CFJ Amicus Brief Urges SCOTUS to Rule that Google's Android Infringes Oracle's Copyright

Washington, D.C. -- Today, the Committee for Justice filed a Supreme Court amicus brief in support of Oracle in Google v. Oracle, a potentially landmark software copyright case which will be argued March 24. Oracle, which was twice victorious in the appeals court below, seeks to vindicate its copyright in the computer code and organization of its popular Java programming platform, which has revolutionized application development.

The following is a statement from Curt Levey, the Committee for Justice's president and one of the attorneys on the brief:

"The Committee for Justice decided to get involved in this case because the Supreme Court's ruling is expected to set the standard for how thoroughly computer code is protected by copyright. If Google's copying of more than 11,000 lines of Oracle's Java code in building the Android operating system is allowed to stand, that protection will be weakened and the incentives for innovation in the software industry will be diminished.

More generally, a victory for Oracle is important for promoting both the rule of law, including a textualist reading of the Constitution and statutes, and the protection of property rights. Our brief reminds the Court that the strong protection of intellectual property in the Constitution and Copyright Act has helped to make the United States the world's most prosperous society and that intellectual property protection of new technologies is particularly vital.

In our brief, we point out to the Court that the text of the Copyright Act makes no mention of the exceptions Google is trying to create when it argues that 'declaring code' is unprotected and that its copying was necessary to ensure that the Android operating system would be interoperable with other systems. Because the law is on Oracle's side, Google's arguments to the Court rely heavily on public policy arguments about interoperability and the like. We remind the Justices that the rule of law requires that such policy arguments be entertained, instead, across the street in Congress, which can amend the Copyright Act.