Friday, June 15, 2018

My Latest Amicus Brief For EFF

This week, EFF filed an amicus brief on which I worked, in the long running case of Oracle v. Google.  Some background: In 2014, the Federal Circuit reversed a trial court ruling that the Java APIs used by Google are not copyrightable, and sent the case back for a trial on Google's fair use defense.  In May 2016, a jury found that Google's use of the Java APIs was a fair use.  Oracle again appealed.  In March 2018, a three judge Federal Circuit panel overturned the jury verdict and held that Google's use was not a fair use as a matter of law.  Taken together, the 2014 and 2018 Federal Circuit opinions mean that APIs are both copyrightable and will rarely be available as a fair use.

Google filed a petition for rehearing en banc, to ask all of the active judges of the Federal Circuit to rehear the opinions by the three judge panel.  EFF's amicus brief supports Google's petition.  If the petition is denied, Google will likely ask the Supreme Court to review the case. 

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