Google Vs Oracle: What’s The Copyright Case About?


It has been ten years since Oracle started a legal fight with Google. The case is in relation to the code in Android platforms. There have been a total of two appeals and three trials since the first lawsuit. 

Since there’s a pandemic going on, this battle of a decade will manifest in an online argument through the Supreme Court teleconference system. 

When Android was developed by Google, the platform was made to support Java. Apart from the Android platform code, iOS performed in an Objective C environment. This ubiquitous language was used only to develop iOS apps. So, it’s safe to say that Apple had developed its platform’s code much earlier than Google. 

Has Google Infringed Upon Oracle’s Copyrights?

To rival Apple, Google had planned to create a platform that would support Java as well. At the time, Java was one of the most popular and it fostered one of the biggest developed communities. So, Google implemented Java APIs. Now, the lawsuit is on whether Oracle, who owns Java, has any right to a share of Android. 

The Supreme Court is to determine whether Google has infringed on any copyright issues. It has surely borrowed Oracle’s Java language. But does that mean that Oracle is entitled to millions of villages from Android?

Of course, the world has changed a lot since then. When the suit was filed, Oracle was under Larry Ellison and Google’s CEO was Eric Schmidt. Now, Google comes under Alphabet. The android platform current is on version number 11. The one thing that has remained is the Java language’s popularity. 

Since there are eight Supreme Court justices at the moment, it’s expected that the Oracle vs Google case will witness a split court. Back in 2014, the court had sent the case back to the San Francisco district court to be reviewed. 

Court Ruling Would Change The Android Platform Completely

There have been several complications along the way. Like other copyright cases, the Google vs Oracle cases has also been filled with complications. 

On Wednesday, it’s also expected that one of the main arguments will be on who gets to decide on copyright issues: is it the jury or the judge? 

Whichever company the Supreme Court rules in favor of will receive a major victory. More importantly, the Supreme Court will reevaluate copyright procedures and guidelines. Any changes will mean major change within the software industry. 

The court will also look at whether sequence, structure, and code (JAVA) are covered under Oracle’s copyright guidelines. 

Why this case is particularly controversial is because coding in itself has always followed a tradition of ancestors and successors. New coding language is built upon old ones. Similarly, existing libraries give birth to new ones. 

It will be quite interesting to see how the Google vs Oracle lawsuit will turn out.