We’re All in it Together: @USSupreme_Court Friend of Court Brief in Google v. Oracle by @helienne, @davidclowery, @theblakemorgan and @SGAWrites

[Editor Charlie sez:  The Oracle v. Google case is going to be the most important copyright case in a very, very long time.  Oracle won the case on appeal twice and Google got the Supreme Court to review.  The case is about two issues being copyright in software and whether Google’s taking of Oracle’s code is fair use and permissionless innovation.    Because of the fair use argument, this is not just some battle of tech companies because no one knows better than us that Google will take any win on fair use and push it even farther.

So all artists, songwriters, photographers, film makers, authors–all of us–are in the same boat with Oracle on this point.  Sure Oracle is a big company, but Google is an even bigger company with a trillion dollar market cap and Google is trying to roll over Oracle the same way they roll over us.

In a must read “friend of the court” brief, Helienne Lindvall, David Lowery, Blake Morgan and the Songwriters Guild of America make this case as independent artists, songwriters and labels all harmed by Google’s policies that are out of touch with the market starting with YouTube.

SCOTUS Brief Cover Page

As Beggars Group Chairman Martin Mills put it, “[P]olicing the YouTubes of this world for infringing content is a herculean task, one beyond all but the largest of companies. For my community, the independents, it’s a game of whack-a-mole they can only lose.”

Helienne, David, Blake and the SGA put that case squarely before the U.S. Supreme Court in this must-read friend of the court brief.]

Independent creators rely on copyright protection to safeguard their works. This is true not just of songwriters and composers, but of countless creators, including recording artists, photographers, filmmakers, visual artists, and software developers. Copyright is, in fact, of existential importance to such creators, who would be utterly lacking in market power and the ability to earn their livings without it.

Google’s business model is a prime example of the need for strong copyright protection. Since Google’s founding, Amici have experienced, observed and believe that Google has used its unprecedented online footprint to dictate the terms of the market for creative works. By tying together a set of limited exceptions and exclusions within the U.S. Copyright Act and analogous laws in other countries, and then advocating for the radical expansion of those exceptions, Google has amplified its own market power to the great detriment of copyright owners. Thus, where fair use is meant to be a limited defense to infringement founded on the cultural and economic good for both creators and the public, Google has throttled it into a business model.

Read the brief on the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

@illusionofmore: Google v. Oracle Part I: Or Why You Really Don’t Have to Know WTF an API Is

[Editor Charlie sez:  Challenging Google will break the Internet!!  Again!! Everybody drink!!]

I freely admit that one reason I procrastinated when it came to digging into Oracle v. Google (now Google v. Oracle) is the fact that this nine-year litigation, now headed to the Supreme Court, deals with software.  Unlike most creative arts in which I have some background and knowledge, software might as well be magic spells that make our devices run (or not); and although this form of authorship is generally invisible or incomprehensible to most of us users, the code-writers say it entails creative expression, and so does the copyright law since 1980.

This clash-of-titans lawsuit, which currently stands with two rulings (in 2014 and 2017) in Oracle’s favor at the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, will now ask the Supreme Court to settle two main legal questions:  1) whether the specific code (part of Oracle’s Java API) used by Google without a license in the development of Android is copyrightable in the first place; and 2) if that code is protected by copyright, whether Google’s use is protected by the fair use doctrine.  I will actually address the legal narrative and issues in subsequent posts because on top of the triable matters and doctrinal debates, is a business and PR story that should probably be addressed first.

Read the post on Illusion of More

Press Release: House Judiciary Announces New Committee Members

House Judiciary Leaders Announce Committee Roster

WASHINGTON – The House Judiciary Committee held its first full committee meeting to introduce new members, adopt committee rules, appoint subcommittee chairs and ranking members, and approve subcommittee assignments. Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) released the following statements after the Judiciary Committee’s first meeting of the 116th Congress:

“It’s a great pleasure to join Chairman Nadler in welcoming our colleagues to the House Judiciary Committee. The opportunities our committee has to serve Americans and strengthen our democratic institutions are almost limitless. Together, we’ve built a legacy of passionate debate and bipartisan success. I look forward to hearing from every lawmaker on this committee and to deepening our collaboration throughout this Congress,” said Collins.

“I’m proud to welcome all of our Members to the House Judiciary Committee this Congress. The Committee has remained one of the most active committees in the House through lively debates, bipartisan partnerships, and advancing critical legislation. I expect this to continue and look forward to hearing from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle as we prepare to take on some of the most pressing issues of our time. I have worked closely with Ranking Member Collins on many issues in the past and hope that we will find more common ground over the next two years,” said Nadler.

Democratic Members

  • Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Chair
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.)
  • Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas)
  • Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.)
  • Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.)
  • Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.)
  • Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.)
  • Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.)
  • Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.)
  • Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.)
  • Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.)
  • Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.)
  • Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)
  • Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.)
  • Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.)
  • Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.), Vice Chair
  • Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas)
  • Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.)
  • Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.)
  • Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.)
  • Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.)
  • Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.)
  • Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas)
Republican Members

  • Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Ranking Member
  • Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.)
  • Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio)
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)
  • Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)
  • Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.)
  • Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas)
  • Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.)
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.)
  • Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.)
  • Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.)
  • Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.)
  • Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.)
  • Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.)
  • Rep. Ben Cline (R-Va.)
  • Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.)
  • Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.)
Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee Assignments:

Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law

Democrats

  • Rep. Cicilline, Chair
  • Rep. Johnson
  • Rep. Raskin
  • Rep. Jayapal
  • Rep. Demings
  • Rep. Scanlon
  • Rep. Neguse, Vice Chair
  • Rep. McBath
Republicans

  • Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, Ranking Member
  • Rep. Gaetz
  • Rep. Buck
  • Rep. Armstrong
  • Rep. Steube
Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Democrats

  • Rep. Cohen, Chair
  • Rep. Raskin, Vice Chair
  • Rep. Swalwell
  • Rep. Scanlon
  • Rep. Dean
  • Rep. Garcia
  • Rep. Escobar
  • Rep. Jackson Lee
Republicans

  • Rep. Johnson, Ranking Member
  • Rep. Gohmert
  • Rep. Jordan
  • Rep. Reschenthaler
  • Rep. Cline
  • Rep. Armstrong

Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet
Democrats

  • Rep. Johnson, Chair
  • Rep. Deutch
  • Rep. Richmond
  • Rep. Jeffries
  • Rep. Lieu
  • Rep. Stanton
  • Rep. Lofgren
  • Rep. Cohen
  • Rep. Bass
  • Rep. Swalwell
  • Rep. Correa, Vice Chair
Republicans

  • Rep. Roby, Ranking Member
  • Rep. Chabot
  • Rep. Jordan
  • Rep. Ratcliffe
  • Rep. Gaetz
  • Rep. Johnson
  • Rep. Biggs
  • Rep. Reschenthaler
  • Rep. Cline
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
Democrats

  • Rep. Bass, Chair
  • Rep. Jackson Lee
  • Rep. Demings, Vice Chair
  • Rep. McBath
  • Rep. Deutch
  • Rep. Richmond
  • Rep. Jeffries
  • Rep. Cicilline
  • Rep. Lieu
  • Rep. Dean
  • Rep. Mucarsel-Powell
  • Rep. Cohen
Republicans

  • Rep. Ratcliffe, Ranking Member
  • Rep. Sensenbrenner
  • Rep. Chabot
  • Rep. Gohmert
  • Rep. McClintock
  • Rep. Lesko
  • Rep. Reschenthaler
  • Rep. Cline
  • Rep. Steube
Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship
Democrats

  • Rep. Lofgren, Chair
  • Rep. Jayapal, Vice Chair
  • Rep. Correa
  • Rep. Garcia
  • Rep. Neguse
  • Rep. Mucarsel-Powell
  • Rep. Escobar
  • Rep. Jackson Lee
  • Rep. Scanlon
Republicans

  • Rep. Buck, Ranking Member
  • Rep. Biggs
  • Rep. McClintock
  • Rep. Lesko
  • Rep. Armstrong
  • Rep. Steube