[personal profile] tangaroa
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has granted copyright protection to APIs and the layout of files on a filesystem. This makes it legally impossible to write a homebrew replacement for a software library in the United States. The decision, by Kathleen O'Malley with S. Jay Plager and Richard Taranto concurring, gives the example of the name "java.lang.Math.max" being a copyrighted work on the grounds that someone trying to implement a replacement math library could have used the name "Math.maximum" or "Arith.larger". Until overturned by an en banc rehearing or the Supreme Court, this decision outlaws Wine, Samba, Mono, Blackdown, probably half of GNU, and certainly Linux and the BSDs, not to mention OSX.
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