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First off today, Susan Decker at Bloomberg reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has overturned a jury award in the Google (Alphabet) v. Oracle case and has ruled that Google’s use of Oracale’s Java APIs was not a fair use as a matter of law
When developing its Android mobile operating system, Google copied APIs from Oracle’s Java programming language. The goal was to make it so that Java developers could easily write or port apps to Android even though Google had completely rewritten the rest of the language. Oracle sued and, in the most recent ruling (following more than 7 years of litigation), a jury found that Google’s use of the APIs was a fair use.
However, the appeals court has now overturned that ruling saying that the jury erred and that the use of the APIs is not a fair use as a matter of law. According to the appeals court, “There is nothing fair about taking a copyrighted work verbatim and using it for the same purpose and function as the original in a competing platform.” The case is now sent back to the district court for a likely trial on damages.
Next up today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes Cloudflare, in its ongoing case against ALS Scan, has asked the court not to mention that it decided to terminate the account of the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer fearing that it could result in “guilt by association”.
Cloudflare is a content delivery network that is used by many piracy-oriented websites to increase their reliability, reduce their hosting costs and hide the location of their source servers. According to ALS Scan, Cloudflare does not take enough action to remove or disable access to infringing content after a notification but Cloudflare has contended that it is an intermediary and has no responsibility to take such action and only does so when presented with a court order.
However, Cloudflare broke that policy in August 2017 when it kicked the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer off of its servers. ALS Scan would like to present that story as an example of how Cloudflare’s actions can result in the removal of infringing content but Cloudflare is asking the court to bar the evidence it fears it would bias the jury.
Finally today, David Meyer at Fortune reports that music streaming service Spotify is taking action against freeloaders on its service as a way to shore itself up for an impending IPO.
Currently, Spotify has some 159 million subscribers, 71 million of which pay for premium accounts. Non-paying users are subject to advertisements that paying subscribers never hear. However, millions of those free users take advantage of unauthorized apps that remove those ads, giving them essentially a premium experience for free.
Now Spotify is taking action against those users sending letters to them saying that they have detected their use of unauthorized apps and that they are disabling access through them. They have also filed takedown notices against some of those apps, forcing one of the more popuolar modifications off of Gihub. Spotify, in a statement said that no authorized users should be affected and that those who are can simply download the official apps either from the website or their phone’s app store.
(Note: This article was originally reported on Torrentfreak but we used a different source that includes a reply from Spotify.)
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.