Today, April 5, the US Supreme Court ruled that Google did not violate the copyright of another American company — Oracle. This decision ends a long-standing legal battle between Google and Oracle over this issue.
Recall that Oracle filed a lawsuit in 2010: the company accused Google of violating its copyright by using the Java programming language in the Android operating system. The lawsuit was filed shortly after Oracle bought Java developer Sun Microsystems. In the lawsuit, Oracle claimed that the free distribution of the Android OS infringed Oracle’s copyright on a portion of the Java software, which reduced its revenue. According to Oracle, Google copied more than 11 thousand lines of Java API code (application programming interfaces) to Android. Oracle demanded compensation from Google in the amount of $9 billion.
Over the nearly 11 years that the lawsuit lasted, several court decisions were made on it, either in favor of Google or in favor of Oracle. Now, the Supreme Court has overturned a lower court’s ruling in favor of Oracle, saying Google’s copying of some Java API code was fair use. Oracle said after the ruling that, in their opinion, “Google stole Java and for a decade conducted legal proceedings in a way that only a monopolist can do.”