Oracle v. Google case is about basic constitutional rights

The picture shows the Oracle headquarters building and company logo in California, USA.

Oracle v. Google case is about basic constitutional rights

In early October, the US Supreme Court held an oral debate on the intellectual property case involving two technology giants. The case involved copying software code and the resulting compensation of 9 billion US dollars. Few Americans currently know or care about this case, but it deserves special attention.(google)

The two technology companies in the case are Oracle and Google . Oracle sued Google for infringement. This case has gone through 10 years and is still ongoing.

First of all, I would like to say that intellectual products cover the protection of copyright. In this regard-the founding fathers of the United States specifically stated in Article 8 of Article 1 of the Constitution. “Authors and inventors have exclusive rights to their works and new inventions for a certain period of time. This is to promote science and practical skills. (Useful arts) progress.”

In recent years, large technology companies have complained that intellectual property laws inhibit innovation. They generously made speeches lobbying Congress hoping to weaken the legal protection of intellectual products. in order to “help small people (small companies).” It can be said that the founders of some large companies were once a dropout at Harvard, a graduate student at Stanford, a nerd or a technician in the workshop. In the early days of their business-they did not seem to feel any harm to them by the intellectual property law. When their sale exceeded 1 billion U.S. dollars, they discover that there was a problem with this law.

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At the beginning of the case Google state that all the content it copied from Oracle was 37 software source code elements called application programming interface or “APIs.” These element are computer instruction that allow one program to communicate with another program. The original program manufacturer has published specifications on how to use the API to allow other programs to talk to it. Except for APIs that must be public and programmer are allow to use them, the original program developers keep other software codes secret.

Oracle v. Google case is about basic constitutional rights

Therefore, copyright is the only protection for these software codes and developers. Just as a mystery novel will not sell any copies, a novel work is also protect by copyright; it can be distribute and protect at the same time-it cannot be copie at will.

The email records of Google executives showed that they had tried to obtain the right to use Oracle software (license) but failed to reach an agreement on the price. Google still decided to copy the software and asked whether doing so would violate the software licensing law? The other party said that it might be, but Google did it anyway.

Initially, Google claim that these 37 APIs were not copyright. Indeed, the number of 37 does not seem to be a big one, but the legal provisions are very clear-stealing TV and stealing diamond necklaces are both stealing, although fines may be different. These 37 APIs actually contain about 11,500 lines of computer code.

Why does Google copy these APIs? Because the Sun system (later acquired by Oracle) created the world’s most popular computer programming language Java. Google intends to build an Android operating system for its mobile phone products to compete with Apple phones . In order to accelerate the development of Android phones, Google needs programmers to directly apply their known APIs to the development of Java applications and Android products. Doing so also allows Google to immediately collect running applications. This process is equivalent to Google saying: “I didn’t steal your stuff, I just copied your key and gave it to all my friends. If they stole your stuff, it’s not my fault.”

The jury initially ruled that Google violate the law, but was later overturn by Judge William Alsup. So Oracle filed an appeal, and the Court of Appeal upheld the original verdict of the jury.

Then, Google admit that they copie the code, but claim that it was a “fair use” clause-this legal term mean that in some case without permission, copying copyright content is exempt. The Court of Appeal then ordered a new judgment on whether “fair use” is applicable to this case.

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