FCW: Google wins decade-old software case against Oracle

“The Supreme Court ruled April 5 that Google was within its rights to copy and repurpose 11,500 lines of Java software code in the Android mobile operating system.

The ruling settles a long-running lawsuit about whether the ‘fair use’ doctrine in copyright law has application to the world of software and programming. In the implementation under dispute, Google copied a Java application programing interface to support application development in Android.

According to the 6-2 ruling of the Supreme Court written by Justice Steven Breyer, the type of code used in the API fits the definition of the fair use exception because it was used in the creation of ‘transformative’ software…”

“Oracle, which brought the lawsuit in 2010 not long after acquiring the Java platform, blasted the ruling.

‘The Google platform just got bigger and market power greater — the barriers to entry higher and the ability to compete lower,’ Dorian Daley, Oracle’s executive vice president and general counsel, said in a statement. ‘They stole Java and spent a decade litigating as only a monopolist can. This behavior is exactly why regulatory authorities around the world and in the United States are examining Google’s business practices.’…”

“Matt Schruers, president of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, called the ruling a “win for interoperability, copyright principles and the future of innovation.” He added: ‘The high court’s decision that fair use extends to the functional principles of computer code means companies can offer competing, interoperable products.’…” Read the full article here.

Source: Google wins decade-old software case against Oracle – By Adam Mazmanian, April 5, 2021. FCW.

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