Oracle v. Google: Are APIs Copyrightable?

Author(s): Pamela Samuelson
Year: 2012

Abstract: Are application program interfaces (APIs) of computer programs protectable by copyrights in software that embodies them? Oracle v. Google is the most definitive ruling yet that addresses this question. The judge rejected Oracle's claim of copyright and his ruling suggests that APIs are uncopyrightable more generally. Oracle will appeal, but Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court of Northern California did a very careful job in analyzing the issues. I predict affirmance.

Keywords: Oracle, Google, API, Copyright