I have completed the third volume of a history of the global legal debate concerning copyright and competition in the software industry. The debate has centered on two related issues. First, does copyright protect the elements of computer programs necessary to achieve interoperability? Second, to the extent that those elements are unprotectable, can copyright law nevertheless prevent the copying incidental to uncovering those unprotectable elements?
The first volume, written with Masanobu Katoh, was published by Westview Press in 1995. You can download a copy of Interfaces on Trial: Intellectual Property and Interoperability on the Global Software Industry for free here.
The second volume, also written with Masanobu Katoh, was published by MIT Press in 2011. It covers the developments in this field between 1995 and 2010. You can download a copy of Interfaces on Trial 2.0 for free from: http://mitpress.mit.edu/band.
The third volume, Interfaces on Trial 3.0: Oracle America v. Google and Beyond, picks off where the second volume left off, focusing in particular on the Oracle America v. Google litigation concerning Google’s copying of certain elements of the Java Application Program Interface (API). This litigation, initiated by Oracle in 2010, is still ongoing. However, there now is a break in the action as Oracle appeals the 2016 fair use jury verdict to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Because the CAFC may not issue a ruling until 2018, it made sense to me to release this volume now, and update it as the case progresses. You can download a copy here.
As developments occur in this ever-evolving field, I will revise Interfaces on Trial 3.0. Please let me know if you find errors or have comments.