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Trump administration backed Oracle in Supreme Court fight with Google

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  • Oracle and Google are scheduled to face off before the US Supreme Court on March 24. 
  • The 10-year-old dispute is based on Oracle’s claim that Google stole a key component of its Java technology to build the Android operating system.
  • Google rejects the charge, saying Oracle cannot copyright the code — known as APIs, or application programming interfaces — which allows programs to talk to each other.
  • The Trump administration, through Solicitor General Noel Francisco, argues that Google is using an “idiosyncratic approach.”
  • Roughly two dozen other groups, including The Motion Picture Association and the Recording Industry Association of America, have also filed “amicus” briefs backing Oracle. 
  • The groups have put forward a range of different arguments and legal theories to make the case against Google.
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It was Oracle’s turn this week to tout the groups and personalities that are rallying around its upcoming Supreme Court showdown with Google. 

The tech giant’s endorsers included a heavy hitter: the Trump administration.

More than two dozen parties filed Supreme Court declarations, known as “amicus briefs,” endorsing Oracle’s position in the legal brawl.  The tech giant got a big boost from the White House with the endorsement of Solicitor General Noel Francisco, a Trump appointee.

The Trump administration endorsement became controversial. Francisco filed his brief the same day Oracle founder Larry Ellison  held a fundraising dinner for Trump in Southern California, which sparked an employee protest at Oracle. 

Oracle also won the support of the Recording Industry Association of America, the Songwriters Guild, and the News Media Alliance, as well as major tech figures, such as Joe Tucci, the former CEO of EMC and Scott McNealy, the former CEO and cofounder of Sun Microsystems, which created Java and which was acquired by Oracle in 2010.

The dispute is based on Oracle’s claim that Google stole a key component of its Java technology to build the Android operating system. Google rejects the charge, saying Oracle cannot copyright the code — known as APIs, or application programming interfaces — which allows programs to talk to each other. 

The two companies are scheduled to face off before the Supreme Court on March 24.

Here are all the different groups supporting Oracle as it goes to the Supreme Court, and here’s why they think Google must be stopped.

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