On Demand

Google vs. Oracle: What's "Fair" Now?


Created on September 21, 2021





What is fair use, and why is it important for any attorney or business owner to understand its parameters? This legal principle permits the unlicensed, uncompensated use of copyrighted works in limited circumstances. The starting point is Section 107 of the Copyright Act, which definitively provides that teaching, scholarship, research, news reporting, criticism, and comment fall within the fair use exception to copyright infringement. 

But fair use does not stop with these enumerated categories. Uses of any work may be considered "fair" by the courts after an analysis of four factors -- the nature of the copyrighted work, the purpose and character of the use, the amount and substantiality of the portion used, and market effects on the value of the copyrighted work. Tech titans Google and Oracle battled for ten years over the issue of fair use until this April, when the Supreme Court handed a victory to Google involving its use of code from Java. In this course, we will delve deeply into the Supreme Court's decision as well as other recent cases on fair use. 

This program will benefit any attorneys who want to understand when fair use is applicable – and when it isn't.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Analyze the Supreme Court's decision in Google vs. Oracle 

  2. Discuss the decision's applicability to software code development and infringement 

  3. Review fair use decisions involving other media (music, text, photographs, and art)

  4. Develop a set of guidelines to use in advising clients

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