If You Think Google Is Too Dominant And Needs More Competition… You Should Actually Support Its Petition Concerning API Copyrights

from the interoperability-depends-on-it dept

Last week, we wrote about the confusion of both the US’s Solicitor General and Oracle’s lead litigator, Annette Hurst, in insisting that APIs are no different than software (and even that they’re executable, which they are not). But, what’s kind of incredible in this case is that, even as Oracle is so obsessively focused on bringing down Google, if it actually wanted to help bring it down, it should want to lose this case.

That may sound backwards, but let me explain. I’ve been talking a lot lately about the concept of protocols over platforms as a way to limit the dominance of giant platforms — indeed, it’s the only reasonable way I can see of leading to real competition in a world of network effects. Any traditional “break up” plan doesn’t work, because you can’t “break up” a global network in the same way you could break up many historical companies. But, what you can do is get them to open up their APIs or to make it easier to get data out of their systems in a way that is interoperable with other platforms.

But that’s much, much harder if APIs are locked down with copyright, as Oracle is pushing for. To be fair, Google itself has always been much more open than lots of other companies in similar situations, but if we want true adversarial interoperability, as Cory Doctorow has highlighted, one way to help that along is to make sure that APIs can’t be locked down, and that reverse engineering compatibility is free for anyone. That’s how you build true competition — and Oracle’s case might shut down that important avenue.

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Companies: google, oracle

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Comments on “If You Think Google Is Too Dominant And Needs More Competition… You Should Actually Support Its Petition Concerning API Copyrights”

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12 Comments
ECA (profile) says:

If you make...

Everything OPEN…
Then everyone gets to jump on the ship…
Home based servers here we come…YEAAA!

Privatize and lock it up… Only 1-3 Corps in the world can make any servers?? think about that. Another monopoly. and the First Corp to OPEN it up and release the info, will get ALL the business.

This is like programming on Many different systems….MOST people can do 1 type and some can do the 2-3 types of programming… more then that and its complicated all to hell.
Like UNIX/LINUX/MS SERVER(and there are a few others) one of the best is abit harder to setup, but Solid as hell. 1 of these is Switching to use Linux based design..( I wonder why)

Coward Anonymous (profile) says:

Protocols and APIs

"I’ve been talking a lot lately about the concept of protocols over platforms as a way to limit the dominance of giant platforms"

Never thought about similarities/differences between protocols and APIs. Until now, when both are mentioned as means for competition.

Of course they can’t be exclusive as their purpose is to be used as methods to communicate. How would our society be like if how to read peoples’ behavior or how to be polite or how to be understood could be protocols own by therapists and coaches?

I believe Annette Hurst is simply an actress playing a role. What bothers me is that she is acting outside the stage, stubbornly proposing her fiction is the reality.

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Because your plan worked out so well? Removing snippets from Google News – really helped Spain and Germany with those clickthroughs didn’t it?

What’s that you say? It didn’t because your plan was a poorly thought mess of hot garbage? Let me play you a sad song on the world’s smallest violin…

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