The EFF's Corynne McSherry offers her first thoughts on the Federal Circuit's ruling that Oracle's Java APIs are subject to copyright and that Google violated this copyright. The implications of this ruling could threaten a core tenet of software development; that the reuse of extension of APIs is key to competition and innovation. The argument for innovation states that programmers have the ability to create compatible software that may not have occured to the original creator and that this is enabled when the reimplementation of an API doesn't put the programmer at risk of lawsuit.
The decision could give players such as Oracle the power to veto any developer wanting to make compatible programs. The true detriment may come if this decision opens a floodgate of legal action causing more resources to be invested in litigation and taken away from development.