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President Obama backs Oracle in its endless legal battle against Google

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May 27, 2015

The Whitehouse said today that it's backing Oracle in its long-running legal battle against Google over the company's alleged infringement of Java copyrights.

Oracle brought the case against Google more than three years ago, claiming that it had breached copyright laws in its Java software when creating its Android mobile operating system.

Google responded to the threat by saying that APIs should not be copyrightable, claiming such an interpretation of copyright laws could have blocked vast amounts of technological development.

And originally, Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court of Northern California ruled that APIs are not copyrightable.

But exactly a year ago, the U.S. Appeals Court of the Federal Circuit in Washington DC overturned Judge Alsup's ruling, saying it had no choice but to uphold software copyrights "until either the Supreme Court or Congress itself tells us otherwise".

Google brought the matter before the Supreme Court in October 2014. In January of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court asked the Obama administration to weigh in before it made its mind up whether to hear the case or not.

U.S. solicitor general Donald Verrilli responded today by rejecting Google's claims. But he then suggested the company might have some recourse to alternative legal action.

In a brief, Verrilli said-- “The general concerns that the petitioner is raising are substantial and important, but Section 102 (b) is not the appropriate statutory provision to address them. Rather, legitimate concerns with interoperability and lock-in effects are far better addressed through the fair-use doctrine codified at Section 107."

Verrilli's opinion will be a huge blow to Google. In a statement to Reuters it said-- "We appreciate the solicitor general's careful review of this issue. However, we're disappointed with these conclusions."

The Supreme Court is expected to make a final decision on whether to hear the case next month. We'll keep you posted on these and other developments.

Source: Oracle.

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