Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) has won a bid to pursue claims against Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), claiming that its Java programming language has been copied by the internet giant to develop the Android operating system, in a US appeals court. Basic functions like connecting to the internet are performed by shortcuts that are created using Java programming language and these shortcuts are eligible for copyright protection as ruled on Friday by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington.
A jury found in 2012 that Google was involved in the infringement of copyrights and this finding has been reinstated by the court. The case has been remanded by the court so that Google could give enough argument for proving its fair use of technology.
Case grips entire software industry
Oracle, the world’s largest database-software maker has accused Google of using the Java codes for creation of its Android software without paying for it. With the filing of this case by Oracle against Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), the software industry has been divided into two parts-one that write the interface codes and other that develop software programs relying on those codes.
Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) has the support of other major software makers such as Microsoft, NetApp and EMC, who too have filed arguments in support. Google has the support of a group of computer scientists, Rackspace Hosting and Application Developers Alliance, who favoured Google saying that the codes in question are more of directions that lack creativity.
Arguments for and against
Java was created by Sun Microsystems in the mid-1990s and they allowed the developers to use it for free, but when used for commercial purposes it came with a price. Oracle sued Google and claimed $6.1 billion in damages. The judge disapproved of this estimate by Oracle even before the trial started. It is said that the database-software maker can still seek damages more than $1 billion.
The Redwood City, a company based in California, has claimed that has the usage of Java code by Google has prevented Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) from using Java for creating its own software platform for mobile devices. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) argues that the Java codes constitute fundamental programming interfaces that are used for free by the entire industry and accused Oracle that it is trying to go against the pledges made by Sun that Java would be free for use.