A Victory For Google
The Supreme Court Monday ruled 6-2 in favor of Google ending an 11-year-old legal battle with Oracle that centered on whether the search engine giant had stolen Java software code for its popular Android mobile phone operating system.
The decision overturned an earlier ruling in the case in which Oracle was seeking a $9 billion pay-day in a copyright case related to Java – widely used as a “write once-run anywhere” platform to get software to run on any hardware platform.
Oracle – which acquired the Java language and application programming interface (API) from Sun Microsystems in 2010 – had maintained that Google stole 11,500 lines of code from the Java SE program.
Justice Stephen Breyer, who wrote the majority opinion in the case, said that Google’s use of the Java code was protected under fair use.
“We reach the conclusion that in this case, where Google reimplemented a user interface, taking only what was needed to allow users to put their accrued talents to work in a new and transformative program, Google’s copying of the Sun Java API was a fair use of that material as a matter of law,” wrote Breyer. “The Federal Circuit’s contrary judgment is reversed.”
Bob Venero, CEO of Holbrook, N.Y.-based solution provider Future Tech, No. 96 on the CRN SP500, called the Supreme Court decision a great victory for both Google and the channel.
“This is a great victory for VARs- both big and small- because it sets a precedent that solution providers have some flexibility in terms of the software APIs they use to build solutions for customers,” said Venero. “You need to have an open ecosystem when you are trying to get products and solutions to work for the masses. You cannot be hamstrung by a restrictive use of every single line of code. This ruling is important for VARs and solution providers to be able to create their own APIs to get software code to work on different platforms.” 1 23… 7NextRELATED TOPICS: