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Comment: Re:system or method of operation (Score 4, Interesting) 260

by OrangeTide (#48342381) Attached to: Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

You're confusing interfaces of physical devices that isn't copied by copyright (but perhaps patents) with an expressible form of information that is copyright protected. (like a written work, computer software, song, and others)

If any API can be placed under copyright, it's not because it's an interface, it's because it's software. You can already copyright software, not a big deal there.

That said, I am strongly opposed to expanding the scope of copyright on computer software because I believe protecting APIs would be harmful to the industry that I work in. Potentially costing silicon valley billions in litigation, lost revenue and possibly having a chilling effect on software start-ups in the US. Effectively hobbling American technology industry to the point that innovation must occur outside of the US and be imported. An trade imbalance of innovations and IP could be very harmful to the long term growth of the US, not unlike the current imbalance in manufacturing.

Comment: Re:Camera bayonets (Score 1) 260

by OrangeTide (#48342151) Attached to: Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

To address your somewhat inaccurate analogy first.
A bayonet mount can by patented, which has a limited duration (a couple of decades). After that expires then anyone can make the same mount.

Copyrights are not patents. Copyrights have a duration that no reasonable person could consider to be limited. Anything longer than the life span of an average person is not short. Effectively indefinite as copyrights can exist through multiple ages.

I suppose you could patent an API. I don't know of anyone who has, but if there is something novel about your API then perhaps.

I don't think an API can be applied to existing copyright law, the courts haven't sent a clear message on this either. If API really is structure, sequence and organization then perhaps copyright is appropriate. But the way APIs are used in the language I'm familiar with, they have no sequence. Or rather sequence does not mean anything beyond what is required by the language to parse properly. The structure and organization are properties of an API that easier to concede that exist. But I've always read the requirements as requiring all of the properties to fit into copyright law, not just some properties.

And this ignores some specific exceptions to copyright about procedure, process, system and method of operations. All of which seem very suitably applied to APIs.

Comment: system or method of operation (Score 4, Informative) 260

by OrangeTide (#48342113) Attached to: Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

"in no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work." -- 17 U.S. Code 102

Baker v. Selden was one of the big rulings on this clause. But it was not consistently applied to newer technology like APIs.

It helps when a judge knows what an API is, the purpose of an API is clear to engineers. To provide an interface for operation of software components. But the courts haven't fulled grasped if that is a method of operation, as above, or is an API a "structure, sequence and organization" which would fall under copyright?

As a software engineer, I've always considered APIs to be a system to allow interoperability of software components. Given the same requirements and same software language and industry practice it's not hard to end up with very similar APIs between independent software teams. It's not an invention, even though there is work involved in designing and writing and testing it. And in cases where software compatibility is the requirement, there is no choice but to use the same interface (computer science might generically call it a contract). If a procedure requires three integers and a returns a float, that's not an invention that's an agreement between software components to permit inter operation.

Comment: Re:We can be certain of one thing (Score 1) 152

by OrangeTide (#48264743) Attached to: Stan Lee Media and Disney Battle For Ownership of Marvel Characters

If you build your employer a piece of software that ends up making hundreds of millions of dollars wouldn't you feel entitled to some of that wealth?

That will teach you for not negotiating up front. That's the problem with feeling entitled, nobody else really gives a shit.

Comment: The creation of AI (Score 3, Funny) 583

by OrangeTide (#48240759) Attached to: Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

Once we create an AI beyond the level of human intelligence, we will hook it into all of the information of the world. This AI will process our history, our culture and monitor current events. Eventually the AI will come to the conclusion that we are awful people, build a space ship and leave Earth.
Elon Musk's real fear is competing with AIs for space ship parts.

Comment: Why not give some options for sentencing? (Score 1) 165

by OrangeTide (#48214517) Attached to: Proposed Penalty For UK Hackers Who "Damage National Security": Life

Why only life in prison?

Maybe first time offenders could have their eyes gouged out? Or finger nails pulled out with pliers.
Maybe electroshock treatment if they are under age, because sending a 13 year old for life in prison is quite a bit different than sending a 33 year old for life in prison.

If they deface the website of a prominent person, then tar and feathers or ride them out on a rail. Both of those persisted into the modern era in the US, I don't see why the UK can't reuse old practices.

I'm not sure any of this is an effective deterrent, because most people don't plan on getting caught. But at least politicians, judges and prosecutors(or whatever the British equivalent is) can pat themselves on the back for a job well done. Protecting everyone from everything from big bad evil hackers to whistle-blowers who rock the boat.

Comment: Re:Missing option (Score 1) 219

by OrangeTide (#48138041) Attached to: When will the first successful manned Mars mission happen?

never is a long time. perhaps Mars will be explored by a more evolved species that descend from us or possibly one of our cousins like the lowly amoeba.
But then I guess "manned" is not the right word, but that is more of a limitation of the English language than the spirit of the original question.

ps - you failed to explore half a page of text:
* Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.

Nothing happens.