New developments in the longstanding legal feud between Oracle and Google: a federal appeals court has reversed the 2016 ruling that found Google's use of Oracle's Java APIs in Android was fair use. The dispute has been ongoing since 2010.
“The fact that Android is free of charge does not make Google’s use of the Java API packages noncommercial,” this week's ruling said. In a statement, Google said it's "disappointed" in the new decision, adding that "This type of ruling will make apps and online services more expensive for users.”
The heart of the issue is whether utilizing Oracle's Java APIs in the way Android does—that is, unmodified and "for the same purpose and function as the original in a competing platform," according to the appeals court—is "fair use," or such use that doesn't necessitate permission or payment. This ruling says it's not. If the decision stands, Google will be liable for damages; Oracle was previously seeking $8.8 billion.
Google is likely to ask the court to reconsider the decision, Bloomberg says. After that, the next step would be to take the case to the US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had previously decided not to review the case in 2014.