New York (The Verge) — The Supreme Court is taking on Google and Oracle one last time theverge.com/2020/10/6/2150….
When Google built Android atop Java, the company implemented several APIs — several that were owned by Oracle. For the past decade, Google v. Oracle has bounced around different courts. With hearings starting this Wednesday, the fate of software development hangs in the balance.
When Google first developed Android, it decided to make the mobile platform compatible with Java. At the time, apps for the iOS environment were written in Objective-C, a language that was similar to the ubiquitous C but otherwise pretty much only used in the context of iOS app development. Apple had a significant head start in mobile.
Google was aiming to make Android competitive by making the platform interoperable with Java, a popular programming language with a robust developer community. In order to do that, the company reimplemented several Java APIs, including the 37 that are at issue in the lawsuit. For Oracle and Google, the lawsuit is about whether Oracle — which owns Java Standard Edition — is now entitled to a piece of Android, to the tune of billions of dollars. For everyone else, the lawsuit is about whether language compatibility is tantamount to copyright infringement. — Sarah Jeong/@verge