReally, 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.

I hope you are being sarcastic there :P
Liam Dawe 6 Apr
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.
Happy to make it clearer. Have done so. In future, we do have the corrections feature you could have used to send a proper note on this.
Xakep_SDK 6 Apr
Quoting: ArdjeThis outcome is good for everyone, even for Oracle. Now it's obvious that it's not dangerous to use java interfaces anywhere and hence to use java anywhere.
It never was dangerous to use them or re-implement. There are several implementations of Java: OpenJ9, Azul, OpenJDK (RI), Excelsior JET

Reminder, that Android doesn't use Java SE, Google only implemented some parts of Java SE: "Android Java Language" is a Frankenstein made by parts of Java 6 and Java 7; "Android Java Standard Library" doesn't implement many parts of Java SE. For example, NIO is part of Java SE 7, but "Android Java" doesn't implement it; lambdas are not implemented properly, there is 3rd party compiler plugin that "de-sugars" them, but it doesn't cover all use cases.
Many libraries ended up with 2 versions - version for Java and version for Android.
Android destroyed Java for mobile and affects java for desktop. It only harms.
Akonady 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?

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)

I think you are the only person that reads these things lmao
Lofty 6 Apr
Oracle wiki Definition:

QuoteAn oracle is a person or agency considered to provide wise and insightful counsel or prophetic predictions, most notably including precognition of the future, inspired by deities. As such, it is a form of divination.

Well... they didn't predict this verdict did they


Last edited by Lofty on 7 April 2021 at 3:00 am UTC
I'm very pleased with this outcome. As to why we got it, there is a cynical side of me saying "Ah! The Supremes concluded Google's pockets were deeper than Oracle's!"
We're just lucky the bigger plutocratic guns were on our side on this particular occasion.
CatKiller 6 Apr
Quoting: DerpFoxJust to be sassy, I've never heard of that case. Really, first time I hear about it. That's also why I love this website it talks about that kind of things.

There are more details about the ruling and some of the history of the case here, for those that are interested.
pete910 6 Apr
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LOL, The one and only reason why Oracal bought Sun has basically turned to dust !!!

They thought Java would be a meal ticket and they very nearly managed it.

Nice to see some common sense from the American courts.
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