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There is also a Constitutional Question | 287 comments | Create New Account
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Why do the amici briefs focus so much on business models?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, June 05 2013 @ 06:14 AM EDT
What you are missing is that Oracle is trying to con the court into
creating a brand new category of copyright. There is no legal
theory, no case law, no statute law, no legislative history, no
nothing to support Oracle's position.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Why do the amici briefs focus so much on business models?
Authored by: PolR on Wednesday, June 05 2013 @ 07:36 AM EDT
You miss that the courts will take into consideration whether the precedent they
set has harmful effects.

Sometimes the court has to choose between two plausible but different
interpretations of the law. The consequences of the decision can then be used to
pick one over the other.

Also if the straightforward way to interpret the law yields consequences
opposite to its intent, then the court may decide the straightforward
interpretation is not the correct one. They may say some exception applies.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

What am I missing here?
Authored by: Gringo_ on Wednesday, June 05 2013 @ 07:38 AM EDT

Justice. A judge must follow the Law for sure, but beyond that, they can take a broader view in order to dispense Justice rather than just make a mechanical decision based on the letter of the Law. Otherwise, we could replace judges with a app.(IANAL)

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Oracle lied to the court
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, June 05 2013 @ 11:25 AM EDT
In their appeal, Oracle told the court that APIs were already covered by copyright and Alsup's decision is upsetting the status quo and will thus damage the software industry.

That argument needs to be refuted which is why it is helpful to have a wide range of amici curiae briefs explaining to the court what the actual situation is and what the impact will be if Alsup's ruling is overturned.

Given the importance of precedents in common-law jurisdictions I've expected to see many court decisions supporting Oracle's or Google's case. But so far I failed to see any decision, that hasn't been cited before. What am I missing here?
What you are missing is what is right in front of your eyes. It's what all these amici curiae are saying. Since the BIOS wars of the 1980's almost everyone in the industry agreed that APIs were not covered by copyright. That's why there are no recent court cases. Court cases only arise when people disagree. These 30 years of peace and agreement are also why many people on Groklaw were shocked when Oracle's API claims made it past summary judgment.

Ironically, it was this very lack of controversy that opened the door a crack for Oracle to try to weasel through. As you note there is not a lot of recent court precedent on this issue. That's why it was important for people in the industry to let the court know what is really going on via these amici curiae briefs.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

There is also a Constitutional Question
Authored by: rsteinmetz70112 on Wednesday, June 05 2013 @ 12:27 PM EDT
The US Constitution says:

"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for
limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective
Writings and Discoveries"

Any law which does not implement this goal is constitutionally questionable.

Rsteinmetz - IANAL therefore my opinions are illegal.

"I could be wrong now, but I don't think so."
Randy Newman - The Title Theme from Monk

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Why do the amici briefs focus so much on business models?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, June 05 2013 @ 12:32 PM EDT
(IANAL warning)

Remember that Oracle are attempting to get a ruling
overturned which determined that the law sides with Google's
position, so the judge himself has already detailed the
legal reasoning for ruling that APIs are not copyrightable.

AIUI, the amici are showing what a departure Oracle's
position is from the existing interpretation of the law, so
that even if some obscure reading of the law could be used
to agree with Oracle the amici show how it would wreak havoc
on the industry and so should be avoided.

The numerous amici siding with the judge's original ruling
shows that that original interpretation is indeed the
status-quo within the industry.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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