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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.

Filed Under: adversarial interoperability, apis, competition, copyright, interoperability
Companies: google, oracle


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  1. icon
    ECA (profile), 7 Oct 2019 @ 1:46pm

    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)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Coward Anonymous (profile), 7 Oct 2019 @ 3:30pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    A Guy, 7 Oct 2019 @ 3:32pm

    I think you made the assumption that Oracle wants to bring down google rather than get a giant piece of android profit pie too early.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Zof (profile), 7 Oct 2019 @ 3:58pm

    They'll be broken up

    The writing is on the wall. So supporting their ideas seems kinda pointless until the inevitable antitrust action.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2019 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Why you still here liar?

    Cool story bro.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2019 @ 5:19pm

    "If you want Google to become less dominant, you should give Google everything they want"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 7 Oct 2019 @ 5:36pm

    Re:

    Not what I said, but I can always count on you to misrepresent me. Must be tiring having to twist everything so far from reality.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2019 @ 5:42pm

    Re:

    How's that Paul Hansmeier defense fund coming along bro?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2019 @ 7:10pm

    Re: womp womp

    That's sad, even for you bro.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2019 @ 11:15pm

    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...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2019 @ 11:35pm

    Re: Re:

    You'd think that if Google was that big of a threat, the opposition wouldn't spend so much time and money on the same plans that have already been proven to do sweet fuck all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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