From the post:
The administration of President Barack Obama sided with Oracle in a dispute with Google on whether APIs, the specifications that let programs communicate with each other, are copyrightable.
Nothing about the API (application programming interface) code at issue in the case materially distinguishes it from other computer code, which is copyrightable, wrote Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli in a filing in the U.S. Supreme Court.
The court had earlier asked for the government’s views in this controversial case, which has drawn the attention of scientists, digital rights group and the tech industry for its implications on current practices in developing software.
Although Google has raised important concerns about the effects that enforcing Oracle’s copyright could have on software development, those concerns are better addressed through a defense on grounds of fair use of copyrighted material, Verrilli wrote.
I hesitate to comment on the Solicitor General’s brief sight unseen, as media reports on legal issues are always vague and frequently wrong.
Whatever Solicitor General Verrilli may or may not have said to one side, software interoperability should be the default, not something established by affirmative defenses. Public policy should encourage interoperability of software.
Consumers, large and small, should be aware that reduction of interoperability between software means higher costs for consumers. Something to keep in mind when you are looking for a vendor.