A federal judge ruled that API packages are like bookshelves in a library. Will that view hold? Nett E / flickr The most dramatic outcome of the Oracle v. Google trial in spring 2012 wasn’t anything the jury said; it was US District Judge William Alsup’s finding that programming APIs can’t be copyrighted. That sweeping ruling made the trial a total win for Google, and Alsup’s opinion (PDF) is strongly supported by app developers who don’t want to face legal threats for using simple “declaring code.” Not everyone sees it that way, however. Today it appears that Google’s victory may be in danger. Oracle has appealed the case, and initial reports from both Bloomberg and Reuters on the oral arguments held this morning suggest the three-judge panel may be leaning against Google’s position. Oracle: Google took key parts of Java to “leverage fan base” By grabbing parts of APIs, Google took “the most important, the most appealing” parts of Java, Oracle’s lawyer told a three-judge panel. 2     

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