Oracle’s attack on the future of software development and attempt to grab billions of dollars in unearned copyright fees from Google was well and truly shot down today. A jury ruled that Google’s use of Javi APIs in Android was protected under fair use, meaning that Oracle won’t be able to extract a single cent of the $9bn it was hoping to rake in.
The case has been on the block for six years now, pretty much since Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems. In 2012 the US District Court ruled APIs couldn’t be protected under copyright, a judgement that was overturned on appeal, directly leading to this month’s case and today’s verdict.
Given the sum of money involved it’s almost inevitable that Oracle will appeal, so unfortunately this won’t be the end of the matter. However, having twice lost the case it seems increasingly unlikely that Oracle will ever end up extorting anything from Google, although its unlikely to ever stop trying.