u can’t use our apis

google doesn’t owe (have to pay) oracle anything for using their apis (application program interface) to build the android platform.  this recent legal victory will probably not bring an end to the litigation (legal action) between the two silicon valley companies. oracle is expected to appeal (ask for a different decision from a higher court), which would extend a legal process that started in 2010.

google vs oracle

timothy b. lee of vox.com notes that the general public is not particularly interested in this legal battle.

the immediate stakes in the case are not that interesting for anyone but the companies involved — either google will have to write oracle a big check or it won’t.

stakes are consequences of the case or what is being disputed. either and or are presenting two alternatives.

high stakes poker poster
one of the many tv poker shows that were popular during the 2000s. the stakes were high because players played for real money.

public disinterest notwithstanding (in spite of it), lee elaborates these details about the lawsuit…

google wanted people who wrote programs in the popular programming language java to be able to reuse their code in android apps. to do that, google had to ensure that java code written for other purposes ran exactly the same on android. but negotiations with the company behind java, sun microsystems (which was later acquired by oracle), broke down, so google decided to create its own version of java from scratch. google’s version of java didn’t reuse any code from oracle’s version. but to ensure compatibility, google’s version used functions with the same names and functionality.

ensure means guarantee or be sure.

ensure fibre
a product that ensures u will poop regularly.

break down means google’s talks with sun microsystems ended without finding a good agreement.  its own means google built a version of java themselves. from scratch is starting from zero, from the beginning, with nothing.

baking from scratch
do u know how to make bread from scratch?

klint finley at wired.com explains

programmers routinely borrow apis from existing products either to ensure compatibility between products or simply to make it easier to learn a new product. an oracle victory could have seriously curtailed that practice, hindering the creation of new software.

curtail (cut back) and hinder (create problems for) are related ideas and synonyms in some instances. could have curtailed is a hypothetical situation (3rd conditional) because oracle didn’t win.

fun english practice :) richyrocks english on youtube

nevertheless,(but, anyway) lee points out that because of the ruling earlier in this conflict that apis can be copyrighted,

many companies and individual programmers may shy away from entirely reasonable projects because of the risk of litigation.

shy away from means avoid, not do it.

a girl shying away from a boy who appears to like her
he likes her, but she’s shying away.

sam varghese of it wire also recognized the importance of the legal decision to copyright apis

prior to the google-oracle case, apis were not covered by copyright….[and it has]queered the pitch for all developers.

prior to means before. queer the pitch is a very british sounding phrase that means the decision ruined developers opportunities. varghese describes the issue, as it applies to developers, like this

google won the recent case against oracle because it has deep pockets and is able to hire highly-paid lawyers to defend its use of others’ code. not all developers can afford lawyers who can represent them were they to be sued for copying apis in the course of developing software.

deep pockets means they have a lot of money.  afford refers to having enough money.  it is often used with can/can’t.  were they to be sued is a hypothetical situation (second conditional–were IS NOT past tense here). sue is legally demanding money to pay for damages.

deep pockets
these pockets are deep, but google’s are deeper. (joe-hamilton.blogspot.mx)

do u care about google’s win in the latest round of this litigation? are u a software developer?  how do u feel about apis being copyrighted?  share your opinion under leave a reply


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