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First off today, Shannon Bond at NPR reports that the battle over the Android mobile operating system has reached the Supreme Court as the highest court in the U.S. is hearing arguments between Google and Oracle.
According to Oracle, Google copied APIs for the Java programming language when it was creating Android. The aim was to ensure that Java apps could be ported to Android easily but that was only achieved by copying about 11,000 lines of code. However, Google has long held that APIs are not able to be protected by copyright and that, even if they are, the copying was fair use.
The case has been ongoing for more than ten years and has seen multiple trials and multiple appeals. It has now made its way to the Supreme Court, with arguments beginning today on both the nature of the copying and whether APIs can be protected at all. We will get the court’s ruling on this matter months later.
Next up today, Andy Maxwell at Torrentfreak writes that all three of the major record labels have filed a complaint against Apple. The complaint, filed at the Moscow City Court, accuses Apple of unlawfully distributing piracy-enabling music apps and seeks a preliminary injunction against the company.
The move comes after a new law took effect last week that aims to force companies like Google and Apple to quickly remove piracy-enabling apps from their stores. The complaint targets three specific apps, each of which the labels claim allow for access to unlicensed music and are currently available in the Apple App Store.
The lawyers representing the labels claim that this is a “test run” of the new law and that, if they are successful, they plan on using it in a much more broad capacity, including against Google.
Finally today, Richard Chess at Fortune reports that the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for the film industry but has added yet another problem: A sharp increase in piracy.
As film studios are bypassing theaters and releasing more works directly to consumers, piracy is seeing a sharp uptick. The recent Disney release of Mulan, which was put out to directly to their Disney+ streaming service, has seen double the pirate download compared to The Lion King, which was released in theaters last year.
This has caused the film industry to seek out both technical and legal responses to piracy. With the addition of new watermarks that aim to identify the users that leak films and pushing for updated laws that can help prosecute streaming pirates criminally.