Google beats Oracle in biggest programming copyright Supreme Court case ever

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At long last, programming code’s application programming interfaces are protected from Oracle’s over-reaching claims. Ten years ago, Oracle argued that Google had infringed Oracle’s copyright, by copying the “structure, sequence, and organization” of 37 Java application programming interfaces (APIs) into Android. By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols.

They’re the fundamental elements used to create programs. Now, at long last, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has concluded what programmers had known all along: APIs can’t be strictly copyrighted. Fair use must play its part.

Ironically, in the 90s, both Oracle and Sun, Java’s original owner, argued that software APIs shouldn’t be covered by copyright. That was then. This is now. For the last decade Oracle has been desperately trying to monetize its failed Sun purchase by attempting to squeeze $9-billion dollars out of Google’s use of Java APIs in Android.

Specifically, Oracle had claimed that Google had illegally copied about 11,500 lines of Java code, which set out 37 separate APIs. According to Oracle, Google’s APIs had violated Oracle Java copyright because they had duplicated Java APIs’ “structure, sequence, and organization.”

Now, Google is free to use these Java APIs in Android. Interesting news!

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Tags java miscellaneous cio apis