For once at least, Americans should be hoping China takes a hard-line stance against an American company. China’s crown jewel information and communications technology giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd. is currently trying to determine if Google’s business practices regarding its Android mobile operating system are predatory to the point of stifling competition.
The concern over Google’s practices isn’t limited to China. Here at home, Google doesn’t deny that it stole 11,500 lines of Java code from Oracle. What’s worse, Google claims the code it decided to borrow permanently isn’t copyrightable and falls under the umbrella of the “fair use doctrine,” which is a law that grants limited use copying. Former Utah Senator Orrin Hatch and former U.S. House Representative Bob Goodlatte, among others, have ridiculed Google’s claim.
Suppose the United States does not call out Google for what should be widely recognized as intellectual property (IP) theft. In that case, it will only encourage China and legitimize future theft by America’s number one competitor, adversary, and national security threat – communist China. So a win for Google, in this case, is also a win for China as well.
The U.S. Supreme Court held oral arguments in October for the Google v. Oracle case. The over 11,000 lines of Java code that Google permanently borrowed to create Android took center stage.
Experts are calling this the copyright case of the century, and it’s not for no reason. If Google wins the court case, songwriters, news publishers, and health care organizations that depend on strong copyright protections will become victims of the new, post-Google digital economy.
China is forever searching for ways to steal American intellectual property. Google winning this case will set a precedent that weakens IP enforcement at home, benefiting no one more than China.
The Hudson Institute, a research center dedicated to nonpartisan analysis of political issues concerning U.S. and international economics and security, filed an amicus brief for the Google v. Oracle court case. It says in part: “lowering protection for this form of intellectual property (IP)…will have broader international consequences making it harder for the United States to expand and enforce copyright protection, particularly when dealing with difficult actors like China, which has historically encouraged theft of United States IP…”
It is no secret that large multinational companies like Google publicly give lip service to free markets (which to them means “free to do as they choose”) by claiming any and all competition is beneficial for everyone. In reality, what large multinational corporations really want is to form monopolies that maximize benefits from the sale of their goods or services.
However, the term “free market” is never mentioned in our U.S. Constitution. Still, our founding national document does say we are to “regulate Commerce with foreign Nations and among the several states…” Regulating commerce is what we should be hoping China does with Google. We should follow our own U.S. Constitution and do the same. If we do not, we will set a dangerous precedence that would legitimize anti-competitive behavior, up to and including IP theft.
Bloomberg Economics recently forecast that by 2035, “China will have overtaken the U.S. to become the world’s biggest economy and perhaps also its most powerful political actor.” We cannot let that happen. We should be careful with this current case and all future ones to ensure America continues to win and lead with common-sense protections of intellectual property. Only the global winners and leaders will write history and the economic rules by which we must all abide.
About Roger Simmermaker
Roger Simmermaker has written multiple books on buying American and trade policy since 1996, and has been a frequent guest on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, and MSNBC. Roger has also been quoted or featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, BusinessWeek, and The New York Times, among many other publications. His new book ” UNCONSTITUTIONAL: Our Founding Fathers Rejected FREE TRADE And So Should We,” was printed in January 2020.
This article appeared originally on WND.