When Lawyers Send Letters
Now that it’s a media company, Twitter is steadily tightening control over its most valuable asset: That all-powerful interest graph, social media’s very own ultimate weapon. The company broke off its longtime partnership with LinkedIn last month, yanking tweets from the professional social network. Instagram also got the ax–new users can no longer automatically find their Twitter buddies. And developers are still clucking with outrage over the API tightening that’ll make it tougher than ever to build on top of the service.
The latest to come under the sword: Tumblr. BuzzFeed reports that, as of last night, no more will new Tumblr users be given the option of finding their friends on Twitter; now they’ll be stuck with just Facebook and Gmail. Oh, the humanity.
Earlier this month, Judge William Alsup issued a demand for both parties in the Google v. Oracle patent dispute: Provide a list of any bloggers, journalists, or other commentators on the payroll. Paid Content reports that the two companies have now filed their responses. Google insists it has not paid anyone for positive coverage, while Oracle admitted to hiring patents blogger Florian Mueller as a “consultant on competition-related matters.”
The case itself is mostly done, with Google emerging largely victorious. At this point, the two parties are arguing over whether Oracle has to pay Google’s court costs.
Google issued this double-pinky swear:
After a partial ruling on the question of copyright infringement, the Oracle v. Google saga continues. But as of yet, there’s no answer to the question everyone’s asking: Are APIs copyrightable? And if they are, what does that mean for the tech industry?
Background: Oracle claims that, when Google built the Android platform, the company infringed on Java-related copyrights and patents (acquired by Oracle when it bought Sun). This first phase of the case deals specifically with the copyright allegations and, as Wired points out, Judge William Alsup has instructed the jury to assume for the purposes of the trial that APIs can be copyrighted. Mr. Alsup will ultimately have to make that call himself.
Hey Developers: Here’s some encouragement from those whose products you work extraordinarily hard to build out and bring into the modern era. Just some fun, words of encouragement to start your week off. Or as GroupMe worker bee Matt Langer noted: “Seriously? Fuck you, ESPN.”
Yes, here is how ESPN plans on attracting the best developing talent in the world to their company and their API:
Well, that may be a bit of a stretch. But when local developer John Britton posted this request on the LinkedIn developer forums to centralize the developer demand for a company search API, the thread got 50 comments and more than 10,000 views. And although it wasn’t the first time someone had complained about the lack of a company search function, this time LinkedIn added the feature less than two months after Mr. Britton’s request on April 17: