A Group, Including DOJ, Backs Oracle In Supreme Court Battle Against Google

Oracle Corp. (ORCL) said that a wide array of individuals and organizations from across technology, arts and culture, government, advocacy, and academia urged the Supreme Court of the United States to reject Google's attempt to weaken copyright protection in the United States.

The group filed amicus briefs this week supporting Oracle in the Supreme Court. The group is speaking out to defend copyright protection and to reject Google's attempts to excuse its theft of more than 11,000 lines of Oracle's original code, Oracle said.

Oracle General Counsel Dorian Daley said," Google is attempting to rewrite the fundamental copyright protections that fuel innovation in this country. The amicus briefs make clear that to avoid significant consequences well beyond the software industry, Google's self-serving arguments and attempts to rewrite long-settled law must be rejected."

The U.S. Department of Justice in a filing on Wednesday urged the Supreme Court to rule in favor of Oracle in the case that Google once referred to as the "copyright case of the decade." The DOJ argued that Google flouted copyright law when the tech giant copied 11,500 lines of Oracle's code more than 10 years ago.

In 2010, Oracle — which acquired Sun Microsystems, the previous owner of Java — filed a copyright infringement case against Google for using Java APIs in its Android operating system. Application programming interfaces (APIs) are the building blocks of software interoperability.

Oracle claimed that "Google had replicated the structure, sequence, and organization of the overall code" for 37 packages in its Java API, which performs fundamental computing operations such as mathematical computations, file and string manipulation, and database connectivity.

Google had negotiated with Sun Microsystems in 2005 for a license to use Java for mobile devices, but both parties were unable to reach a deal. So, the search giant had decided to develop its own implementations of the methods contained in the 37 Java API packages, which accounts for 97 percent of the lines of code in those packages.

The remaining 3 percent at the heart of Oracle's copyright claim refers to the method declarations,which Google retained in its implementation so that applications written in Java can call those methods and run on Android, thus achieving interoperability.

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