Google prevails in Java API lawsuit

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The US Supreme Court has finally ruled in favor of Google in a decade-long series of lawsuits against Oracle. The court’s decision was 6 vs 2 votes. Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was not yet confirmed by the Senate when the case was argued in October, did not participate in the ruling.

The case involved around 12,000 lines of code from the Java API that Google used in the Android OS that also makes use and offers Java APIs. The court said Google's use of the Java API "included only those lines of code that were needed to allow programmers to put their accrued talents to work in a new and transformative program." The court emphasized the public benefits that the copying produced and therefore ruled the use of the code as "fair": “We assume, for argument’s sake, that the material was copyrightable,” the decision said. “But we hold that the copying here at issue nonetheless constituted a fair use."

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