The Supreme Court heard a case over a multibillion-dollar copyright battle between Oracle and Google yesterday that could have serious consequences across the tech industry. Oracle alleged that Google’s Android smartphones infringed on copyrights from the Java platform, which Oracle acquired in 2010. The case, which is a decade old, accuses Google of stealing more than 11,000 lines of Java API code.
What is an API? An application program interface is prewritten code that allows apps, programs and websites to communicate with each other. The issue of how APIs are used was the central question for the judges hearing this case.
This case is a big deal because it could significantly change innovation in Silicon Valley. The judges seemed to resist Google’s argument that copyright protections aren’t supposed to apply to basic code relating to how software functions, but justices are nervous about the precedent a ruling in Oracle’s favor could set. Many tech companies including Microsoft are backing Google in the case, saying some fair use must be allowed for programs from different companies to interact and for follow-up innovation to occur.
The consequences of this decision will be large, but a ruling will not be made until next June. Mark your calendars folks.
I am not a financial advisor and my comments should never be taken as financial advice. Investments come with risk, so always do your research and analysis beforehand.
Originally published at https://invstr.com on October 8, 2020.