A federal court ruled that Google doesn’t owe Oracle $9 billion for unfairly using parts of its Java code when it built the Android mobile operating system.
The announcement was well-received by tech media outlets, which believe that the victory marks an important era for Silicon Valley. But Oracle pledged to appeal as it firmly believes that Google needs to pay for stealing its work and making billions of dollars from it.
But the jury, which needed three days to deliberate, eventually sided with Google and decided that the web search giant doesn’t need to be punished for using copyrighted material without permission.
In its defense, Google argued that the company who created Java had nothing against Google using the product. Java’s creator, Sun Microsystems, was purchased by Oracle after the company had developed the famous code.
A representative for Oracle said that the company was not ready to give up the 6-year-long fight. Oracle claims that its rival fraudulently used Java technology to create Android quickly and gain a head start on the mobile phone market.
The tech company added that there were “numerous grounds for appeal.”
Google’s attorneys were grateful for the ruling. The company stated that the lawsuit marks a “win for the Android ecosystem,” for Silicon Valley developers, and open-source programming.
The lawsuit’s first round ended with a 2012 ruling stating that Java couldn’t be subject to copyright. A federal appeals court later decided that Oracle had every right on its software. As the Supreme Court declined it, the case returned to the first court where a jury needed to decide whether Google used the bits of code under the fair use concept.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which advocates for digital rights, said that the win will benefit developers worldwide. But the group noted that the latest ruling does not mean that Java APIs cannot be copyrighted. Otherwise, the case would open the doors wide to fraud.
Some law experts believe that if Oracle had won, it would have had a huge impact on how Silicon Valley develops new technologies. The lawsuit would have also been used by tech companies to stifle competition and prevent rivals from innovating.
Google’s another major argument was that it has created from scratch a product that is entirely new, not a copy of Oracle’s code. So, its operating system should be protected under fair use.
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