Last Tuesday, Google lost a significant copyright case that could cost it big. This lawsuit could change how companies create software development.
Appeals in court dictated that Google violated copyright laws as it used Oracle’s open-source Java software in the making of Android’s platform back in 2009. The battle has been going on for eight years between the two companies.
Back in 2010, Oracle brought its case against Google, saying that two of their patents on their Java software was infringed on by Android. Java is a far-reaching programming language that powers anything from phones to websites.
During a trial in 2012, the jury decided that there was no need for protection of Java under copyright law. Then, in 2014, an appeals court overturned the ruling. They raised a question about whether or not Google’s use of the API by Oracle violated copyright law.
Yet another jury in 2016 concluded that Google’s use of Oracle’s APIs was legal under copyright law’s fair use doctrine. This doctrine allows the unrestrained use of copyrighted materials for certain circumstances. However, on March 27, when Oracle appealed the decision, a judge took their side.
Oracle could ask for more money from Google thanks to this week’s court ruling for this lawsuit
During a statement on Tuesday, Oracle stated that the recent decision would protect both creators and consumers. Google commented that they are weighing their options. They expressed their disappointment on the court decision, stating that the ruling will make apps and other digital services more expensive for users.
Soon, another court is to decide the amount that Google owes in damages to Oracle.
Back in 2016, Oracle was looking to get around $9 billion from this lawsuit. However, because APIs are now much more widespread, Google could have to pay more. Christopher Carani, a law professor, and partner with McAndrews, Held and Malloy, stated that the numbers could be staggering for this case.
Google won’t be the only company to suffer from this decision. There are many others that rely on open-source software for the development of their own platforms. The ruling on Tuesday means that companies will now have to pay for the licensing of specific software or develop their own.
Carani was also quoted saying how much this is going to change how software is developed on a global scale.