Tag: Oracle

07
Oct
2020
Posted in software

Today’s Supreme Court Hearing On A $9 Billion Case Involving Oracle And Google Could Reshape The Software Industry

In a landmark moment in the history of the U.S. software industry, the Supreme Court held a hearing today on a long-running legal dispute that pits tech giants Oracle and Google against one another.

The case centers around whether or not a key foundation of today’s increasingly software-driven economy—blocks of code known as “application programming interfaces”, or APIs—is subject to copyright protection. Oracle claims Google infringed copyright when it used elements of the Oracle-owned Java programming language to build its Android operating system, which now powers billions of smartphones and other devices. Google denies the claim, which involves about 11,500 lines of code out of millions of new lines that it wrote to create Android. The two companies have been battling one another in the courts for over a decade, with Oracle demanding $9 billion in compensation.

The outcome of this epic legal fight matters because APIs, which enable different software applications to talk to one another and swap information, are essential for building larger systems. Developers at startups and large companies have been copying them for free for years and using them to knit together complex tapestries of applications that power online commerce platforms, advanced manufacturing facilities and other elements of modern digital economies.

If the Supreme Court ultimately rules Google did infringe Oracle’s copyright when it copied the Java APIs in question, it could trigger a tsunami of litigation as other companies seek payments for their APIs too. Google’s supporters, which include Microsoft and IBM, argue this will prove a costly headache for many companies. Some fear it will also have a chilling effect on startups and further boost the immense power of cash-rich tech platforms—including, ironically, Google itself—that are already under intense political and regulatory scrutiny.

“Huge corporations like

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 software

Supreme Court takes on Google vs. Oracle: The biggest software development case ever

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and other issues, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will finally hold oral arguments in Google v. Oracle on Oct. 7, 2020. This case will decide, without exaggeration, the future of software development and billions of dollars.

Seriously. 

As the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) states, “allowing copyright on APIs is a terrible idea for computer science.” That’s because almost all modern software depends on open APIs. When your web browser works with Amazon, Apple, Microsoft — any complex site really — it communicates through APIs. When your smartphone shows you the weather, directions to your doctor’s office, or a video, it uses APIs to bridge the gap between services and servers and your devices. 

That’s the theory. Developers see the reality of the threat. Hannu Valtonen, chief product officer at Aiven said: 

It’s clear that an Oracle win would not be in the best interest for the software community as a whole. For startups like ours, an Oracle win would change the ability to be compatible with third-party applications and partners, as companies would have to create entirely new, but similar, APIs rather than use what already exists in the market. It would also make the current competition between tech giants much more cutthroat, as companies could potentially block the use of an API without payment and become “gatekeepers,” therefore fracturing the software environment. From an end-user standpoint, many organizations investing in software understand the need for neutral platform partners that promote successful and open innovation. An Oracle win could change this significantly, setting the software industry back a decade.”

And, it goes on and on. 

Oracle argued Google had infringed Oracle’s copyright, by copying the “structure, sequence, and organization” of 37 Java APIs into Android. Google replied that an API is like

07
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Google Gets Mixed Reception in High Court Clash With Oracle

(Bloomberg) — Alphabet Inc.’s Google got a mixed reception at the U.S. Supreme Court as it sought to overturn a ruling that could force the company to pay billions of dollars for improperly using Oracle Corp.’s copyrighted code in the Android operating system.



a sign hanging from a wire fence: The Google Inc. logo hangs illuminated over the company's exhibition stand at the Dmexco digital marketing conference in Cologne, Germany, on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. Dmexco is a two-day global business and digital economy innovation platform, attracting the industry's most important personalities and corporate decision-makers.


© Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg
The Google Inc. logo hangs illuminated over the company’s exhibition stand at the Dmexco digital marketing conference in Cologne, Germany, on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. Dmexco is a two-day global business and digital economy innovation platform, attracting the industry’s most important personalities and corporate decision-makers.

Holding a low-tech telephone session in one of the biggest software fights in American history, the justices on Wednesday questioned Google’s contention that it had no way to replicate the code without forcing millions of software developers to learn a new programming language.

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Justice Neil Gorsuch told Google’s lawyer that Apple Inc. and other companies have “come up with phones that work just fine without engaging in this kind of copying.”

But Gorsuch also raised the possibility of returning the case to a federal appeals court for another look at Google’s contention that it engaged in legitimate “fair use” of Oracle’s Java programming language.

Oracle says it’s entitled to at least $8.8 billion in damages. A jury found that Google’s code copying was a legitimate fair use, but a federal appeals court reversed that finding.

The court’s ruling, due by July, promises to reshape the legal protections for software, particularly the interfaces that let programs and devices communicate with one another. The case could change how programmers develop new applications and operating systems for devices critical to everyday living, including mobile phones and computers.



a close up of a screen


© Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg


Safe-Cracking

The argument was scheduled for an hour but went on more than 90 minutes as the justices peppered

07
Oct
2020
Posted in software

Google and Oracle clash in software copyright case before Supreme Court

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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