STLR Link Roundup – February 17, 2017

Oracle and Google, to be continued…

The legal saga between Oracle and Google is stretching into the seventh year. The show started when Oracle stated that Google infringed its copyright by “borrowing” programming codes in building of its Android software platform. Last summer, a jury ruled in Google’s favor and stated that the use of Java API by Google falls under fair use policy. But Oracle promised that this wasn’t the end of the story. And the company’s living up to its promises. Last Friday, Oracle asked an appeals court to declare that Google’s use of Java API falls under “classic unfair use.” The appeal also accuses Google of making billions of dollars by taking advantage of Oracle’s Java business.

The central issue in this case revolves around APIs of the popular Java programming language. Oracle acquired the right to Java through purchase of Sun Microsystems in 2009. APIs (Application Programming Interface) are a set of specific definitions and protocols that make communications between different software programs possible. To encourage innovation and collaboration, it has been ruled that APIs are not subject to copyright protection. However, that decision was appealed by Oracle and overruled by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, a result that was lamented by the tech world. Google appealed the case to the United States Supreme Court, yet the Supreme Court denied to grant certiorari. Luckily, the case was remanded to the lower court on the issue of fair use. It was the jury’s finding that Google conformed with the fair use policy that Oracle’s appealing from.

It’s not an easy battle that Oracle’s facing since overturning a fact-based jury finding is definitely an uphill battle. However, Oracle might have some hope since the judge limited the scope of the trial to the use of Java in smart phones and tablets, which means that Google’s intended use of Java in a line of Chromebook laptops might be subject to attack. Judges use four factors to resolve fair use disputes: the purpose and character of the use; the nature of the copyrighted work; the amount and substantiality of the portion taken; and the effect of the use upon the potential market.

Apple Stock Hits New Record High

It seems like things are working out well for America’s most valued company. Apple‘s shares closed on Monday at a record high of $133.29, up $1.17 for the day and surpassing its previous record close price of $133, set in February 2015. The high price is probably explained by the public’s enthusiasm about iPhone8, which is reported to have wireless charging and a function area to replace the home button. However, not everyone is convinced of the optimism associated with the high stock price. Analysts are warning about the record-high price since the company’s actual performance is worse than previous years and that the new record-high price is probably influenced by the company’s financial choices, such as stock buy-backs.

Verizon reduces deal price with Yahoo

Verizon is about to reach a deal to purchase Yahoo’s core internet business, but the deal price is going to be cut by about $250 to $300 million dollars. The cut results from the fact that Yahoo released that millions of user accounts have been hacked and passwords stolen. Under the new terms, the two companies are supposed to share their legal liabilities, which means that they might have to take on the cost of the data breach together. The deal is vital for both parties and Yahoo’s stock price rose after it’s reported that the deal would go through with less than anticipated price cut.

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