CCIA Disappointed That Obama Administration Recommended Against Hearing Important Copyright Case

BY Heather Greenfield
May 26, 2015

Washington — The Justice Department, in a filing with the Supreme Court, has counseled against the Court hearing an important copyright case that could have sweeping implications for the technology industry.   In January, the Supreme Court invited the Obama Administration’s views on whether it should hear the case, appealed by Google in 2014, which focuses on the issues relating to copyright and software development.

Oracle sued over the Google-owned Android platform’s interoperability with the Java programming language (in which Oracle obtained rights after acquiring Sun Microsystems).  The lower court held that Oracle could enforce Sun’s copyrights in response to Android being designed to accommodate Java programmers.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association expressed disappointment that the U.S. Solicitor General thinks this case is not worth Supreme Court attention.  The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO, Ed Black:

“The technology sector is heavily dependent on interoperability and imposing legal constraints on interoperation between programming languages can lead to serious competitive harm.”

“The Supreme Court should absolutely hear this case.  The Justice Department got this wrong. Even after conceding that there are ‘concerns about the effects that enforcing [Oracle’s] copyright could have on software development’, the Solicitor General has told the Supreme Court that this case isn’t worth its attention. This would have been an opportunity for the Administration to demonstrate its forward-looking technological leadership.”

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