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Copyrights Intellectual Property Technology Media and Telecom United States Supreme Court

Supreme Court Leaves As Many Questions As It Answers In 'Google v. Oracle'

The Court cleared Google of copyright infringement in terminating a 16-year long dispute as to whether Google’s Android mobile platform had infringed Oracle’s Java programming language’s copyright. However, the Court did not answer the question of whether specific components of computer software qualifies for copyright protection at all.

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On April 5, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court ended a copyright case that left as many questions as it gave answers, in Google LLC v. Oracle America, Inc., 141 S.Ct. 1183 (2021). In a lengthy decision, the Court cleared Google of copyright infringement in terminating a 16-year long dispute as to whether Google’s Android mobile platform had infringed Oracle’s Java programming language’s copyright. A 6-2 panel (Justice Barrett did not participate) found in favor of Google, holding that its use the copied code constituted fair use. However, the Court did not answer the question of whether specific components of computer software qualifies for copyright protection at all.

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