2021 year 4 month 5 Japan , The Supreme Court of the United States Oracle Prosecution Google A judgment has been made in the case of intellectual property infringement , This more than a decade long lawsuit between the two technology giants finally “ set the tune with one beat of the gong — give the final word ”： Gu Gesheng , Oracle bone inscriptions failed .
The Supreme Court’s decision contains two key decisions ：
• The Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s decision , And ruled that API Protected by copyright .
• Google from Java Copy 11,500 The behavior of a line of code belongs to “ The rational use of ”.
During the course of this lawsuit , A number of computer scientists have expressed their opposition to API Protected by copyright , At the same time, they also support that according to the current law Google Have a reasonable right to use .
Almost every business organization and industry in the world can’t do without API.API It’s every computer connected to the Internet 、 Website 、 Pipelines for mobile and other device applications . Because of its universality , So the Supreme Court’s decision will affect everyone .
About Oracle Prosecution Google Background of copyright infringement case
2010 year ,Oracle In acquisition Sun Microsystems Only seven months later , Through the Northern District Court of California Google Infringement of copyright and patent rights . This protracted struggle started with two separate cases ： One is patent infringement , The other is 2012 Year and Java API Related copyright cases . Final , The two cases merged into one case , The district court ruled that Google Copyright infringement , But there’s no patent infringement , And the court’s final ruling States API No copyright protection .
Oracle There was an appeal , And successfully overturned the previous ruling . This result leads to Google On 2019 Filed a petition to the Supreme Court in , And in 2020 A trial was held at the beginning of the year . But affected by the epidemic , The case was postponed until recently when the Supreme Court decided .
stay 2020 In the court debate of , According to the Supreme Court 《 Copyright law 》“ The rational use of ” The four guiding factors set out in the article , Yes Google and Oracle The case was reviewed ：
• The purpose and nature of use ;
• The nature of the copyrighted work ;
• The whole involves the quantity and substance of copyright ;
• The impact of use on the potential market value of copyrighted works .
Final , The Supreme Court held that Google My behavior belongs to “ The rational use of ”. They think that , First Google Not all of them have been copied Java API; secondly ,Google The copied code just meets their requirements for mobile operating system , It also ensures that the existing Java Developers are familiar enough with their API, Know how to use these API（ It’s all about support Google“ The rational use of ” The key point of the argument ）.
As part of this case , Here’s how to get API The issue of copyright , Share our views .
API There should be no copyright
API Very abstract , It’s hard for even developers to understand , That’s why our industry often uses analogies to explain to others what API, What is not API. The restaurant menu is one of our favorite analogies , This analogy can help us understand API The relevance between , And why API Should not be protected by copyright .
API It’s like a restaurant menu , They provide… For the digital resources of hotels “ structure 、 Order and organization ”. Imagine , Even the same hamburger 、 Two restaurants with French fries and milkshakes A and B, You can’t use the same menu , Two menu names 、 The order and organization can’t be exactly the same .
Menus are not copyrighted ,API It’s the same thing , It’s possible that the dishes offered by a restaurant are very different from the cooking process . Hamburgers on the menu 、 The structure of chips and milkshakes 、 Order and organization don’t create new ideas , In the end, it depends on the food in the restaurant 、 Cooking process and service win . For two hamburger restaurants , The menu is the same concept , And consumers are interested in hamburgers 、 Chips and milkshakes are understood the same way . But in the end, the two restaurants offer completely different menus .
Again ,API It’s not intellectual property . They’re part of the operation , Very common 、 reusable 、 It can be recombined , And it can also be used by developers in various applications .
If API Copyright , Then all API Developers have to think about re implementing or reusing for every API Get permission . If the workflow designed by the developer needs 5～10 Different API, Then they may need to browse 5～10 Permission .
To explore the inconvenience of copyright , We take AWS S3 API Let’s give you an example . For each API call , Developers need to browse API And get the API Of “ structure 、 Order and organization ”, To make sure there is no infringement . That’s why , Now there is 40 Ten thousand domestic developers are using Eolinker , Because they can get through Eolinker towards API Request , And will （ Protected by copyright ）API Of “ structure 、 Order and organization ” Save to local . Eolinker Can help them easily simulate API, And design new API, And express your ideas through collaboration and iteration , Then make changes step by step as needed or expected .
remarks ：Eolinker It has the largest domestic market share API One of the life cycle management tools , Support free use and online use , Details available www.eolinker.com.
This is it. 2021 The way of business development in 2000 , And this way also meets the needs of sustained economic growth . On the desktop 、Web、 Licensing the interface between mobile and device applications was the business model of the last century . Now , Many industry leaders realize that , They have to reduce the resistance of the operational interface layer , So as to encourage consumers （ Even competitors ） In its API Build applications on top of . This is the trend of digital world business in the future .
There’s no copyright barrier API economic
Even though API Copyright protection has been in place for many years , but API Providers and service providers are not really for API to grant authorization . Take again AWS S3 API for instance , This time, let’s look at a real business case , Storage providers Min.io Reused S3 API, They are AWS S3 Storage API Add extensions based on 、 Redundancy and other functions .Min.io Their own API The use of “ structure 、 Order and organization ” And AWS S3 API Exactly the same . although Min.io It’s easy to be seen as AWS S3 competitors , But they also work for AWS S3 The added value of users , As well as AWS Created revenue .
This kind of pattern appears repeatedly in many different fields of economic development , People use 、 Reuse and recombine API To generate new types of applications 、 Integrate , Even brand new companies and products or services . These are publicly available API Resources and functions can promote economic development , And the speed of economic development is very fast , vary from minute to minute , And it’s built for machine use , So there’s no time to delegate . We work together , Through open and free API The value generated is far greater than that of authorizing interfaces through traditional methods .
stay Google And Oracle In the case of , The Supreme Court’s response to “ The rational use of ” The verdict of , A lot depends on Java API The separation between declaration code and implementation code , Because developers don’t see the implementation code , And designing according to declarative code belongs to API Of “ The rational use of ”.Java Programming languages like that API And Web API The difference is even greater , And with that API From deployment using language framework to commercialization API gateway （ Every cloud platform and the ubiquitous commonality in modern enterprises API gateway ）, The difference will intensify .
That’s why many developers are willing to accept the Supreme Court’s statement that “ The rational use of ” One of the reasons for this definition ：API Further separation from back-end code and system , as well as API Standard format （ Such as OpenAPI and AsyncAPI） Use , It provides us with a contract that both humans and machines can read , We need to quantify API Of “ The rational use of ” Range , This kind of quantification can help us judge the difference , Or specifically , It’s convenient for us to compare two API The scope of the 、 differences , And whether there is reuse . new “ The rational use of ” The definition will help the entire developer community actively explore our common design 、 operation 、 communication 、 iteration 、 Collaboration and reuse API The way , And provide impetus for current and future economic development .
API What’s the next step in copyright ？
Google And Oracle API The core of the case is the language library （Java API）, however , Corresponding API Copyright issues also arise in Web API, The desktop we rely on today 、Web, Mobile and device applications are inseparable from these API. We suggest that everyone’s API Use as broad a mandate as possible .
Even though API Protected by copyright , But most API Providers understand that reducing API The importance of using resistance , And saw the use of modern API management 、 Speed limit and service composition bring API Gateway layer business opportunities . The design of the next generation of digital products and services will not pass API To get the benefits of , contrary , They will compete for the latest digital resources and functions .
Even if some companies take more stringent measures API Copyright , But we believe , They will also learn from the final outcome of this copyright lawsuit . stay Google And Oracle API In this protracted struggle , The Supreme Court’s decision removed a lot of uncertainty in the industry . The decision is also in line with the increasingly mature API pattern 、 Machine readable API Increase of norms , And the renewal of venture capital . All of this is for API The bright future of the industry has laid the foundation , The technology 、 Commercial and political unity , This will help us maintain and iterate over our old technology infrastructure , At the same time, it can also ensure that we develop artificial intelligence rapidly 、 Other innovations in cybersecurity and Technology .
Link to the original text ：https://blog.postman.com/google-vs-oracle-supreme-court-api-copyright-decision/