In the most recent decision on the Java related case between Oracle and Google, the court has decided that APIs are copyrightable.
While on the face of it, the decision has been lauded by many people, it creates a lot of problems for many technologies. Which are some of the technologies that can be hampered by this decision? The following come to mind
- Samba project
- All game emulators
- DOS emulator
Why is this decision bad? Because this decision penalizes even a clean-room implementation of software. In other words, software that has been developed from scratch, independent of the original source code, but follows the same structure of packages, methods and protocols, can still be penalized simply because the original author does not like what you are doing as the alternative creates business competition and possibly interoperability with other platforms, which the original vendor is not supporting.