If you thought the copyright war between Google and Oracle was over, think again. Oracle appealed last year’s decision that Google did not commit copyright infringement when it copied Oracle’s software code to build the Android mobile operating system.
On appeal, the Federal U.S. Circuit of Appeals will be asked to reconsider whether application programming interfaces (APIs) can be copyrighted.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup previously concluded that the software code was not protected under copyright law as a matter of law.
On appeal, Oracle contends that the decision was “decidedly unfair.” Interestingly, to illustrate its point, Oracle took a page from Harry Potter.
“Ann Droid wants to publish a bestseller. So she sits down with an advance copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix — the fifth book — and proceeds to transcribe. She verbatim copies all the chapter titles—from Chapter 1 (‘Dudley Demented’) to Chapter 38 (‘The Second War Begins’). She copies verbatim the topic sentences of each paragraph, starting from the first (highly descriptive) one and continuing, in order, to the last, simple one (‘Harry nodded.’). She then paraphrases the rest of each paragraph. She rushes the competing version to press before the original under the title: Ann Droid’s Harry Potter 5.0,” the brief reads.
“Google Inc. has copied a blockbuster literary work just as surely, and as improperly, as Ann Droid—and has offered the same defenses.”
Sot the battle between Oracle and Google is heating up again. Given the potential implications on software copyrights, I will continue to monitor the case and provide updates as they become available.
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– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +