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Google v. Oracle, a decade-long war over the future of software, neared its end in the Supreme Court this week as a battle of metaphors. Over the course of two hours, justices and attorneys compared Java — the coding language that Oracle acquired in 2010 — to a restaurant menu, a hit song, a football team, an accounting system, the instructions for finding a blend of spices in a grocery store, a safecracking manual, and the QWERTY keyboard layout.

“Prediction: The side that wins the metaphor battle will win the case,” tweeted University of Oklahoma College of Law professor Sarah Burstein.

The reliance on familiar analogies wasn’t necessarily surprising. Google v. Oracle covers a complex question: what elements of computer code can be copyrighted, and if that code is covered by copyright, when it’s still legal to use pieces of it under fair use. The argument dates back a

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In a landmark moment in the history of the U.S. software industry, the Supreme Court held a hearing today on a long-running legal dispute that pits tech giants Oracle and Google against one another.

The case centers around whether or not a key foundation of today’s increasingly software-driven economy—blocks of code known as “application programming interfaces”, or APIs—is subject to copyright protection. Oracle claims Google infringed copyright when it used elements of the Oracle-owned Java programming language to build its Android operating system, which now powers billions of smartphones and other devices. Google denies the claim, which involves about 11,500 lines of code out of millions of new lines that it wrote to create Android. The two companies have been battling one another in the courts for over a decade, with Oracle demanding $9 billion in compensation.

The outcome of this epic

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KEY POINTS

  • Oral arguments were held before the Supreme Court over the copyright case between Oracle and Google
  • Google stands to pay Oracle nearly $9 billion for 11,000 lines of code in Android software if the court rules in Oracle’s favor
  • Big tech is throwing in behind Google while media and entertainment companies and the Trump administration is backing Oracle

The Supreme Court faces upending the tech industry by determining whether Google stole code from Oracle in building its Android operating system in a case that could redefine the meaning of the fair use doctrine. All eight justices on Wednesday grilled the tech giants’ legal teams as well the U.S. deputy solicitor general in a potentially far-reaching case.

Google said its incorporation of 11,500 lines of Oracle Java code constitutes fair use, while Oracle argued the action violated its ownership rights. The lawsuit has been working its way through the

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Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and other issues, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will finally hold oral arguments in Google v. Oracle on Oct. 7, 2020. This case will decide, without exaggeration, the future of software development and billions of dollars.

Seriously. 

As the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) states, “allowing copyright on APIs is a terrible idea for computer science.” That’s because almost all modern software depends on open APIs. When your web browser works with Amazon, Apple, Microsoft — any complex site really — it communicates through APIs. When your smartphone shows you the weather, directions to your doctor’s office, or a video, it uses APIs to bridge the gap between services and servers and your devices. 

That’s the theory. Developers see the reality of the threat. Hannu Valtonen, chief product officer at Aiven said: 

It’s clear that an Oracle win would not be in the

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The Supreme Court building in Washington, DC.


Getty Images

Google and Oracle faced off Wednesday before the US Supreme Court in a multibillion dollar battle that could have a major effect on how companies develop software in the future. 

The two tech giants are clashing over the architecture of Google’s Android operating system, the dominant mobile software on the planet. At the center of the fight is a question of copyright protections for application programming interfaces, or APIs, which govern how code communicates with other bits of code. 

Android was built in part by using APIs from Java, which was developed by Sun Microsystems. Oracle bought Sun in 2010 and later sued Google for allegedly illegal use of the software. The settlement could be worth almost $9 billion

For Google, the investment

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Illustration for article titled The Future of Software Is at Stake in Google’s Latest Trip to the Supreme Court

Photo: Brendan Smialowski (Getty Images)

The Supreme Court will finally hear arguments in a case that could rewrite the rules of software development as we know it. On Wednesday, Google will defend its use of Java code in the development of the Android operating system. Oracle claims that code is protected intellectual property, and if the court agrees, there are a lot of developers who should be nervous.

It’s been a decade since Oracle first sued Google, and it’s been nearly two years since the Supreme Court agreed to review the case. In that time, the Android OS has taken over about 75 percent of the mobile market—becoming one of the most successful pieces of software in history. But like all software, Android is a product of ingenuity and building on the work of others.

During its initial development, Google wanted Android to understand commands that were

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Tech giants Google and Oracle are clashing at the Supreme Court in a copyright dispute that’s worth billions and important to the future of software development.

The case before the justices Wednesday has to do with Google’s creation of the Android operating system now used on the vast majority of smartphones worldwide. Google says that to create Android, which was released in 2007, it wrote millions of lines of new computer code. But it also used 11,330 lines of code and an organization that’s part of Oracle’s Java platform.

Google has defended its actions, saying what it did is long-settled, common practice in the industry, a practice that has been good for technical progress. But Oracle says Google “committed an egregious act of plagiarism” and sued, seeking more than $8 billion.

The case has been going on for a decade. Google won the first round when a

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One of the best things about using cloud-based applications is that, every few months, your apps get better. App users get new features on the fly, with no fuss.

Never has that innovation engine been more important than since COVID-19 hit.

“COVID-19 has taken a number of areas that were nice-to-have or maybe thought of as things we should do and made them must-haves,” said Steve Miranda, executive vice president of Oracle Fusion applications development, kicking off a September 29 Oracle Live online event.

It used to be nice for salespeople to have the option to hold a Zoom call with potential customers, for example. Now Zoom meetings are the main way some companies keep revenue flowing. That’s why Oracle

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