This WEEK in LAW 164

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This WEEK in LAW
Episode 164

Contents

This Week In Law 164: The Right to Bear Fast-Forwarding

Panel

Topics

Tip of the Week

Beware Employers Bearing Mansions

Resource of the Week

Notable Quotes

Viewer question from Abhi Beckert

  • "I'm a programmer who's been working in the industry my whole life (did my first paid programming work at 14 years old) and am following google/oracle's case closely. I have a question, if API's aren't copyrightable, then what is? As a programmer I feel this is the only piece of my craft that has any value whatsoever. 99% of programming is API design, the rest is mostly boring drivel that any highschool kid can do. Walk into our office for a day, and you'll see us debate and argue, sometimes for days, about the name of a single function. But the code inside it never gets any discussion - someone slaps it together in 45 seconds. Maybe 3 weeks later a colleague will delete the whole thing and create it again (in another 45 seconds) without even bothering to mention it to then original author, even if they're sitting next to me. But rename a function? You better get three or four people to weigh in on it first or there will be arguments. So my question is, why do so many people think the only valuable part of a programmer's work (the API) cannot be copyrighted? It took decades to design Java's API and it's undergoing constant improvement. Google probably had a few interns re-implement it with only minimal advice from the rest of the android team, who were busy with real work - designing android's API and the user interface. I don't like Oracle, and I'm a Pirate Party supporter who thinks most of IP law should be thrown out... but if anything in java deserves protection it is the API."

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