Helienne Lindvall of the Ivors Academy, David Lowery of Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, Blake Morgan of #irespectmusic and the Songwriters Guild of America joined in a friend of the court brief supporting Oracle in Google’s appeal of its losing argument in a copyright case involving Google’s taking of Oracle’s Java code without a license. Oracle won the case on two different occasions at the Federal Circuit, but Google appealed to the Supreme Court which of course is their right.
I got to co-write the brief as co-counsel with my friend Charles Sanders, long time counsel for SGA. You can read it here.
Oracle had nice things to say about our brief:
There will also be numerous Amicus Briefs filed shortly on the side of strong copyright protection for expressive and creative works including computer software. One brief, filed by the Songwriters Guild will state: “There are untold riches in running the Internet of other people’s things.” Only a songwriter could so eloquently capture the essence of this case, and Google’s business practices. We wish we would have thought of that line ourselves, but we didn’t, so we repeat it here (with credit and permission).
One of the accomplishments in our brief was that we were able to bring the words of artists and songwriters like Zoë Keating, Kerry Muzzey and the indefatigable artist advocate and five-time Grammy winner Maria Schneider before the Court. All of them have written eloquently of the reality of being an independent up against the biggest corporations in the world. We were happy to put their voices before the highest court in an important copyright case.
Stay tuned. Google’s reply brief is coming soon and oral argument is scheduled for March 24.