In a long awaited decision, the Supreme Court has ruled that Google's verbatim copying of 11,500 lines of Oracle's copyrighted Java code was fair use. (

In its decision, the Court assumed that the code was copyrightable, an issue disputed by the parties, and focused on whether Google's copying constituted fair use.  In a key consideration of fair use, the Court determined that Google's copying was transformative, creating a different task-related system for a different computing environment (smartphones) and platform (Android).

Ultimately this ruling expands the fair use defense for would-be software copyright users, loosening a copyright owner's control and potentially lowering valuations and licensing opportunities.

For an insightful discussion of the case, see: