Google’s win over Oracle: All you need to know
Earlier today, a federal jury ruled in favor of Google in a long-running copyright faceoff lawsuit between Mountain View technology giant and Oracle. A 10-member jury unanimously ruled that reinstatement of Google’s 37 Java APIs, or application programming interfaces, would not be considered an Oracle-owned copyright infringement. Subsequent use of the API on the Android operating system is protected by “fair use” of technology.
The trial, which began in early May, answered only one question in a special judgment form, whether the use of Google’s Java API would be considered “fair use.” All 10 members of the jury unanimously agreed. In a statement reflecting the ruling, Google said, “Today’s judgment represents a victory for the Android ecosystem, the Java programming community and software developers who rely on open and free programming languages.” “
“The amount of this trial over five years could be 9 billion“
Oracle’s statement, however, remains a firm belief that Google has illegally applied the original Java technology. Oracle General Counsel Dorian Daly said in a statement to Ars Technica, “We strongly believe that Google has illegally created Android by copying the original Java technology to enter the mobile device market. Oracle has brought this case to stop the illegal behavior of Google. We believe there are many grounds for appeal and we plan to return the case to the Federal Circuit on appeal. “
According to Oracle’s preliminary report, the amount of this trial over five years could be $ 9 billion. The company sued Google in 2010 for copyright infringement, months after the company bought Sun Microsystems. A preliminary ruling by a U.S. district judge in 2012 stated that APIs could not be held under copyright, but this was later overturned on appeal. In today’s judgment, Google asserted that the APIs in question constituted “fair use.”
Oracle’s counter-argument stated before the jury that Google had copied parts of the Java API, taking “shortcuts at Oracle’s expense”. Google’s response is that Java has always been an open-use platform, and even Sun Microsystems has recognized Android as a legitimate competitor, although it has significantly undermined Java’s richness. With the advent and rise of smartphones, Android has gained widespread global acceptance, while the number of feature phones around Oracle-owned Java and its licensing revenue has dwindled.
“It can, in short, change the way developers work“
All of this is of great significance to the two giants of the software industry and to the individual developers who code for their livelihood. The verdict given by the federal jury before today will not be final and Oracle will take it to the federal circuit for appeal. Once the final verdict is reached, it is possible to set priorities in this case on how APIs will be used in the future. It can, in short, change how developers work, the level of their independence in creating an app, and the impact that big companies will have. The ruling will be especially important for developers working with open source software and can make a huge difference in setting up industry practices. The broader consensus is that if Oracle wins the lawsuit, it will fundamentally disrupt the freedom of software development and change easily, interfering with the financial transactions involved.
Either way, Oracle has already spent considerable time and revenue pursuing the alleged “illegal” use of Google’s Java API. In its next case, Oracle will seek to uphold the reported copyrights that it contains in the 37 APIs in question, and the federal circuit is known to rule on behalf of patent holders and copyright owners.
Many reasons to worry? Not yet, but …