On May 26, 2016, a jury returned a verdict in favor of Google in its battle against Oracle. Oracle brought suit claiming that Google infringed by using Java application programming interface (API) in Android’s mobile operating system. Google argued that its use of the code in the Android system, which relies partly on Java (an open source code that was acquired by Oracle in 2010), was fair use.
After three days of deliberation, the ten jurors unanimously returned a verdict in favor of Google, answering “yes” to the question of whether the use of Java API’s was fair use.
The jury’s decision is a welcome one and another win for fair use, particularly as developers continue to rely on open source languages to build new technologies. This case demonstrates yet again why fair use has been called the “safety valve” of copyright, supporting the evolution and development of new technology.
For further reading:
DisCo Project: Sanity Wins Again: The Jury Verdict on Oracle v. Google