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1: Supreme Court Hears Copyright Battle Between Google and Oracle

First off today, Adam Liptak at The New York Times reports that the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments in the Google v. Oracle case with the justices reserving the thorniest questions for Google.

The case began over ten years ago when Oracle accused Google of copyright infringement when developing its Android mobile operating system. According to Oracle, Google copied some 11,000 lines of code from the Java programming language, in particular the Java application programming interface (API). Google did this in a bid to ensure that apps written in Java would run on Android.

The case has seen two trials and two appeals already and hinges on whether APIs can be protected by copyright and, if they can, was Google’s actions fair use? To that end, the Supreme Court seemed very skeptical of Google, with Justice Alito expressing concern that accepting Google’s arguments could lead to all computer code being removed from protection. A decision is not expected from the court for many months.

2: Google Nears Copyright Deal with French Newspapers

Next up today, TechXplore reports that Google has announced it is close to a new digital copyright deal with French newspapers, which would mark the first time Google has inked such a deal due to the new European Copyright Directive.

Last year, the EU passed a new copyright directive that, among other things, required search engines to pay for the use of snippets, thumbnails and headlines when displaying results from news organizations. France became the first country in the EU to codify the new EU legislation into national law, setting the stage for the battle.

Google had originally said it would refuse to pay and that, if it couldn’t use the content for free, it simply wouldn’t. However, now the company has announced a new deal with French newspapers that will see it sharing advertising revenue from search results with publishers. It further says that it anticipates French publishers participating in the upcoming News Showcase project, where Google is investing $1 billion in media starting in Germany. Nonetheless, this is the first time Google has acknowledged it must pay for news content under the new law.

3: Apple Joins Coalition to Help Combat Piracy

Finally today, Joe Keeley at Make Use Of reports that Apple has joined the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), a coalition of entertainment companies that work to reduce piracy online.

ACE is a group that was launched by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) in 2017 and includes a wide variety of traditional media companies as well as tech companies that are part of the entertainment industry. This includes the MPA itself (including the major movie studios), Amazon, Hulu, Netflix and more.

With the launch of Apple’s new Apple TV+ streaming service, Apple is now taking a seat on the ACE board and will participate in the group’s anti-piracy efforts.

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