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Google Wins Multibillion Dollar Copyright Fight With Oracle in Supreme Court


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A view of Googles Mountain View, CA, campus.

Googles copying of some Java API code for its Android operating system was fair use, the Supreme Court has ruled.

Credit: Cayce Clifford/The Wall Street Journal

The Supreme Court ruled for Alphabet Inc.'s Google in a multibillion-dollar battle with Oracle Corp. over elements of Google's Android smartphone operating system, a decision that could weaken software copyright protections but allow developers more room to build on each other's products.

The court, in a 6-2 opinion Monday by Justice Stephen Breyer, threw out a lower-court ruling for Oracle that said Android infringed its copyrights on the Java software platform. The high court said Google's copying of some Java API code was fair use. APIs, or application programming interfaces, are prewritten packages of computer code that allow programs, websites or apps to talk to one another.

"Google's copying did not violate the copyright law," Justice Breyer wrote.

From The Wall Street Journal
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