in reply to Re^3: Copyright on languages
in thread Copyright on languages

Lets say Google Search algorithm was broken down and somebody writes API's callable to crawl, index and search information.

Note thare are lots of APIs already for crawling the web, in fact there are a few on CPAN. There are also APIs for indexing and search (I quite like Lucy).

Will Google still claim that API's are not copyrightable and its perfectly ok for some one to run a Google search engine clone?

You do realize that there are other search engines out there, and the google does not sue them? Try duckduckgo for example. Or bing. Or yandex (if you happen to like Russian sites), or Baidu (if you happen to like Chinese sites).

If somebody wrote a clone of google search in the sense of using Google's logo on their page, they would infringe trademarks, not copyright on an API.

I think Google also has a patent on their PageRank algorithm, but the API and the ranking algorithm underneath are completely separated.

Anybody would object to a API clone, if that API is the very revenue source of their business.

I don't know a single company that sells API licenses at the core of their business.

Google sells ads on search result pages. Oracle sells software, trademark licenses (so that others can call their java implementations "Java"tm). Sun did too. None of them make money from APIs.

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Re^5: Copyright on languages
by Anonymous Monk on May 03, 2012 at 09:31 UTC

    Actually I was talking of something like a Youtube API or something similar. API's do matter a lot. Imagine a company like Facebook, I would reckon API's are crucial to many aspects of their business.

    My point is if the API becomes crucial to your business than the company begins to perceive it as their cash cow. If my company looks at Java as a business I would be equally scared watching clones spring up here and there.

    Java today is Intellisense + Eclipse + API. That is all that remains of Java. By the way, I don't agree with Oracle either. I am just trying to think from their perspective. How can they justify investments in Java if there are no clear profits? After all the purpose of business is to make profits. The only other option I see is making Java a paid platform. That is not great for computing either.

      Well, designing an API is not simple, but actually providing code for that API is the REAL stuff. Personally, I believe, that if someone has reimplemented some API in a better way, than the original author, then this someone has more rights for profit, than the original designer of the API.

      If you think about. You get an API and the implementation that does not suit your needs. Now you go ahead and replace part of the package, so that end result suits your needs. Why should you owe something to the package creator for your own work? After all, one doesn't owe anything to Oracle if one writes a program using Java. So why should anyone who created interpreter for java owe to Oracle?

      Following the logic of Oracle, we should put Copyright event on the idea of using binary code for digital computation and demand revenues from all hardware producers since they use the same API. Intel then may demand revenues from AMD for reimplementation of their assembler and so on.

      I believe, this is nonsense. Oracle just has too much money, so they can waste it on lawyers :)