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First off today, Jan Wolfe at Reuters reports that Google and Oracle had their oral arguments before the Supreme Court as Google asked the court to overturn an earlier ruling that barred them from making a fair use argument in the case.
Oracle sued Google alleging that the search giant copied Java APIs when developing the Android mobile operating system. While Google never denied the copying, it claimed that APIs were not copyrightable and that, if they were, that the copying was a fair use. In 2012, a judge ruled that APIs were not copyrightable but had that ruling overturned on appeal. In 2016, Google won again in a jury trial claiming that it was a fair use but that too was overturned on appeal.
It is that decision that is before the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court lets the Appeals Court ruling stand, it would likely mean billions in damages for Google. However, Google has been quick to note that current versions of Android do not use the APIs in question.
Next up today, Sophia Harris at the CBC reports that the Canadian government has amended the rules of its piracy alert system to clarify that notices sent through it can not send demands for cash settlements.
The system was implemented in 2015 and allows copyright holders to send warning emails to those they suspect are illegally downloading and sharing content online. Many of the notices sent through it took an extremely aggressive tone, demanding monetary settlements or that the alleged pirate provide personal information.
With the new rules, such demands are no longer allowed. Under the system, rightsholders do not know the identities of the suspected pirate but have had largely free rein to put whatever they want into the notices. That will not longer be allowed though there is a push by many to standardize the notices completely.
Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Universal has emerged victorious in a lawsuit over The Purge film series as the plaintiffs have voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit in exchange for an agreement not to seek fees and court costs.
The lawsuit was filed by author Douglas Jordan-Benel, who claimed that the premise of The Purge was lifted from his screenplay Settler’s Day. Both stories featured an annual 12-hour period where all crime was legal and Jordan-Benel was able to show that he submitted his script to the UTA talent agency, which represents James Demonaco.
Initial attempts by Universal and the other defendants to have the case tossed fell flat. However, in an abrupt change, Jordan-Benel has agreed to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice, citing new evidence that The Purge was independently created. This brings to a close nearly four years of litigation.