TECHNOLOGY

High Court Sides With Google In Copyright Fight With Oracle

Apr 5, 2021, 11:12 AM
FILE: The Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)...
FILE: The Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
(Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court sided Monday with Google in an $8 billion copyright dispute with Oracle over the internet company’s creation of the Android operating system used on most smartphones worldwide.

To create Android, which was released in 2007, Google wrote millions of lines of new computer code. But it also used 11,330 lines of code and an organization that’s part of Oracle’s Java platform.

Google had argued that what it did is long-settled, common practice in the industry, a practice that has been good for technical progress. And it said there is no copyright protection for the purely functional, noncreative computer code it used, something that couldn’t be written another way. But Austin, Texas-based Oracle said Google “committed an egregious act of plagiarism,” and it sued.

The justices ruled 6-2 for Google Inc., based in Mountain View, California. Two conservative justices dissented.

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote that in reviewing a lower court’s decision, the justices assumed “for argument’s sake, that the material was copyrightable.”

“But we hold that the copying here at issue nonetheless constituted a fair use. Hence, Google’s copying did not violate the copyright law,” he wrote.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a dissent joined by Justice Samuel Alito that he believed “Oracle’s code at issue here is copyrightable, and Google’s use of that copyrighted code was anything but fair.”

Only eight justices heard the case because it was argued in October, after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg but before Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined the court.

In a statement, Google’s chief legal officer, Kent Walker, called the ruling a “victory for consumers, interoperability, and computer science.” “The decision gives legal certainty to the next generation of developers whose new products and services will benefit consumers,” Walker wrote.

Oracle’s chief legal officer, Dorian Daley, condemned the outcome. “The Google platform just got bigger and market power greater. The barriers to entry higher and the ability to compete lower. They stole Java and spent a decade litigating as only a monopolist can,” she wrote in a statement.

Microsoft, IBM and major internet and tech industry lobbying groups had weighed in on the case in favor of Google. The Motion Picture Association and the Recording Industry Association of America were among those supporting Oracle.

The case is Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc., 18-956.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Technology

FILE: Elon Musk (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Musk says Twitter deal could move ahead with ‘bot’ info

Elon Musk said his planned $44 billion takeover of Twitter could move forward if the company can confirm details on which accounts are ‘spam bots’ or real people.
1 day ago
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 14:  In this photo illustration, the icon for the dating app Tinder is seen on t...
Sara Ashley O'Brien, CNN Business

Tinder’s first female CEO out after less than a year

Tinder's newest CEO is out after less than a year on the job, marking the second high-profile female executive to depart its parent company.
4 days ago
President Joe Biden listens as Communications Workers of America President Christopher Shelton spea...
KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press

Congress OKs bill to aid computer chip firms, counter China

The House has passed a $280 billion package to boost the semiconductor industry and scientific research in a bid to create more high-tech jobs in the United States and help it better compete with international rivals, namely China.
10 days ago
A shopper looks over a display of iPhones at a T-Mobile store in Chicago, Illinois, in October 2016...
Brian Fung, CNN

T-Mobile agrees to pay customers $350 million in settlement over massive data breach

T-Mobile has agreed to pay $350 million to settle multiple class-action suits stemming from a data breach disclosed last year affecting tens of millions of people.
13 days ago
LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 12: The YouTube logo appears on screen before a keynote address by Vice Pre...
Associated Press

YouTube to remove videos spreading abortion falsehoods

YouTube will begin removing misleading videos about abortion in response to spreading falsehoods.
17 days ago
CAPE CANAVERAL, FL - APRIL 8: The Artemis 1 Moon rocket with the Orion capsule sits on Launch Pad 3...
Associated Press

NASA plans for late August test flight of giant moon rocket

On the 53rd anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, NASA announced Wednesday it’s shooting for a late August launch of its giant, new moon rocket.
18 days ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
High Court Sides With Google In Copyright Fight With Oracle