In its recent verdict, the US SC affirmed copying of code by Google from Oracle’s JAVA platform to develop Android OS, which is incorporated in most smartphones.

Overview:

  • Google used approximately 11,500 lines of copyrighted codes from Oracle’s Java platform, for android development.
  • Later, the android OS was launched in the year 2007, which is now part of most smartphones.
  • For the same reason, Oracle sued Google seeking significant monetary compensation (in billions).

In a fair trial, the jury sided 6-2 with Google, categorizing the copying of code as fair use. Even the tech companies, both big and small, were rooting for the fair application of the code- regardless of the method of procuring it. Google gained support from IBM and Microsoft as well, where the industry giants filed briefs in support of Google.

On the other hand, Oracle received massive support from publishers, authors, and the entertainment industry altogether. These industries incorporate copyright to safeguard profit generated from their art-work in the form of articles, books, movies, music, and TV shows.

Moreover, the Trump administration also backed Oracle.

After multiple trials for a decade, Justice Stephen Breyer announced the verdict in the favor of Google.

While Texas-based Oracle quoted the copying act by Google as an “egregious act of plagiarism”, Justice Breyer termed the action as “transformative” to describe the copying use that contributes to something new and important; it did not violate any copyright law.

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