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Computer experts push Supreme Court to hear Google’s appeal in API copyright case


A group of 77 prominent computer scientists filed a petition with the Supreme Court on Friday, urging it to review a controversial ruling that allowed Oracle to claim copyright on APIs, which are an essential building block for many everyday software operations.

The so-called “friend of the court” brief, filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, comes in support of [company]Google[/company], which made its own appeal to the Supreme Court after losing a decision to [company]Oracle[/company] in May that shocked many in the tech community.

That decision, issued by the Federal Circuit appeals court, reversed a California judge’s conclusion that APIs (application programming interfaces) are not subject to copyright because they are simply a process or a method of instructing one computer program to communicate with another — as opposed to source code or literary works, which are considered original works protected by copyright.

In Google’s case, the company used APIs known as “Java method headers” for its Android operating…

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