Developers could be finding it a bit more difficult to develop new software as Google will be forced to convince a lower court that they made fair use of Oracle’s API’s since the Supreme Court has declined to hear the case.
The Supreme Court will not be ruling over the case that involves Oracle’s complaint that their API’s were copyrighted and were unlawfully used by Google in the development of Android.
“This has been a closely watched case, as the final decision could have a major impact on software development; a ruling in favor of Oracle, the Electronic Frontier Foundation says, could give certain tech firms ‘unprecedented and dangerous power’ over developers by making it substantially more difficult for upstarts to create new software,” reported Dante D’Orazio of The Verge.
“That’ll be the case unless fair use laws turn out to protect the use of APIs.”
According to the report, Google built their Android technology using a modified version of Java. Java was developed by Oracle owned, Sun Microsystems. The program communication software was reported to be more comfortable for programmers who were working on Android which explains why they choose to use it.
“Oracle sued Google in 2010,” said D’Orazio.
“The software giant argued that Google had infringed on its copyrights by using Java’s APIs without permission. In defense, Google said that APIs can’t be copyrighted. The principle, says Google, its that ‘open and interoperable computer languages form an essential basis for software development” and are key to “collaboration and innovation.'”
While Google won an earlier ruling in 2012, a federal appeals court overturned the ruling according to the report. The conditions that were associated with the appeal stated that the Java API was in fact copyrightable.
“However, the court said that Google could still have lawfully used the APIs under fair use, sending the case back to a lower court to argue the issue,” said D’Orazio.
Developers could now depend on the ruling in order for them to have freedom over developing new software.
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