back to article Some good coronavirus news: Monster Google-Oracle API copyright battle on hold as bio-nasty shuts Supremes

The ten-year monster battle between Google and Oracle over the use of Java APIs will be delayed until further notice – after the US Supreme Court announced it was suspending oral arguments over coronavirus fears. The two sides were due to present their argument to the court on Tuesday, March 24 and there has been a flood of …

  1. Psmo

    A plague on both their houses?

    Apparently someone was listening...

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    $9bn ?

    Well, it would seem that that is barely 18 days of revenue for Google.

    What's the problem ?

    1. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: $9bn ?

      Well, for a start using a percentage of revenue as a measure of anything at all (other than revenue).

      For instance, 18 days is over 4.9% of the year, and some industries have profit margins well under that percentage. Wiping out someone's entire annual profits, plus the impacts on cash flow, plus the opportunity costs.. That's the problem with the money side of it.

      But the problem isn't the money. The problem is the destruction of the software industry in the US. Although as someone living in Europe, maybe this is an opportunity.

      1. John G Imrie

        Re: $9bn ?

        Well lets think this through, which company with a $9b windfall is likely to be the first target of everyone who is not Oracle?

    2. eldakka

      Re: $9bn ?

      Well, it would seem that that is barely 18 days of revenue for Google.

      What's the problem ?

      It's not the money Google has to pay - who cares if Google had to pay even $50b?

      It's the legal precedent being set that is the problem. The activity Google is being accused of is standard operating procedure for millions of developers around the world, commercial, free, closed source, open source, university research, all of it, and has been for the last 70 years.

      If Oracle wins, the precedent thus set would open the floodgates for hundreds, thousands of companies and software packages and open source developers, not just commercial, to be sued for massive amounts of money. It would entirely change the way development work is done.

      It could even lead to cats and dogs living together! oh the humanity.

      1. Woza

        Re: $9bn ?

        "It could even lead to cats and dogs living together! oh the humanity."

        Humanity is the only reason cats and dogs live together in the first place!

        1. Psmo

          Re: $9bn ?

          Or a plague over the land!

          Well, shit.

      2. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: $9bn ?

        If Oracle win, it would end the entire software industry for a year or two while the lawyers frantically write contracts and exchange licenses.

        Depending on what happens to C and C++, it could take us back to before GCC existed, when the only compilers were proprietary and expensive.

        It would end all use of Java and Java-likes in applications and elsewhere, because accidentally breaching Oracle's copyright (or being accused of same) would be an existential threat to most organisations. I don't know whether that would include JSON or even SAX, and I suspect only Google or Microsoft could afford to find out.

        You would need explicit, perpetual, legal permission to:

        Use win32 in your programs, use any standard libraries, write any hypervisor (Xen), write any emulators (goodbye WINE), use any high-level language (that database uses SQL, that'll be two yachts and the head of Mr Ellison on a silver platter), or use any third party libraries whatsoever.

        Even the GPLv2 and v3 would also become instantly toxic to any proprietary use of Linux because you couldn't use the headers - though it wouldn't matter much, because GCC would need permission to use C in the first place.

        ISO only has a policy about patents being FRAND, not copyright. It would take years for the lawyers to agree wording allowing "appropriate" FRAND use of parties copyrighted works.

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: $9bn ?

          If Oracle wins then coupled with the losses due to Covid-19, an awful lot of companies will simply shut up shop and cease trading literally overnight.

          The economic impact of both will be huge for all of the world. Oracle winning in the USA will spur them on to fight almost everywhere else.

          Instead of kneeling down and giving thanks to Elon the Almighty (sic) we'll be praying that Larry the Terrible does not turn his attention to your company/you.

          It will be down to you to prove in a court of law that you did not even untittingly use even on API call that looks similar to his dearly beloved Java and every other product he owns.

          The storm clouds are gathering over our industry. Enjoy it while it lasts people.

          Oh, and offshoring all development won't cut it with his $5000/hour lawyers.

          The end of the world is nigh [see icon]

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