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Oracle's argument is that while Java is an open-source language free to all, using the APIs as Google did requires a license—and the fact that Google doesn't have one puts them on the wrong side of copyright law.
"The Java language is free and open; it's been in the public domain for years," Van Nest said. "And those APIs you heard about, they are necessary just to use the language. Without the APIs, the language is basically useless."