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Smartphones, Tablets and Handheld Computing From Android, Symbian to Apple devices, this is the place for discussion and debate, whether it's smartphones, tablets or even gaming handhelds.

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Old May 26, 2016, 05:33 PM   #1
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Sazar
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Default Google beats Oracle—Android makes “fair use” of Java APIs

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2...d-is-fair-use/

Following a two-week trial, a federal jury concluded Thursday that Google's Android operating system does not infringe Oracle-owned copyrights because its re-implementation of 37 Java APIs is protected by "fair use." The verdict was reached after three days of deliberations.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, listen to your verdict as it will stand recorded," said the court clerk, before polling each of the ten men and women on the jury.

There was only one question on the special verdict form, asking if Google's use of the Java APIs was a "fair use" under copyright law. The jury unanimously answered "yes," in Google's favor. The verdict ends the trial, which began earlier this month. If Oracle had won, the same jury would have gone into a "damages phase" to determine how much Google should pay. Because Google won, the trial is over.


Google's win somewhat softens the blow to software developers who previously thought programming language APIs were free to use. It's still the case that APIs can be protected by copyright under the law of at least one appeals court. However, the first high-profile attempt to control APIs with copyright law has now been stymied by a "fair use" defense.

It isn't clear how much Oracle would have asked for in the damages phase, but it could have been as much as $9 billion. That's how much Oracle asked for in an early expert report.

Over the course of the two-week trial, jurors heard testimony from current and former CEOs at Sun Microsystems, Google, and Oracle, as well as in-the-trenches programmers and computer experts from both companies.

Oracle, which acquired Java when it purchased Sun Microsystems, sued Google over the APIs in 2010. In 2012, following a first jury trial, US District Judge William Alsup ruled that APIs can't be copyrighted at all, but Alsup's opinion was overturned on appeal. At this month's trial, Google's only available argument was that the 37 APIs constituted "fair use."


Sanity prevailed. Now we wait for the appeals. Last time sanity prevailed, the appeals court made a ridiculous ruling. The jury has sided with common sense again but who knows how the appeals court will rule.
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Old May 27, 2016, 01:21 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Sazar View Post
Sanity prevailed.
If sanity prevailed in your court system, they wouldn't be able to appeal and this would be the final decision on the matter.

The only people benefiting from this are, as always, lawyers.
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Old Jun 4, 2016, 10:02 PM   #3
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Default

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Originally Posted by daPhoenix View Post
If sanity prevailed in your court system, they wouldn't be able to appeal and this would be the final decision on the matter.

The only people benefiting from this are, as always, lawyers.
If the only people who benefited were lawyers, then nobody would ever sue.

What's seen here is actually a pretty typical behavior of Oracle. They're perhaps the most litigious software developer that exists. Typically their business model relies on a bait-and-sue approach.

They bait the management with talented salespeople and a product that sounds like it gets the job done for a reasonable cost (When the management buys Oracle, they somehow always forget to check whether or not the user interface is a big **** pile. Those who do usually go elsewhere.)

Once you have their product and are using it, you've already agreed to regular licensing audits in the EULA. Where they stick you is their software doesn't prevent you from doing anything that you aren't licensed for, and so when they come do their audits, they'll almost always find something and then proceed stick it up your ass. When this happens, they can charge basically whatever they want because you've committed copyright infringement, even though you probably weren't aware of it. And that's exactly what they do: No negotiation, just here's what it costs, and pay or else we'll release the hounds.

The saving grace for Google is that they never signed an EULA with either Sun or Oracle. Nonetheless, Oracle saw all of the money that Android was generating and their eyes lit up with dollar signs thinking that there's got to be some way they can have a piece of it since its API is very similar to one created by a company they purchased, even though what Google did was in no way different from what every other major software company does all the time. In fact, Oracle's name started with a SQL database product they sold in the 70's, which itself was based on a language that IBM created.
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Old Jun 14, 2016, 03:45 PM   #4
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by daPhoenix View Post
If sanity prevailed in your court system, they wouldn't be able to appeal and this would be the final decision on the matter.

The only people benefiting from this are, as always, lawyers.
They were able to appeal because a couple of judges with apparently no knowledge of coding and APIs decided to overrule the judge who actually coded and knew what he was ruling on.

So I would say sanity prevailed after the ridiculous decision earlier.
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