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Oracle And The End Of Programming As We Know It

If Oracle prevails in its claim that APIs can be copyrighted, nearly every aspect of programming will be changed for the worse.

Oracle v. Google: Tour The Evidence
Oracle v. Google: Tour The Evidence
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Oracle is a company that's never particularly cottoned to developers. While Microsoft and Google have developer DNA wired deeply into their genes, Oracle is first and foremost a database company that prides itself on ruthlessly pursuing its business agenda with a take-no-prisoners approach.

Whether its reckless approach to technology appeals to developers or any other community matters little to the company. Because Oracle stands for nothing but its own interests and because of its long history of aggression, it is feared by all market segments it touches: suppliers, competitors, and its own customers.

There is little surprise then to see it in court in San Francisco fighting Google, claiming patent infringement due to the latter's development of the Android operating system. Google, certainly no stranger to pushing the legal limits in its quest to access as much data as possible, is hardly a friend to licensing and copyright. Its fights with the publishing industry over copyrights are legendary and have generally forced Google to backtrack. Its expansive view of its access to data is at the heart of current uproars over Street View and the newly announced Google Drive.

So, it seems almost inevitable that the two behemoths would meet in court one day. Initially, Oracle's suit and Google counter-suit looked to be one of those slow-moving affairs that was fascinating to watch from a distance in much the same way as the trial pitting the U.S. Department of Justice against Microsoft a decade ago.

However, events in San Francisco quickly took a sinister turn when Oracle posited an ominous theory: that Google had violated Oracle's Java copyrights by re-implementing Java APIs in Android. The question of the copyrightability of APIs is the hinge on which the first part of the trial now rests, and it provides a disturbing vision of how software development might look should Oracle prove this claim.

In a nutshell, if the jury sides with Oracle that the copyrights in the headers of every file of the Java source base apply specifically to the syntax of the APIs, then Oracle can extract payment and penalties from Google for having implemented those APIs without Oracle's blessing (or, in more specific terms, without a license).

Should this come to pass, numerous products will suddenly find themselves on an uncertain legal standing in which the previously benign but now newly empowered copyright holders might assert punitive copyright claims.

Read the rest of this article on Dr. Dobb's.

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liverdonor
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liverdonor,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/8/2012 | 9:31:39 PM
re: Oracle And The End Of Programming As We Know It
Oh, yeah.

Or better yet - let's just code everything in assembler. These high-level languages are just so top-heavy...
gardoglee
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gardoglee,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/7/2012 | 10:04:18 PM
re: Oracle And The End Of Programming As We Know It
Real managers consider future risk as a cost. You either do not consider future risk, or don't understand the risk implied. Either way you seem not so much a "serious manager" as a day trader pretending to manage.
YMOM100
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YMOM100,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/7/2012 | 10:01:33 PM
re: Oracle And The End Of Programming As We Know It
Why is it that Android haters generally sound so unhinged? Do you think Microsoft or Apple will someday reimburse you for the hours you fritter away spewing vitriol across the internet?
Bay Area CA Male
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Bay Area CA Male,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/1/2012 | 6:53:16 PM
re: Oracle And The End Of Programming As We Know It
This guy is obviosuly a android obsessed google troll!!!!

The author here talk like a morn of the highest calibur...

This case is very simple.... NO MATTER HOW THE GOOGLE OBSESSED GEEK WORLD wants to twist it.... VERY SIMPLE.

Did google need to have a license to use that JAVA... = YES.
Did google OBTAIN that required license... = NO

Case settled, the emails PROVE google ignored the licensing requirements.

Put another way...

If i create a wonderful technology, and I want people to get creative and create markets... I make it open source and let them have it WITH CONDITIONS AND STIPULATIONS.....

If you are going to USE MY TECHNOLOGY to gain BILLION$$$ in revenue, then I AM ENTITLED TO SOME OF THAT...

PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bay Area CA Male
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Bay Area CA Male,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/1/2012 | 6:49:27 PM
re: Oracle And The End Of Programming As We Know It
Well it sure is obvious that you are an android loving loser pathetic geek!!!!!

And its also obvious that your ignorance would never allow you into any serious management role as making decisions based on emotion is what will doom ANY company including yours...
So THANK GOD you are not responsible for making decisions as it is obvious you are the true definition of a FANBOY choosing products NOT ON THEIR VALUE but instead on your severely disturbed emotional connection to them.
msbpodcast
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msbpodcast,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/1/2012 | 5:42:13 PM
re: Oracle And The End Of Programming As We Know It
If Oracle wants to close off APIs, its going to fail.

APIs are how you collaborate and communicate with systems outside of your own.

Trying to shut those off is like denying the existence of oxygen.

The competition will be saying its open APIs are its selling point and that it will never try to charge people for using its APIs, and charge them again for buying its products...

Now maybe Oracle is trying to kill off Java, in which case its going about it in the quickest way possible, but I wonder if its really smart to do that in the Enterprise space. (Apple has already deprecated Java in its IDE and has gotten rid of any trace of Java in its consumer products.)

Maybe Oracle is trying to promote its own application development system, but its trying to do so in a very dubious manner...

If I was a corporation with my data in Oracle databases, I'd set up a task force to migrate my data off of Oracle and begin investigating other database storage schemes.
igorlord
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igorlord,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/1/2012 | 5:20:56 PM
re: Oracle And The End Of Programming As We Know It
Without going into the merits of Oracle's and Google's cases, your view of Oracle are highly biased, and it shows through, and it detracts from the article. Oracle certainly employs many talented and passionate software developers, and "developer DNA" there is as pervasive as in any other first-rate software company.
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