copyright

Oracle’s Android patent and copyright claims dismissed

The saga of Oracle vs Google appears to be over. The judge in the long-running trial to determine the validity of Oracle's copyright and patent claims on the Android platform has declared that APIs cannot be copyrighted, effectively clearing Google of all wrongdoing. The honorable Judge William Alsup declared that anyone can write code to carry out functions identical to APIs. The story isn't quite over (Oracle could appeal the decision), but it might as well be.

N64 emulator ripped off, then kicked out of the Play Store by copycat

The great thing about open source software is that anybody can use it. The not-so-great thing about open source software... is that anybody can use it. Such was the case with two N64 emulators battling it out on the Google Play Store. According to a massive Reddit thread, the original game emulator was called "Mupen64Plus Android Edition", developed by Paul Lamb and based off of the open-source emulator Mupen64Plus. Under the General Public License, anyone can use the Mupen code for any project they like (including charging for it) as long as proper attribution is given. Paul put up his app on the Google Play Store, and for a while, all was right with the world.

Rooting exemption to the DMCA set to expire, EFF fights for permanent solution

Did you know that your right to root your Android phone is actually protected by U.S. copyright law? It's true. In a 2010 revision to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the US Copyright Office granted an exemption that made modifying copyrighted software legal for the purposes of unlocking phones. This was mostly aimed at the iPhone (as Apple was trying to establish a legal precedent for suing its own customers at the time) but the exemption applies to any cell phone, including all Android phones sold in the United States. There's just one problem: the exemption wasn't permanent, and it's set to expire later this year.