Larry Page defends Google's use of Java APIs

The Google co-founder argued the APIs were "free and open," so it didn't acquire a licensing agreement from Sun before building its Android OS.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Google co-founder Larry Page defended his company's use of Java APIs to develop the Android OS, arguing in court Thursday that the APIs were "free and open" to use, ArsTechnica reports.

Oracle is suing Google for copyright infringement, claiming that Google should have paid licensing fees to use the APIs. A federal appeals court has already ruled that the APIs were, in fact, protected under copyright, but Google is now arguing that its use of the code amounted to "fair use." Given how much Google has earned from Android, and how much financial damage Oracle claims it incurred because of the infringment, the software giant is seeking $9.3 billion in damages from Google.

Pressed by Oracle's attorney on whether Google should have gotten a licensing agreement, Page said, "I'm not a lawyer, I don't know the vagaries of licensing."

Oracle has argued in the trial that Google has made $42 billion in revenues from the operating system, largely from ad revenues from mobile searches. On Thursday, Oracle's attorney revealed an internal Google presentation that suggested Google was making huge sums from the OS on an annual basis: The slide said there is a "$43 billion per year ecosystem" around Android, ArsTechnica reports. Questioned about the slide, Page said that figure largely represented payments to carriers Verizon and AT&T.

Both Oracle and Google will deliver closing arguments before the jury in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Monday. Should the jury reject Google's "fair use" argument, the trial will move on to the damages question.

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