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For Android code, the Supreme Court favors Google over Oracle




The use of Java code by Android constitutes fair use, and the Supreme Court ruled.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

The US Supreme Court has ruled Google in a battle between search giants and Oracle over Google’s Android operating system architecture. In a 6-2 decision, published Monday and written by Judge Stephen Breyer, the court said, “A new and innovative program of programmer-accumulated talents will use its material fairly as a matter of law. did.”

The problem was Oracle’s claim that Google copied about 11,500 lines of Java code from Sun Microsystems when creating the popular Android OS. Oracle acquired Sun in 2010, which later sued Google for damages of approximately $ 9 billion due to illegal use of the software.

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Google claimed that the use of the software was permitted as “fair use” and won the first major court battle in the proceedings in 2016, but two years later the Court of Appeals overturned the ruling. After Google’s repeated petitions, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case last year.

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling on Google vs. Oracle is a big win for innovation, interoperability and computing,” Kent Walker, senior vice president of global affairs at Google, told Twitter in response to the news. It was. “Thanks to the support of the country’s leading innovators, software engineers and copyright scholars.”

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Oracle’s executive vice president and general counsel Dorian Daley said Google’s victory is just the latest example of the power of search giants.

“Google’s platform has grown, its market power has grown, its barriers to entry have risen, its competitiveness has fallen. They have stolen Java and spent 10 years in proceedings that only monopolies can do.” Daily wrote in a statement posted on the Oracle website. “That’s why regulators around the world and in the United States are considering Google’s business practices.”

Participants in the majority opinion were Judge John Roberts, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, Judge Elena Kagan, Judge Neil Gorsuch, and Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Judges Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito objected. Judge Amy Coney Barrett did not attend because it was not confirmed by the Senate in time for the October hearing last year.

Developers support Supreme Court decision

Many developers and others in the tech industry welcomed the court’s decision.

Tim Bray, who worked for Sun Microsystems, Google, and more recently Amazon Web Services, provided a smiley face emoji when he tweeted that the decision was “a high and humiliating loss for Oracle.” did. A wrong decision here could radically destroy the technology, “tweet Navneet Joneja, vice president of software maker VMware, who previously worked for Microsoft and Google. Alex Stamos, a security researcher at the Stanford Internet Observatory and a former security leader at Facebook, said, “I’m very happy they made the right decision!” “Saving all the latest computing from piracy onslaught.” Thank you to the Supreme Court for helping me. ” David Heinemeier Hansson, Chief Technology Officer at .Basecamp, supported the decision, but wasn’t happy that it took so long. “What a disaster for the US legal system, which took more than a decade to resolve,” he tweeted. “The original proceeding filed in August 2010!” “The opposition decision would have questioned all the reverse engineering that made the Web what it was,” said the technical standard: Ian “Hixie” Hickson, a Google engineer who has worked hard to set up the game, tweeted. HTML copyright warning that makes the web work

However, the Supreme Court’s decision requires caution. Google claims that the API is not copyrighted, a stance that many developers have praised. However, the Supreme Court did not rule on that point, but only dealt with Google’s fair use debate, “we did not decide more than necessary to resolve this case.”

However, the decision comforts those who are worried about whether the API is copyrighted, tweeted Gordon Haff, a technology evangelist at IBM’s Red Hat software division.

“On the other hand, it would have been nice to see SCOTUS say that the API isn’t copyrighted,” Huff tweeted. “On the other hand, it’s probably very close to legislation from the bench, and this ruling probably has almost the same practical effect.”

Richard Nieva of CNET contributed to this report.

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