Copyright/Software – Fair Use: When Clarification Isn’t Necessarily Clear

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Google v. Oracle will undoubtedly affect copyright litigation. But how?

In April 2021, the Supreme Court finally resolved a decade-long copyright case in which both parties had won and lost multiple decisions, appeals, and remands. While the case, Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc., appeared to clarify some legal issues, it also left many observers scratching their heads over the degree of protection that copyrights provide.

“The Supreme Court ruled that Google’s copying of Oracle’s software was an acceptable form of fair use but somehow ignored undisputed facts to the contrary,” says Crowell & Moring’s Gabriel Ramsey, a Litigation Group partner who focuses on copyright and software issues. “As a result, businesses of all kinds must reassess whether their copyrights truly grant them control over the use of their intellectual property. They might also calculate that the potential rewards of infringing someone else’s copyright could justify the risks.”

Read the complete article in the Litigation Forecast 2022

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