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Archives for : November2012

The Sound of Plaid Friday

CocoaConf Plaid logoOh, this is nice. In the spirit of all these aggressive Black Friday offers, CocoaConf has announced a substantial deal for what they’re calling Plaid Friday. On November 23 only, you can score a registration to next week’s CocoaConf Raleigh for $50 off and get free admission to my Thursday All-Day Core Audio Tutorial (or the introductory iOS Tutorial taught by Walter Tyree).

In another fit of geeky Black Friday goodness, Telestream is offering 30% off all their products, including the screencast recorder ScreenFlow (which I use), and the livestream production suite Wirecast, which I’ll be getting for $!50 off, thankyouverymuch.

And that takes us back to CocoaConf, actually, because I’m going to be livestreaming my two Saturday morning talks from there on UStream. The events are now scheduled on the invalidstream: Core Audio in iOS 6 at 9:00AM EST (14:00 UTC), and Mobile Movies with HTTP Live Streaming at 10:45 (15:45 UTC). Apparently, I can’t deep link into the scheduled events on Ustream, so please visit the invalidstream channel and sign up for a reminder if you like. And yes, the live streaming talk will itself be streamed, and that stream will discuss how the stream is created and played (on OS X and iOS devices). So that’s ridiculously meta, at a minimum. Also, I’m bringing a camcorder, tripod, and 15′ FireWire cable, so I should be able to get a halfway decent longshot for the talks that can capture both me and the screen (and the audio we’ll create in the Core Audio talk).

Thing Is, APIs *Should* Be Copyrightable

A bunch of my friends, particularly on the F/OSS and Android side, are issuing a new call to the barricades to make the case that APIs should not be copyrightable. In particular, the EFF wants developers to send in stories of how they’ve reimplemented APIs for reasons of competition, interoperability, innovation, etc. The issue is heating up again because a three-judge Federal Circuit panel is going to revisit Judge Aslip’s ruling in Oracle v. Google, where the jury found that Google willfully infringed Oracle’s copyright on the Java APIs, but the Judge found that APIs aren’t copyrightable in the first place, rendering the jury decision moot.

This isn’t the slam dunk some people think it is. During the trial, Florian Mueller pulled up relevant case law to show that copyright has traditionally considered the design of computer code (and, implicitly, its public interfaces) to be protected.

Furthermore, the case against copyrightability of APIs strikes me as quite weak. If software deserves copyright at all — and there are good arguments against it, but that’s not what we’re talking about here — then drawing the line at published interfaces doesn’t hold up.

There are basically two arguments I’ve heard against API copyrightability. Here’s why I think they’re bunk:

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