If you had told me a year ago that an app primarily used for children to upload videos of themselves doing funny dances would be the center of a political storm, I'm not sure I would have believed you. The Trump administration announced last month that it planned to ban TikTok from the United States unless its ownership was divested, and just before the ban was scheduled to take effect, a judge has blocked the move. Read More
YouTube has always been the premier destination to watch music videos, skits, and how-tos, but consumers of shorter content found themselves drawn to competing apps. YouTube copied Instagram stories previously, and this new functionality seems targeted to TikTok teens. Now that TikTok's future is uncertain, YouTube is announcing the launch of Shorts, a new way to create and share videos of 15 seconds or less. Read More
Oracle has been selected to purchase TikTok's US operations over Microsoft — though, according to The Wall Street Journal, the deal won't be structured as a sale. Minutes before the news broke, Microsoft revealed that it wouldn't be involved in any deal even though it reportedly had Trump's blessing ahead of the app's anticipated ban. Read More
Due to the impending TikTok ban in the US, Microsoft (and Twitter) is already in talks with parent company ByteDance and interested in purchasing the US portion of the business — that would likely be the only way a ban could be averted. Now it looks like another player has entered the field, as the Financial Times reports that Oracle is also interested in purchasing the hit social network. Read More
Oracle's copyright suit against Google for using Java APIs in Android has been an ongoing feud since 2010, and the stakes are only about to get higher. The Federal Circuit denied Google's appeal Tuesday of a March decision that found Google's use of Oracle's Java APIs was not fair use. Now, Google has stated it will take the case to the Supreme Court. Read More
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. Read More
According to reporter Sarah Jeong on Twitter, the jury in the long-awaited Oracle v Google trial regarding Google's use of Oracle's Java APIs has found that Oracle's claims for copyright infringement are not valid. Google's use of the APIs structure, sequence, and organization fell under fair use.
Oracle had, after a higher court found certain aspects of the Java APIs copyrightable, sought damages against Google for using those APIs as part of Android's Dalvik virtual machine. Oracle's argument had long been considered near-baseless in terms of true technological "theft," but the finding that the structure, sequence, and organization of the APIs were copyrightable led many legal analysts to believe Google may well lose the case. Read More
Android's rapid rise to the top of the mobile market was accompanied by a number of legal battles, and perhaps none of them was so central and so contentious as Oracle versus Google. The fight over the legality of patents and copyrights in some of the portions of Android that used allegedly proprietary Oracle-owned Java software has been raging since 2010, eventually being considered for review by the US Supreme Court before being bounced back to the lower appeals court. The fight was a constant, and sometimes dramatic, part of legal software news at one point.
Apparently Google is as tired of dealing with the legal headache as we are of writing about it, because the company has confirmed that Android will do away with the remaining Java APIs starting with Android N, which will probably be released sometime in 2016. Read More
FairSearch Europe—a coalition of Google competitors or legal adversaries including, among others, Microsoft, Nokia, and Oracle—has filed a complaint with the European Union alleging that Google is abusing its dominant OS position in the mobile market to push its own set of apps.
The group claims that Android is used "as a deceptive way to build advantages for key Google apps in 70 percent of the smartphones shipped today," pointing out that manufacturers have to agree to a certain set of rules requiring inclusion or placement of certain apps. If they want to use Google apps, of course. Manufacturers are free to use Android for whatever purpose they choose without them, if they think that will be a greater benefit. Read More