Oracle’s Copyright Showdown with Google Enters Tenth Year

In this photo illustration the Google logo is reflected in the eye of a girl on February 3, 2008 in London, England. Financial experts continue to evaluate the recent Microsoft $44.6 billion (?22.4 billion) offer for Yahoo and the possible impact on Internet market currently dominated by Google. (Photo by …
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The legal battle between Oracle and Google, which stands accused of stealing technology owned by Oracle for use in Android smartphones, entered its tenth year last week.

In what some have pegged the copyright case of the century, the issue is finally set to reach the Supreme Court in early October.

The case highlights the struggle of the legal system to keep up with tech innovation, and the power a megacompany like Google wields when handling claims of wrongdoing.

When Google was developing its Android mobile system, it held talks with Sun Microsystems, now owned by Oracle, to license Java coding packages that would make its system easier to use for developers (and thus give it an advantage over competitors).

When talks fell through, Google ended up skipping the license but using 11,500 lines of code verbatim regardless. Oracle claimed that unlicensed use of its coding for commercial purposes was illegal, giving rise to the current ten-year legal battle.

Google has put forth multiple arguments to justify its actions. They include that software APIs like Java’s aren’t copyrightable.

Yet Google itself has been moving its more important APIs and apps into the closed Google Mobile Services project.

Oracle is not the only party to accuse Google of stealing intellectual property.

In 2014, VGL Communications alleged that Google left post-it notes on a VGL boardroom detailing plans to essentially steal the company’s streaming technology.

Google also had to settle with Yahoo for allegedly stealing its keyword advertising technology, which became critical to its commercial success.

Google has also been accused by multiple parties of allowing stolen content to be posted on YouTube, the Google-owned video hosting platform. In 2010, Viacom settled a billion-dollar legal case with Google over the matter.

Some of Google’s alleged thefts came up in a recent Congressional hearing regarding anticompetitive practices by large tech companies, part of a wider effort by the Department of Justice, State Attorneys General, and Congress to tackle Big Tech monopolies.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News, where he has published material from whistleblowers inside  GoogleFacebookYouTube, and Twitter.

Bokhari’s upcoming book, #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election is currently available for preorder at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers. It will be released on September 22. 

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