Google Won. So Did Tech.

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On Monday, the Supreme Court said it was kosher to copy someone else’s computer code in some cases. That handed Google a win in a decade-long court battle with Oracle over the guts of the Android smartphone system.

I’ll explain why the technology industry was relieved by the decision, and the ways it might be relevant for artists, writers and archivists. I also want us to ponder this: Why are thorny legal questions seemingly inescapable in technology right now?

What was the legal case?

Oracle controls software programming technologies called Java that are a building block for many apps and digital services. Google used a relatively small chunk…



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