Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Monday's Supreme Court's ruling in favor of Google over Oracle left much of the software industry feeling like they'd dodged a bullet.

Why it matters: By resolving an 11-year-old dispute over rights to program code in favor of Google, the Supreme Court is allowing tech companies to largely continue with their practice of building on past software advances in creation of new technology.

Driving the news: The court ruled 6-2 Monday that Google's use of a portion of Java programming code owned by Oracle was allowable under the rules of fair use, putting an end to what many in the industry saw as a threat to software interoperability.

The big picture: Software companies have always invented new products by building on others' work — sometimes aggressively enough to evoke cries of "thief!"

  • Microsoft's MS-DOS operating system was a rewrite of a competitor's very similar system. Apple expanded on ideas from Xerox to create the Macintosh. Windows, in turn, drew heavily on approaches used by the Mac.
  • Indeed, many companies have forsaken efforts to keep their code proprietary, making their underlying code and interfaces freely available under open source licenses.

Between the lines: The dispute centered on Google's reuse of the application programming interface (API) for the popular programming language Java.

  • APIs are essentially directions for different pieces and kinds of software to talk directly to each other.
  • By incorporating Java's API in the Android smartphone operating system, Google made it possible for legions of Java experts to write Android apps.

The long legal battle centered on whether an API is copyrightable.

  • Lower courts divided on that question, and the Supreme Court punted on it.
  • Since Google's use of Java was covered under fair use, the justices ruled, they didn't have to make a final call on whether you can copyright an API.

What they're saying: "This is a re-affirmation of what we, and I think most of the software development community and copyright community had always thought was American law," Google senior vice president of global affairs Kent Walker told Axios.

  • "A ruling in the other direction would have been a tectonic shift in the way we've all dealt with software," he said, adding that the decision will help enable the next competitor to Google, too.
  • "From a policy standpoint, there is some logic to not making software developers reinvent the wheel, and spend money to create identical functionality using different forms of expression," said Bill Frankel, chair of Brinks Gilson & Lione's copyright group.

The intrigue: Oracle has agitated for regulatory action against Google for years, funding anti-big tech groups, lobbying states and members of Congress directly and taking shots at Google's business practices.

What's next: This case is done, but Oracle continues to support strong regulatory action on privacy, content moderation and antitrust targeting Google and other large tech companies, Ken Glueck, the company's vice president, told Axios.

  • "The U.S. software industry is going to be weaker as a result... I will guarantee you — it may not be me, but the software industry is going to go to Congress and reverse this decision," he said. "We fought a hard fight, we lost, we move on. But I see no reason why we'd say, everything else Google is doing doesn't matter."

The other side: "I would say the decision supports the use of Android and others in free and open source ways that benefit competition and consumers," said Walker.

Meanwhile: While not directly related to the case, CNBC reported that Google is in the process of swapping out some Oracle finance software in favor of SAP.

Go deeper

Apr 5, 2021 - Technology

Supreme Court sides with Google in long-running copyright dispute with Oracle

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Supreme Court handed Google a major victory on Monday, marking an end to a bitter battle between two tech giants over the use of software and copyrights.

Driving the news: The Supreme Court ruled 6-2 Monday in favor of Google in its long-running copyright dispute with Oracle.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

13 hours ago - Economy & Business

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!