Google’s use of Java applications was fair, rules US Supreme Court

Google’s use of Java applications was fair, rules US Supreme Court

On April 5 the United States Supreme Court finally gave its verdict on the biggest copyright dispute of this century. The court overturned the 2018 decision of the Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit. The verdict is a big win for Google as the Supreme Court says it was a fair use as a matter of law.

The case started in 2010 when Oracle filed a lawsuit against Google in United States District Court for patent and copyright infringement. It alleged that Google used Oracle’s 37 packages of Java application Programming interface in its android operating system. There were many twists and turns in this case in the past ten years. In 2018, the court of appeals for the federal circuit held Google guilty. It held that API packages are copyrightable and Google copying API packages is not fair. Google filed an appeal against this verdict of CAFC and it reached the Supreme Court.

Java is one of the world’s most popular programming languages. The Java language itself is composed of keywords and other symbols and a set of pre-written programmes to carry out various commands. In 2007, Google started its android software platform for mobile phones based on Java. Java and android include virtual machines, development and testing kits and APIs. Oracle’s claim says 37 packages in Java API while there were 166 packages in the Java API that are divided into more than 600 classes, further subdivided into a large number of methods. Google copied the exact names and functions of these 37 virtual packages, but used a different code to implement them and wrote its own source code.

Google’s new product gave programmers a highly creative and innovative tool. Based on this Supreme Court held that even though Google’s use was a commercial activity, it would still fall under fair use because of the inherently transformative role that reimplementation played in the new android system.

European court says banning unvaccinated kids from school is necessary

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has said that banning unvaccinated children from school in the Czech Republic is a necessary measure in a democratic society.  It is a protective measure for children and not a punitive one against the few not immunised.

Judges decided through a 16-1 vote that the objective is to protect every child from deadly diseases. “The Czech health policy could, therefore, be said to be consistent with the best interests of the children who were its focus,” the Strasbourg, France-based court said. But there is still an argument somewhere, because the court thinks that the ruling could become political fodder, since societies still argue over whether children should be vaccinated against Covid. Also, none of the vaccines so far licensed to be used around the world has had finalised any level of testing done with under-18 subjects.

This case came to the fore when some families filed a complaint when their children were denied entry to schools for not getting childhood jabs. The dates for routine childhood vaccinations fell during the pandemic so the families in the Czech Republic could not get vaccines for their kids. Here the court rules that getting vaccination is important and some childhood diseases might make the child fall prey to Covid.  Doctors argue that the pandemic will be fully under control only if children are immunised. Vaccine producers Pfizer and Moderna are holding clinical trials on adolescents for the Covid vaccine.   

Tesla brings in Paris accord as it complains against slow German laws

Tesla has supported a German pressure group complaint against the Office of Environment in Brandenburg, saying that if restrictions were imposed by German authorities for permissions, delaying the opening of its Gigafactory – an electric car assembly plant – in Europe then the country may not be able to meet its Paris Climate Accord goals.

The US company started its construction of the plant a year ago and it complains that not much has happened because of delays in permissions, as German regulations are too slow and inflexible.

Tesla wants to open its Gigafactory by June 2021 and is hiring approximately 12,000 workers to manufacture 500,000 electric vehicles a year. “Obstacles in German law governing permits are slowing down the necessary industrial transformation and thus the transformation of transport and energy,” Tesla said, but the Office of Environment in Brandenburg, said, that the factory can open.

A lawsuit has been filed by Environmental Action Germany, against the federal government for not doing enough to keep to the Paris climate accord. Tesla sent a letter to the top administrative court in the region in support of the lawsuit.

Pak anti-terrorism court gives 9-year jail sentences to 5 Hafiz Saeed aides 

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has sentenced five aides of Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s Jamat-ud-Dawa to nine years of imprisonment each in a terror financing case.

Of the five, three – Umar Bahadar, Nasarullah and Samiullah – have been convicted for the first time after the ani-terrorism court gave its verdict in terror financing case registered by counter terrorism department of Punjab Police. The other two aides, Yahya Muajid and Prof. Zafar Iqbal, have already been convicted several times earlier in terror financing cases. Hafiz Saeed’s brother-in-law Hafiz Abdul Rehman has also been sentenced to six months imprisonment in the same case. All these leaders have been collecting funds and have been unlawfully financing the organisation.

The court has also ordered confiscation of assets made through terror financing. Hafiz Saeed has been sentenced to 36 years in jail in five terror financing cases.  He is serving his term in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail, along with other convicted JuD leaders.

The counter terrorism department of Punjab Police has so far lodged 41 FIRs against these Jud leaders and the trial courts have decided 37 of them.

 Singapore man found with 156 replica guns 

A Singaporean, reported to the police, allegedly had 156 replica guns in his possession. He tried to hire a cab to deliver the guns, but failed as the cab driver suspected something wrong. He is on trial under the arms and explosives act, according to a Straits Times report.

According to the court, these guns can discharge pellets. Components of the guns were also found. The cab driver took the stand on first day of the trial and recalled receiving a booking around 9 am to drop the passenger to Woodlands from Sims area. When he reached the pickup point, a man knocked on the window of his car and handed him a box telling that it contained books and magazines. But the driver suspected something wrong when he found the box too heavy. The driver asked the man to open the box but he rejected his request, but agreed when the driver said that he would cancel the booking. He was scared that there might be something illegal and on seeing a gun like object inside, he immediately returned the box.

The driver, then, cancelled the booking and informed his office about the incident. He further shared that he even received a call from Ang Mo Kio police division and was asked to give a statement to the police. The trial is still ongoing in court and the man was arrested on the very same day and over 150 airsoft handguns and accessories were seized from him.

Top Dawood aide may get bail from London court as US drops extradition request 

Jabir Motiwala alias Jabir Siddiqui, Dawood Ibrahim’s top lieutenant in the worldwide criminal network D company, is set to walk out of a UK prison, after the US dropped an extradition request for the Pakistani national. Jabir has been held at Wandsworth prison in South-West London since his arrest in 2018. Jabir has been convicted of drug trafficking, money laundering and blackmail charges.

Jabir appealed against his extradition order in the High Court. He was awaiting judgment when the extradition request got cancelled this week.  This means he can get bail.

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Motiwala reported directly to the underworld don Dawood, a designated terrorist and wanted in the 1993 serial bombings in Mumbai, the US extradition request stated. The US withdrew its request, and the Crown Prosecution Services said: “We will not be appealing any decision to grant bail.”
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