Mar 27, 2018

Oracle wins a round against Alphabet

Oracle's headquarters in Redwood Shores, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A federal appeals court ruled in favor of tech giant Oracle's multi-billion-dollar copyright-infringement claim against Alphabet, which a lower court had previously denied, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The dispute is over APIs (application programming interfaces), the bridges that software systems use to connect. APIs are seen as a way for tech to become more open. If Oracle's victory survives further appeal, and more companies assert copyright over similar APIs, Alphabet and others claim tech innovation could suffer.

The background: Oracle claims Google's parent company, Alphabet, made illegal use of Oracle-copyrighted Java code in its Android mobile operating system. Alphabet says it had a "fair use" right to aspects of the Java code.

What Google is saying: From a spokesperson: “We are disappointed the court reversed the jury finding that Java is open and free for everyone. This type of ruling will make apps and online services more expensive for users. We are considering our options.”

Go deeper

HBCUs are missing from the discussion on venture capital's diversity

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Venture capital is beginning a belated conversation about its dearth of black investors and support of black founders, but hasn't yet turned its attention to the trivial participation of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as limited partners in funds.

Why it matters: This increases educational and economic inequality, as the vast majority of VC profits go to limited partners.

Unemployment rate falls to 13.3% in May

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May, with 2.5 million jobs gained, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The far better-than-expected numbers show a surprising improvement in the job market, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The difficulty of calculating the real unemployment rate

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Note: Initial traditional state claims from the weeks of May 23 and 30, continuing traditional claims from May 23. Initial PUA claims from May 16, 23, and 30, continuing PUA and other programs from May 16; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The shocking May jobs report — with a decline in the unemployment rate to 13.3% and more than 2 million jobs added — destroyed expectations of a much worse economic picture.

Why it matters: Traditional economic reports have failed to keep up with the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and have made it nearly impossible for researchers to determine the state of the U.S. labor market or the economy.