I stumbled on this question about the infamous case of Google and Oracle, concerning the integration of Java and Android. I've edited the question, but here is the original:

As many people know, there is a current case going on between Google and Oracle over the use of Java and perhaps its standard library within Google's Android operating system as a platform. I don't know much of the semantics on the case, but what might it mean for the software community at large. Could we one day see actual copyrighted APIs? Is this a danger in the future or far future? Should we be worried?

The author of the question seems to have use the case as the basis for his question. His main question(s) seem to be this:

  • Could we one day see actual copyrighted APIs?
  • Is this a danger in the future or far future?

The question was closed as off-topic, one of the close reasons read this:

... There are certainly links to open source, but the question whether or not API's are copyrightable is a law question...

I'm quite interested as to specifically why this question is off-topic. The wording might've been off, but I'm quite curious as to why this is (especially when I've seen support for letting these questions stay earlier on)

  • 4
    The relevance I see to Open Source is that currently, with APIs not copywritable, anyone can create an open source version of proprietary software that can be switched to seamlessly. Copywritable APIs would remove this possibility, creating a significant barrier to switching to open source. Jul 4, 2015 at 15:29
  • @trichoplax Copywrite... xD
    – Zizouz212
    Jul 4, 2015 at 17:42
  • lol and too late for me to edit... Jul 4, 2015 at 20:54
  • @trichoplax Actually, APIs are copyrightable (the quote copypasted into original question seemed to imply they are not, but this is wrong). However, I never seen a real example of this fact creating a barrier to open source. Aug 4, 2015 at 7:40
  • Actually, if you look at the revisions, the previous post was extremely low quality, and it was unclear with it's relationship.
    – Zizouz212
    Aug 4, 2015 at 7:41
  • @FreeRadical Regardless, this post is old, and it's fairly inactive now.
    – Zizouz212
    Aug 4, 2015 at 7:54
  • 1
    @Zizouz212 The post was initially misleading but it also linked to an high quality article that correctly described the situation. The article was then corrected (to be consistent with the article it already linked to). This correction was then removed by you, restoring the low quality article. And there is no such thing as an "inactive" article on a SE site. Aug 4, 2015 at 9:42


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .