I’m expecting you already know about the important Oracle v. Google court case over Android’s use of Java APIs, including both copyright and patent claims. But it would be hard to find a more detailed and direct account than Groklaw’s series of notes from the courtroom like this one from the copyright phase, ultimately subtitled Partial Verdict; Oracle Wins Nothing That Matters. For the entire ongoing catalog, try this rabbit hole.
Having read direct courtroom reporting and the Court’s own documents, the headlines in some mainstream news outlets declaring Oracle the “winner” and Google “guilty” will start to look awfully remote and more than a little bizarre. Google has moved for a new case since this jury was unable to determine whether their code constitutes a “fair use” of the Java API, so we might get to see the whole thing play out again.
More likely, the Court itself could deliver definitive resolution to the question whether APIs are copyrightable, particularly if the Court’s opinion converges its EU counterpart in a very recent case (Ars Technica via Google Cache, since the original is 404-ing for some reason). One can hope. The EU ruling was particularly bold because it protects reimplementation to the extent of voiding any agreements (read: EULAs) inhibiting that right. That is a smart extra step in order to make the rights not immediately click-through disposable.
For more, follow along during the trial’s current patent phase at Groklaw.