Google and Oracle confront in oral argument of Supreme Court over 'API copyright', Google sees disadvantage
Google won the case in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, but in 2018, Oracle won the case in reverse . At last , the hearing in the Supreme Court has started , and in the oral argument held on October 7, 2020, the view that 'Google is disadvantageous' is predominant, reports Ars Technica of overseas media.
In 2010, Oracle sued Google for 'Google infringing the copyright of the Java API' and is fighting for $ 8.8 billion in damages. In 2016,
Google's Supreme Court faceoff with Oracle was a disaster for Google | Ars Technica
'In the decades before Oracle filed a proceeding, most people in the software industry thought the API wasn't copyrighted,' Ars Technica said of the API's copyright. Based on this idea, many software companies have reimplemented competitors' APIs in their products in order to make them compatible with competitors' products.
In the mid-2000s, Google realized that it would take a lot of developers to create apps for the Android platform. Ars Technica pointed out that Google decided to reimplement Java instead of developing a new programming language from scratch to speed up the app development process. At this time, I used the API of Sun Microsystems , the developer of Java. In response, Oracle filed a proceeding against Google after acquiring Sun Microsystems.
If Oracle's claim is granted by the Supreme Court, Ars Technica argues that the premise that 'APIs are not copyrighted' will be questioned and software compatibility issues will become more commonplace. I will. In addition, Oracle, which is suing Google for copyright infringement, is also suspected of using the code of Amazon's online storage service Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) without permission.
It is pointed out that Oracle, which is suing Google for copyright infringement, is also slamming Amazon's code --GIGAZINE
by Eddie Awad
Ars Technica said an oral argument on October 7 showed that Supreme Court judges were skeptical of Google's claim that 'APIs are not subject to copyright protection.' I will. Also, Google's lawyer, Thomas Goldstein, couldn't explain it to the judges.
Judge Samuel Alito, for example, asked Goldstein to elaborate on Google's claim that 'protecting the copyright of APIs puts the entire programming code at risk.' 'Perhaps Goldstein's most important task throughout this question and Wednesday's discussion was to judge that there are significant differences between the API and other code, and that these differences have legal implications. It was to convince the government, 'says Ars Technica.
Programmers who work with APIs on a daily basis can intuitively understand the difference between common code and APIs, but for judges over the age of 50, this difference is confusing. Goldstein was expected to explain that point in an easy-to-understand manner, but he said that he just repeated abstract legal discussions without using parables that clearly show things in the software industry. 'He did a terrible job,' said James Grimmelmann, a law scholar at Cornell University, who criticized Goldstein's argument.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who asked after Goldstein gave an explanation, said, 'Just because it's the only way to copy a song, you're not allowed to copy it. Why doesn't that principle work here? 'Is it?' And showed an unconvinced attitude about the API-specific properties. Judges Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch also said they were skeptical of Google's allegations.
On the other hand, some judges acknowledged Google's claim, and Judge Stephen Breyer pointed out that 'API is like a QWERTY keyboard.' When the typewriter was first developed, the QWERTY layout was not essential, but now that many people have become accustomed to the QWERTY layout, keyboards with other layouts will not sell. If you give someone the copyright to the QWERTY layout in this state, that person will have the power to dominate the keyboard market.
Just as the copyright of the QWERTY array binds many people to the keyboards of specific companies, the copyright of the Java API will bind many programmers who have learned Java only to the Java implementation of the Oracle license, Judge Breyer. Claims. Ars Technica describes Judge Breyer's parable as 'a better job of expressing Google's position more clearly than Google's attorneys.'
In addition, Judge Sonia Sotomayor said, 'Although general implementation code is subject to copyright protection, the API declaration part is not subject to protection, so the software industry has been developing by copying only the API that is really necessary. I understood Google's claim that it was. Judge Elena Kagan also sympathized with Google's position, but Ars Technica pointed out that whether Google can beat Oracle is a delicate matter.
by Ryan Quick
In addition, Google's claim that 'API is not subject to copyright protection' has already been abandoned in the 2014 trial disputed in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. In the 2016 trial, the assumption that the copyright of the Java API is recognized, 'Using the Java API that due to Google's' fair use ', and the does not infringe the right to receive a copyright restrictions,' Google is that claimed that Winning case. However, in the 2018 federal appeals decision, 'Google's use of Java API in this case is not fair use', and Google again asserted that 'API is subject to copyright protection' and the Supreme Court I appealed to him and was involved in this oral argument.
A court ruling, which focuses not only on the parties Google and Oracle, but also on multiple for-profit companies such as Microsoft and Mozilla, as well as the public knowledge and electronic frontier foundations of nonprofits, will be issued in the coming months. ..