Google Beats Oracle Corp In The Copyright Battle Over JAVA APIs In Android
Google succeeded in proving itself innocent in the court battle with Oracle over the use of Java APIs in its Android platform. In 2010, Oracle had filed a complaint against Google saying it has used its copyrighted Java programming code to incur huge profits without paying a dime to the company. But, the California court found out that Google made fair use of the programming language and it did not infringe any copyright laws.
Oracle owned the Java programming language by acquiring Sun Microsystems in 2010. As a matter of fact, it felt that Google needed to ask for permission before using its Java APIs to develop the Android platform. However, Google defended itself by saying that the Java it has used was open sourced and free.
In 2012, the court gave out its verdict which was in favor of Google by saying that the code it used to build the platform of Android cannot be copyrighted. But Oracle was in no mood to let go so it went to an appeals court which sent the case back to the district court for further reconsideration. In fact Oracle demanded a sum of $9 billion from Google for a settlement. However on May 26, 2016, the jury ruled out its verdict in favor of Google saying that its use of Java APIs did not infringe any copyright laws. In this post we are going to learn more about how Google managed to emerge victorious in the six-year long battle against Oracle over the copyright issues.
History of the battle between Google and Oracle
The legal battle between the two tech giants dates back to 2010 when Oracle first filed a complaint against Google stating that it used the Java codes to develop applications for Android OS without giving any credit to the company. Google said in defense that codes aren’t copyrightable and it used the structure of codes to make similar software to provide convenience to the developers who were well acquainted with the Java programming language. The battle continued for six long years moving to and fro from one courtroom to another and ultimately Google was declared innocent as programming codes are really not copyrightable.
What did the judges say?
According to US District Judge Willium Alsup, if Oracle’s claim has to be accepted than it would mean a big disaster to the software developers who use codes from a variety of sources to develop their own set of programs. But the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit invalidated Alsup’s verdict by saying that even the structure, sequence and arrangement of codes in Java APIs are entitled to copyright protection. This made Google turn to the highest court in the United States and the Federal Jury ultimately declared that it need not require permission to use programming tools belonging to another company.
What should you bother about the Clash of the Titans (Google and Oracle)?
If open source programs were copyrighted, it would mean a big blow to technological advancement. Many software companies use third party programs to develop their own set of codes. So if Oracle’s claim was accepted, it would mean an end to all that. So developers were quite anxious about the whole thing and the latest verdict made them heave a sigh of relief. The structure and arrangement of codes are not copyrightable and you can use Java APIs to make your own set of codes for your software company with no Oracle behind your back. Whew!
If the verdict had gone in favor of Oracle, it would have been such a disaster to all software development companies. Hence the verdict on Java APIs proved to be a boon not only for Google but also for every one of you, don’t you think? Be open and let us know what you think about the matter in the comments section provided below. Have a perfect day!