Google Wins Oracle Copyright Fight as Top Court Overturns Ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Alphabet’s Google didn’t commit copyright infringement when it used Oracle’s programming code in the Android operating system, sparing Google from what could have been a multibillion-dollar award. From a report: The 6-2 ruling, which overturns a victory for Oracle, marks a climax to a decade-old case that divided Silicon Valley and promised to reshape the rules for the software industry. Oracle was seeking as much as $9 billion. The court said Google engaged in legitimate “fair use” when it put key aspects of Oracle’s Java programming language in the Android operating system. Writing for the court, Justice Stephen Breyer said Google used “only what was needed to allow users to put their accrued talents to work in a new and transformative program.” Each side contended the other’s position would undercut innovation. Oracle said that without strong copyright protection, companies would have less incentive to invest the large sums needed to create groundbreaking products. Google said Oracle’s approach would discourage the development of new software that builds on legacy products.

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