On Monday, the Supreme Court supported Google (GOOG, GOOGL) and Oracle (ORCL) in a US$9 billion copyright battle for software in billions of Android phones. In this judgment, the Electronic Frontier Foundation was praised as an attempt. Try the “A Wonderful Victory” innovation of a small company.
In the 6-2 opinion of Justice Stephen Breyer, the court found that Google did not violate copyright law when using part of Oracle’s Oracle Java application program interface to build the Android operating system. Accompanied by Google, the opinion believes that the copy constitutes “fair use”
Corynne McSherry, the legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, presented a briefing to Yahoo on behalf of Jacobs. He said: “Fair use analysis will indeed set a precedent that will shape severe challenges for many years to come. Case law.” Finance.
“This is indeed a great victory,” said McSherrie. The ruling means “other small companies trying to figure out’Can I do this creative and innovative work while relying on someone else’s work?” Eventually they will find that what they have done is legal, which will bring more comfort. “
This case focuses on application programming interfaces (APIs) and lines of computer code, as explained by Google, these lines of code allow software applications, platforms, and devices to communicate with each other.
‘The far-reaching impact of innovation’
In a ten-year lawsuit, Oracle claimed that Google’s use of Java language APIs to build Android (the world’s most popular mobile phone operating system) violated copyright laws. Google countered that the copying was fair use, and demanded that the court overturn the appeals court in favor of Oracle, and Oracle demanded $9 billion in damages.
The case attracted dozens of abstracts from court books that supported both parties, including an abstract from technology giant Microsoft (MSFT), which was presented with the support of Google, and pointed out that the issues raised in the case were “right to Innovation in today’s computer industry has had a profound impact.”
Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president of global affairs, said in a statement that the court’s ruling was a victory for consumers, interoperability and computer science.
The decision provides legal certainty for the next generation of developers, whose new products and services will benefit consumers. We are very grateful for the support from the National Consumers League, the American Library Association, well-known companies, start-ups, and leading software engineers and copyright scholars in the United States. “
However, Oracle’s executive vice president and general counsel Dorian Daley (Dorian Daley) said that the court’s decision only made Google’s platform larger and more powerful.
Daley said in a statement: “They stole Java, and it took ten years for a monopolist to file a lawsuit.” “This is why global and US regulators are reviewing Google’s business practices.”
According to the judge, Google’s use of the Java API constitutes a reasonable use because “the copied line of code is part of the’user interface’, which provides programmers with a way to access pre-written computer code using simple commands. the way.”
The court’s decision received Breyer, Chief Justice John Roberts (John Roberts) and Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan (Elena Kagan), Brett Kavanaugh and With the support of Judge Neil Gorsuch, the court found that Java API is different from other types of computer code.
They pointed out that “the line of copying is inherently tied to non-copyable ideas (the overall organization of the API) and the creation of new creative expressions (code independently written by Google).”
According to Professor Tyler Ochoa of the School of High-Tech Law of Santa Clara University School of Law, the court’s decision does not mean that software programs can be copied in batches, but that applications can be used with fair use. Program software interface.
“They emphasize the difference between declarative code and implementation code, and suggest that declarative code should be at least less protected than implementation code,” Ochoa explained.
He said: “Computer programs still have copyright, and computer program code still has copyright.” “The court ruled that the structure of a certain user interface may be copied by someone who reimplements the interface in a different way.
The High Court’s ruling only ended a legal battle against Google, and Google faces pending antitrust lawsuits, including one lawsuit by the Department of Justice and two other lawsuits by dozens of state attorneys.
-Other reports by Erin Fuchs
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