My Continued Support As Signer Of Oracle v Google Amicus Brief From EFF
10 Nov 2014
As the Oracle v Google API copyright case was on its way to the Federal Circuit Court in 2012, the EFF reached out to me for help in crafting stories of how important it is that APIs remain free of copyright, ensuring they remain open and interoperable. I shared three stories, one on cloud computing and AWS APIs, the second on Delicious APIs, and the third on Instagram APIs, all reflecting three different scenarios that would never have happened if APIs were copyrightable.
A couple weeks ago EFF reached out again, asking for my signature again, on another Amicus Brief to support Google’s request of the Supreme Court to review the circuit courts decision, and reverse it. As it stands right now, there is a precedent that copyright can be applied to APIs, and even though the case itself is moving onto the question of fair use, if we let the current decision stand, other companies can follow Oracle’s damaging lead and sue for protection of their APIs--which is why we need to convince the Supreme Court to review, and overturn the very damaging decision.
We expect that the Supreme Court will decide whether or not to grant Google’s petition to review the Federal Circuit’s decision sometime in January or February of 2015. So I need your help to stir up buzz around the issue, and post stories on your blog, call your congressman, and light up any other channel you can, to help educate people about the importance of the issue. When the Supreme Court takes on the case (which I feel strongly they will), we will need to regroup, and refile, a more expansive brief on the importance of APIs remaining free of copyright.
I’m working to expand my restaurant menu analogy, to help people understand the importance of APIs, but if you have other analogies that you think would help the Supreme Court understand the separation of API interfaces, and their supporting server side or client side code, please share with me so I can work with the EFF to potentially include in the next brief that is filed. APIs are touching every sector of business in 2014, and if we allow Oracle’s copyright claim to stand, we are in danger of pouring glue into the gears of each of these business sectors, at a point in time where we need to introduce as much lubrication, and transparency as we possible can, to ensure that the web, mobile, and Internet of Things applications built on APIs remain open and interoperable--ensuring they serve not just their platform owners, but also developers, and end-users equally.
Join me, in helping bring awareness to the issue, which right along with Net Neutrality, is one of the most important issues we currently face when it comes to deciding the future of technology, and how our society works, shares, collaborates and interoperates in this new online digital world we have created for our world.