I think this is right. What Google was arguing was a maximalist position that the API was fundamentally uncopyrightable. I don't think that's right. A work is copyrighted upon creation. On the question of fair use however, they're exactly right. If Oracle persists in its path, it WILL destroy Java. Developers will simply leave it because they could without realizing it be guilty of copyright infringement ofr any of the code they write. Consider graphics APIs or graphing APIs . Of necessity, inorder to be faithful to the underlying mathematical, logical and structural realities these APIs are created to contorl, the names of classes methods and members virtually write themselves.
doLayout(Graphics graphics) doOrthoginalLayout(Vertices, Edges)
isConnected (Vertext, Vertex) .
Etc etc etc onto a million and more narrow verticals whose entities and relationships are shared cultural knowledge.
There's a reason Gosling left Oracle after just a few weeks. Oracles DNA is opportunistic, exploitative and indifferent to the common good. It's been this way for decades and decades and that means something. It means that everyone who has come up through the Oracle culture, who has withstood the test of time and "succeeded" all come to share the same world view. That's what a corporate culture is- the ongoing systematic elimination of people who don't fit the dominant corporate culture. Alowed to run over decades, it becomes a self-perpetuating machine with no need for any specific enforcer or even consciousness of what it is.. Nothing is going to change it, nothing is going to make Oracle see the light" They're Oracle.