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Oracle vs Google restarts

By Richard Chirgwin, 8 May 2016

Oracle's and Google's armies of lawyerbots are about to boot up, suit up, line up, and restart the tech giants' Bleak House-like lawsuit about copyright over APIs.

The latest episode in the world's worst soap opera became inevitable during April, when a mediation meeting between Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Oracle CEO Safra Catz ended without agremeent.

Oracle wants US$9 billion from the Alphabet subsidiary, which uses Sun's-then-Oracle's Java APIs in its Android operating system.

The case is problematic for developers simply because there's a contradiction at the heart of the notion of copyrighting APIs. It means that someone can, on the one hand, publish the API as an invitation for others to use it; and on the other hand, enforce control over who calls the API and in what ways.

Developers will be hoping, at least, that in this second jury trial Google is able to protect the fair use argument. ®

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing