The case, which has broad ramifications for the software industry, has bounced around various courts over the years. In 2016, jurors ruled Google’s use of the Java code was permitted as “fair use” under federal copyright law. Two years later, a federal appeals court overturned that, ruling that there is “nothing fair about taking a copyrighted work verbatim and using it for the same purpose and function as the original in a competing platform.”
The dispute centers on the technical way software developers use application programming interfaces, or APIs. That’s the computer code that enables websites and applications to work together. APIs also reduce the amount of basic computer coding developers need to write with each program.
Google contends that it only used the pieces of Java code that it could not re-create when developing Android.
“Software programs have always worked with each other, that’s why you can take a