A federal court has reportedly ruled in favour of Oracle, and ordered Google to pay the company for its use of the Java API in Android, drawing criticism from various legal scholars.
According to The Verge, if the ruling stands, it will give software companies copyright over their APIs, the interfaces that programs use to communicate with each other.
Criticising the court for granting too strong of a copyright, Villanova law professor Michael Risch said that Google should surely be privileged to do what it did without having to resort to fair use.
Meanwhile, University of Maryland professor James Grimmelmann wrote that this is an opinion written by judges whose understanding of software comes from reading other judges' opinions about software.
In May of 2012, a district court ruled that copyrighting the calls would simply tie up "a utilitarian and functional set of symbols," and gave Google free rein on the API.
The ruling was appealed by Oracle, and two years later, a federal court has overturned, the report adds.