Case: 18-956 GOOGLE LLC V. ORACLE AMERICA, INC. (2020-Oct-7)


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By Austin Songer. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
QUESTION PRESENTED: The Copyright Act provides that, while "original works of authorship" are generally eligible for copyright protection, 17 U.S.C. 102(a), "[i]n no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work," 17 U.S.C. 102(b). The Act also makes clear that "the fair use of a copyrighted work * * * is not an infringement of copyright." 17 U.S.C. 107. As is relevant here, software interfaces are lines of computer code that allow developers to operate prewritten libraries of code used to perform particular tasks. Since the earliest days of software development, developers have used interfaces to access essential tools for building new computer programs. Contravening that longstanding practice, the Federal Circuit in this case held both that a software interface is copyrightable and that petitioner's use of a software interface in a new computer program cannot constitute fair use as a matter of law. THE QUESTION PRESENTED ARE: 1. Whether copyright protection extends to a software interface. 2. Whether, as the jury found, petitioner's use of a software interface in the context of creating a new computer program constitutes fair use. SUPPORT what we are doing here by contributing to our Patreon at

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