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Oracle wins key appeal in copyright suit against Google and Android OS

Posted: , by Maxwell R.

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Oracle wins key appeal in copyright suit against Google and Android OS
While all eyes have been on the never ending Apple-Samsung saga, another less visible, but arguably more important series of litigation has been underway between Oracle and Google, though it has been a couple years since there has been much news about it.

Oracle has been on a mission to protect what it says is copyright protected code in Java software code, code that was used by Google in its ongoing development of the Android mobile operating system. Those efforts suffered a temporary setback in 2012 when a court ruled that Oracle could not copyright its Java APIs.

As you might expect, Oracle appealed that ruling to the US Court of Appeals, and that panel of judges agreed with Oracle, writing up a 69 page decision. Circuit Judge Kathleen O’Malley wrote the opinion and leveled a barrage of criticisms against Judge William Alsup who had issued the aforementioned dismissal.

“We find that the district court failed to distinguish between the threshold question of what is copyrightable — which presents a low bar — and the scope of conduct that constitutes infringing activity. The court also erred by importing fair use principles, including interoperability concerns, into its copyrightability analysis. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the declaring code and the structure, sequence, and organization of the 37 Java API packages are entitled to copyright protection.”


Oracle was obviously pleased with the ruling, which allows the company to pursue a copyright claim in court. The appeals court also remanded back to the district court for retrial, that being whether Google used the code under Fair Use rules.

Google simply made a statement that it is disappointed with the ruling, “which sets a damaging precedent for computer science and software development.” The company is “considering” its options.

The background on all this is that Oracle contends Google copied more than 37 Java APIs, and 11 lines of Java source code when the former was developing Android. Oracle says these items are copyrighted, and should be protected just like any intellectual property. During the initial trial, the witness list was a who’s who of Silicon Valley, with Oracle’s founder and CEO Larry Ellison, Google CEO Larry Page, and former Sun Microsystems (the company that developed Java before Oracle acquired them) CEOs Scott McNealy and Jonathan Schwartz all taking the stand.

What happens next is predictable, as to when that will happen, we do not know yet. It looks like we will have more than drama to track in the near future though.

source: re/code

56 Comments
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posted on 09 May 2014, 21:07 11

1. darkkjedii (Posts: 22025; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


No way, google is perfectly innocent. They're never wrong, never never never.

posted on 09 May 2014, 21:56 6

8. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


On this one they are

posted on 10 May 2014, 11:51 3

42. Sauce (unregistered)


He was being sarcastic.

posted on 10 May 2014, 21:37 2

47. joey_sfb (Posts: 5991; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


America is the lands of frivolous lawsuits.

Why works hard on having new inventions when you can sue the inventors.

posted on 10 May 2014, 21:51

48. Sauce (unregistered)


And your reason for explaining this to me isssss…….?

posted on 10 May 2014, 22:22 3

49. joey_sfb (Posts: 5991; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


This decision may affect Google but Google can pay Oracle. 1B is small change to Google.

However, they are talking about API. The software components that links programs together and we having been using it since the beginning of having computer to let program talk to one another. Having that taken away from us will impair the entire software industries.

Google could still walk away unscratched because of the vast resources they have. 'Judge Alsup to decide whether Google's actions were protected under fair use'

But what happen to the smaller software companies that writes programs for their client. Only Microsoft, Oracle and other high up can do that now.

This is bad!!!

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/09/us-oracle-google-ruling-idUSBREA480KQ20140509

posted on 09 May 2014, 22:02 6

9. arenanew (Posts: 281; Member since: 30 Dec 2013)


google is most stupid and crap company . lose court case from microsoft , nokia , apple , ibm and know oracle .

posted on 09 May 2014, 22:11 6

11. sprockkets (Posts: 1611; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


Microsoft? Nokia?

You are making sht up now.

And no, Microsoft vs. Motorola doesn't count.

posted on 09 May 2014, 22:52 2

16. 12Danny123 (Posts: 87; Member since: 18 Aug 2012)


Google owned Motorola. They owned them to sue Apple and Microsoft and yet they flopped at it. Was pretty funny that Moto demanded 2 billion for patents while in reality they only got a few hundred million

posted on 09 May 2014, 23:52 7

19. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Google bought Motorola and their patents to protect android from patent trolls(your fav company). STF.

posted on 10 May 2014, 05:46 4

32. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Well said but these fans still believe Apple is innocent even their a patent trolls they still give credit knowing that's wrong

posted on 10 May 2014, 22:45 2

50. joey_sfb (Posts: 5991; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


No surprise. Apple Insider has wrote a long directives for their flock.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/05/09/oracle-wins-key-reversal-in-java-copyright-case-against-googles-android

posted on 10 May 2014, 10:28 1

41. sprockkets (Posts: 1611; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


And motorola sued everyone before google owned them, including apple.

Saying otherwise is just bullsht.

Oh, and no one can argue about nokia.

posted on 09 May 2014, 23:49 1

18. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Lol another nokia fanboy pretending to be a so-called MS fan. Dude just shut up and pass on.

posted on 09 May 2014, 22:51 3

15. 12Danny123 (Posts: 87; Member since: 18 Aug 2012)


Pff please since when has Google acted as innocent company?

posted on 09 May 2014, 23:53 5

20. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Time to change diapers baby...

posted on 10 May 2014, 01:13

29. bon24x7 (Posts: 206; Member since: 30 Aug 2012)


are you google's nanny?

posted on 10 May 2014, 01:44 1

30. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Whatever suits you

posted on 10 May 2014, 05:57

34. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


The good vs the bad

We know what we are and them I don't think they do know cause one thing is not functioning

posted on 10 May 2014, 00:02 1

22. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Man, you sound like the rest of these 'Dumases'....

posted on 10 May 2014, 15:46 1

44. Tsoliades (Posts: 228; Member since: 22 Dec 2012)


Shawshank haha

posted on 10 May 2014, 05:58 1

35. jroc74 (Posts: 6015; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


All this says....is the case will get looked at again, tried again....thats all.

posted on 10 May 2014, 17:15 2

46. ojdidit84 (Posts: 458; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


You of all people should be intelligent enough to know the details and back story to all of this nonsense with Oracle after they purchased Java after Google had already been using it with praise from the then CEO of Sun. I feel like reading all of the comments from all of the English butchers here is taking a toll on the IQ's of long time intelligible posters here... lol

posted on 09 May 2014, 21:08 2

2. dlionbench (Posts: 8; Member since: 07 May 2014)


if its copyrightable then it is googleable....

posted on 09 May 2014, 21:10 13

3. sprockkets (Posts: 1611; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


just goes to show that they have no bleeping clue of what they are talking about.

Judge alsup got it right because he actually researched it. He even made a good analogy of why it doesn't deserve copyright:

"US District Judge William Alsup, in his 2012 ruling for Google, wrote that even though Google could have rearranged "the various methods under different groupings among the various classes and packages," the overall name tree is "a utilitarian and functional set of symbols, each to carry out a pre-assigned function... Duplication of the command structure is necessary for interoperability."

The judge compared the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to a library, with each package as a bookshelf, each class a book on the shelf, and each method a chapter out of a how-to book.

"As to the 37 packages, the Java and Android libraries are organized in the same basic way but all of the chapters in Android have been written with implementations different from Java but solving the same problems and providing the same functions." The declarations, or headers, "must be identical to carry out the given function," Alsup wrote.

About 97 percent of the source code in the API packages are different. It's only the 3 percent that overlaps that formed the heart of Oracle's copyright claim. That three percent included packages, methods, and class names.""

-via Arstechnica

posted on 09 May 2014, 21:13 1

4. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 2283; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)


Lol.. Oh boy... This should be interesting

posted on 09 May 2014, 21:20 4

5. PBXtech (Posts: 1032; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


Forgot about this one, wasn't even aware Oracle appealed, the way they got smacked down from the original trial. If memory serves, Judge Alsup is one of the few judges that actually understands technology, surprised O'Malley smacked him down like she did.

posted on 09 May 2014, 21:40 4

6. sprockkets (Posts: 1611; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


"According to Cantrill, Oracle shouldn’t exactly be crowing about its court victory. Cantrell works on an open-source version of the Solaris operating system, and he says that Oracle copied some of his APIs into its Oracle Solaris product without permission.

Cantrill says he’d never sue Oracle over API copyright. “The reality is that the principle itself is wrong,” he wrote in his post. But it goes to show what a nasty can of worms this precedent could set for the entire software industry."

http://www.wired.com/2014/05/oracle-copyright/

posted on 09 May 2014, 21:55 2

7. Augustine (Posts: 1043; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


Software developers are so naive... It matters zilch who's right, for if you cannot afford a lawyer, you're as good as wrong. In America, might is right.

posted on 09 May 2014, 22:13

12. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


You know lot about system software

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