Oracle Wins Appeal Against Google in Its Copyright Case


We all thought that the Google Vs. Oracle story was over after a long time. But there still seems to be more to it.

A recent move by the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Google has actually violated the copyright law when it used Java API’s by Oracle to create a new operating system for Android mobiles. The new ruling kind of breathed new life into the case which was long thought to be over.

The point whether a programming language like Java can be covered by the laws of copyright protection still remains a question. However, the new ruling surely demonstrates that the debate on copyright issues is not yet over.

A jury earlier agreed in 2016 with Google’s argument that their use of the API falls well under their fair use policy. When Oracle first sued the company in 2010 and demanded $9 billion for the damages incurred through the use of their API, Google actually won the first round of the case. Oracle claimed that the use of its API by Google damaged the former’s financial stakes and also limited its role in the world of software development.

Oracle’s Java software code is freely available and it was thought initially that Oracle will have a tough time wringing billions from Google and the earlier verdict in 2016 also reflected the same. However, Oracle sent the case back to the original judge and wants to know how much Google actually owes in the form of business done through its API.

The appellate court now disagreed with the jury’s decision made earlier and said that the use of Oracle’s Java API by Google is in fact a violation of the copyright law and that the former’s API is rightly entitled to the copyright protection.

Google argues that extension of copyright protection to application programming interfaces will limit the possibilities of innovation and said that these bits of codes shouldn’t be included under the protection act as it will make apps and other online services more expensive for the end users.