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Copyright case for decade-long Oracle-Google goes to the highest US court


In a dispute with huge consequences for copyright in the modern world, a decade-old legal dispute between Silicon Valley giants Oracle-Google regarding software rights is heading to the Supreme Court Wednesday.

In the case that dates back to a complaint brought by Oracle in 2010, the top court set oral arguments demanding billions from Google for the use of the Java programming language in its Android smartphone operating system.

Two independent jury trials concluded with a determination that the “business views” of Google did not use Java code arbitrarily, protecting the internet giant from a potential verdict of multibillion dollars.

But in 2018, an appeals court disagreed, saying that the user interface is entitled to protection under copyright, leading Google to take the case to the highest US court.

In its initial lawsuit, Oracle, which purchased the rights to Java in 2010 when it purchased Sun Microsystems, who sponsored Google’s use of Java for Android, demanded $9 billion in damages.

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In the fast-evolving modern world, Google and its Silicon Valley partners have claimed that expanding copyright rights to pieces of code, or application programming interfaces, or APIs, would endanger creativity.

A victory for Oracle, according to Google, will “upgrade software developers’ long-standing belief that they are able to use current computer software interfaces to create new programs.”

A non-profit organization that includes application producers and other tech corporations, the Developers Coalition, filed a supportive brief with a similar claim, claiming that “any computer and program is an island without common APIs, and modern software creation will simply not happen.”

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Issue on monopoly

An amicus brief from the American Antitrust Institute argued that Oracle allows for the defense of copyright rights “will delay progress and competition in software-dependent markets” and “cement software-based monopolies.”

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Hearing takes place The riches and supremacy of major technology corporations and Google have been rising in the online world. Hearing takes place.

In the light of Oracle founder Larry Ellison’s strong relations to American President Donald Trump and facing Google Antitrust check, political overtones are also visible.

Although endorsing Oracle briefly, the US government stated that copyright should not be stripped from authors merely because it resides in digital media.

“Google imitated (Oracle ‘s proprietary 11,500 lines of code”) as well as the complicated design of 37 products, a brief from the Department of Justice reported.

A motion brought by a conservative think tank in court by the Hudson Institute said that allowing Google to stay away from “intellectual property abuse” would make it impossible to defend any digital property from Chinese misuse.

American Publishers Association Siding with Oracle Argued that it would be more difficult to “create and distribute the original works of the artist” to diminish copyright rights.

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The issue of “fair use” of copyrighted content for “transformational” uses will be discussed by the two firms. This norm does not require permission or license from the original author to allow anyone to produce a completely new work.

Google argued that its acts that constitute equal use had already been decided by a jury and that the court should respect that verdict without lengthening the proceedings.

In its new briefing, Oracle argued that fair use “relies on legal decisions that reflect the parties ‘ interests.”

Ayeni Sylvester
the authorAyeni Sylvester

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