Tag: copyright

07
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

What Is Fair Use? Google vs. Oracle Brings Decade-Long Copyright Battle To Supreme Court

KEY POINTS

  • Oral arguments were held before the Supreme Court over the copyright case between Oracle and Google
  • Google stands to pay Oracle nearly $9 billion for 11,000 lines of code in Android software if the court rules in Oracle’s favor
  • Big tech is throwing in behind Google while media and entertainment companies and the Trump administration is backing Oracle

The Supreme Court faces upending the tech industry by determining whether Google stole code from Oracle in building its Android operating system in a case that could redefine the meaning of the fair use doctrine. All eight justices on Wednesday grilled the tech giants’ legal teams as well the U.S. deputy solicitor general in a potentially far-reaching case.

Google said its incorporation of 11,500 lines of Oracle Java code constitutes fair use, while Oracle argued the action violated its ownership rights. The lawsuit has been working its way through the courts for a decade with Oracle claiming it is owed $9 billion for use of its code.

Google attorney Thomas Goldstein said Google used only the parts of the code that could not be changed but had originated the rest. Oracle attorney Joshua Rosenkranz said Google had other options, even if they were more expensive.

“The Copyright Act does not give Google a pass just because it would be expensive to recreate our expression,” Rosenkranz said.

Along with Microsoft, tech companies like Mozilla and IBM threw their support behind Google by arguing tech companies need the freedom to build new programming platforms without worrying about licenses and copyrights.

Several news outlets, entertainment companies and the Trump administration, however, put their weight behind Oracle, arguing these industries rely on the enforcement of strong copyright laws.

“We are told if we agree with Oracle we will ruin the tech industry in the

07
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Google nears copyright deal with French newspapers

Google said on Wednesday it was close to a digital copyright deal with French newspapers, which would be the first under EU rules aimed at ensuring news publishers are paid for content displayed in search results.

The main points of a deal have been hammered out, including Google’s agreement to share ad revenue generated from displaying news results, the firm said in a joint statement with an association representing French newspaper publishers.

The news comes on the eve of a court ruling sought by Google whether France’s competition authority overstepped its jurisdiction in ordering the tech firm to negotiate with French media groups.

The US internet giant is in a standoff with European media groups including Agence France-Presse over its refusal to comply with a new European Union “neighbouring rights” law.

The law seeks to give some copyright protection to media firms when their work features on websites, search engines and social media platforms.

France was the first European country to ratify the law in 2019 and in April this year the French competition authority ordered Google to open talks about compensating news publishers.

But Google, which dominates internet searches, had insisted that articles, pictures and videos would be shown in search results only if media groups consent to let the tech giant use them for free.

The firm says it should not have to pay to display items produced by news companies since they benefit from seeing hundreds of millions of visits to their websites.

“Google’s offer covers neighbouring rights as defined by the law,” said the statement.

The head of the Les Echos – Le Parisien newspaper group, Pierre Louette said the talks “have clarified numerous points and confirmed that Google accepts the principle of remuneration for newspapers”.

If a deal is finalised it will be the first

07
Oct
2020
Posted in computer

Copyright, computer code debated in Google-Oracle court clash

US Supreme Court justices peppered lawyers for Google and Oracle with questions on computer code and copyright Wednesday in a court clash which could have major ramifications for the technology sector and digital innovation.

Oral arguments were heard in a decade-old legal battle between the two Silicon Valley giants stemming from Oracle’s claim that Google illegally copied parts of the Java programming language to develop its Android mobile operating system.

The case revolves around whether copyright protection should be extended to application software interfaces (APIs), or bit of code that allow programs and apps to work together, and if so, whether Google’s implementation was a “fair use” of copyrighted material.

In the court session held remotely, Google attorney Thomas Goldstein argued that the practice of reusing software interfaces “is critical to modern interoperable computer software” and allows developers “to write millions of creative applications that are used by more than a billion people.”

Goldstein maintained that these APIs were simply a set of instructions for software and were “minimally creative,” thus not eligible for copyright.

He claimed that Oracle’s effort would “make computer programming incredibly inefficient,” resulting in “fewer creative computer programs.”

Joshua Rosenkranz, the attorney arguing for Oracle, said the cases was simply about the theft of 11,000 lines of computer code, which should be under copyright protection as a “creative” work.

Rosenkranz said Google could have paid Oracle a licensing fee or developed its own code as rivals did.

“Microsoft and Apple both spent billion of dollars creating their competing platforms, and that’s exactly what the Copyright Act requires,” he told the eight justices.

– Like restaurant menus? –

Chief Justice John Roberts questioned whether the APIs should be considered like restaurant menus which simply organize offerings based on categories.

“You’re going to have… appetizers first and entrees

07
Oct
2020
Posted in software

Google and Oracle clash in software copyright case before Supreme Court

google-hq-sede-mountain-view.jpg

The Supreme Court building in Washington, DC.


Getty Images

Google and Oracle faced off Wednesday before the US Supreme Court, in a multibillion dollar battle that could have a major effect on how companies develop software in the future. 

The two tech giants are clashing over the architecture of Google’s Android operating system, the most dominant mobile software on the planet. At the center of the fight is a question of copyright protections for application programming interfaces, or APIs, which govern how code communicates with other bits of code. 

Android was built in part by using APIs from Java, which was developed by Sun Microsystems. Oracle bought Sun in 2010 and later sued Google for allegedly illegal use of the software. The settlement could be worth almost $9 billion

For Google, the investment in Android paid off. The software powers almost nine out of every 10 smartphones shipped globally. Beyond phones, Android is run on more than 2.5 billion devices altogether, including TVs and car dashboards. 

The legal saga, a decade in the making, has taken twists and turns to reach the highest court in the land. Google won the first major battle in 2016, only for an appeals court to reverse the decision two years later. Google repeatedly petitioned the Supreme Court to take the case, and last year the court said it would hear it. Oral arguments were originally expected in March but were pushed back and conducted virtually amid the coronavirus pandemic

On Wednesday, Google attorney Thomas Goldstein argued that Google only used parts of code it couldn’t re-create when it was building Android. He said they work “like a key fits into a lock.” He likened

07
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Apple Targeted By Record Labels for Allowing Copyright Infringing Apps in Russian App Store

Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music, and a division of Warner have filed applications for a preliminary injunction against Apple for hosting three music apps in the Russian App Store that infringe copyright, reports TorrentFreak.

Roman Lukyanov, CEO of Semenov & Pevzner, a local law firm specializing in copyright protection and representing the labels, told Kommersant that the applications for interim measures against three apps were filed on October 1, 2020, listing Apple as the defendant.

The applications were filed at the Moscow City Court and request that local telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor takes action “to stop creating conditions” that allow for the illegal distribution of copyrighted works by a handful of local artists.

One of the apps in question, PewPee: Music Player, offers users a Spotify-like experience where they sign up for a free account to access a catalog of music, listen to playlists and download tracks for offline listening. It’s unclear where PewPee sources its music. According to TorrentFreak‘s source code checks, however, the app actually distributes MP3 files of the selected tracks.

The PewPee website offers the same free service using basic browser tools, but in a way that reveals the precise URLs of the songs, which can also be downloaded.

Another app mentioned in the complaints, iMus Music Player, lets users stream music tracks pulled from YouTube interspersed with ads. iMus is the 104th most popular app in Apple’s “Music” ‌App Store‌ category. The third app, called Music Downloader & Player, offers users a similar ads-based streaming service, with music videos pulled from YouTube, track downloads for offline listening, and an optional paid ad-free subscription.

The complaints follow a new law that came into force in Russia last week and which is designed to quickly remove piracy-enabling apps from mobile app stores. The legislation requires digital