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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: 11825; 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: 3002; 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: 3002; 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: 202; 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: 1236; 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: 86; 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: 3418; 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: 3002; 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: 1236; 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: 3418; 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: 86; 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: 3418; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Time to change diapers baby...

posted on 10 May 2014, 01:13

29. bon24x7 (Posts: 205; Member since: 30 Aug 2012)


are you google's nanny?

posted on 10 May 2014, 01:44 1

30. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3418; 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: 6274; 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: 213; Member since: 22 Dec 2012)


Shawshank haha

posted on 10 May 2014, 05:58 1

35. jroc74 (Posts: 4934; 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: 375; 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: 1236; 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: 1947; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)


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

posted on 09 May 2014, 21:20 4

5. PBXtech (Posts: 980; 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: 1236; 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: 732; 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

posted on 10 May 2014, 00:29

27. elitewolverine (Posts: 1700; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


It depends on how you interpret it.

It is one thing to do the same thing with different methods, it is another to simply copy a system. Especially if it was not open source to begin with.

That would be like copying MS code which we all know is copyrighted to some extent. Making it open source, then saying its open source.

This has huge impacts, in the fact that software is copyrightable.

posted on 09 May 2014, 22:03 3

10. arenanew (Posts: 202; Member since: 30 Dec 2013)


ban culprit company google from all over the world

posted on 10 May 2014, 00:02 4

21. tswsabeer (Posts: 16; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)


And you'll soon be paying for everything on the internet.

posted on 10 May 2014, 00:26

26. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3418; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Lol. You are pathetic, go back to your momma and cry.

posted on 10 May 2014, 05:53 2

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


Looks like MS and the Fruit has inclined you with them

Why do you hate someone doing good and minding there own business

I believe you have hate and jealousy. You are no longer yourself

posted on 09 May 2014, 22:29 2

13. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3253; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


Google guilty of stealing. What a surprise.

Of course this is nothing compared to what they do with almost every Android phone every day -- steal all your personal data.

posted on 09 May 2014, 23:44 9

17. DigitalJedi_X (banned) (Posts: 202; Member since: 27 Apr 2014)


Let's be real here... They ALL steal your data. From Apple to M$ to Google. They all do. Stop trolling and acting like it's only Google. At least Google has you opt in, not too sure about M$ and Apple.

posted on 10 May 2014, 00:03 3

24. networkdood (Posts: 6274; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


At least with Google, I have ways to control the loss of data, while with Microsoft and APPLE, consumers are screwed...

posted on 10 May 2014, 00:29

28. elitewolverine (Posts: 1700; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


I don't think you actually know what you can and cannot control....

posted on 10 May 2014, 00:06 3

25. tswsabeer (Posts: 16; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)


Yeah, our data means business to Google. And we can trust them with it as long as they don't disclose it others. And be aware that Google is not the only company that is "stealing" our data.

posted on 11 May 2014, 21:49

55. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6575; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


People are still blind that they think Apple never steal data or spy. EVERY COMPANIES including our own GOV'T SPIES on us from phones through email and yet half of these fans keeps saying GOOGLE deserve what they get. I'm just sick and tired of all these B.S. patent law suits. it will never com to a end.

posted on 10 May 2014, 00:03 4

23. networkdood (Posts: 6274; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Yeah, not like APPLE or Microsoft ever steal competitors' ideas or use customers' data....nope...never

posted on 09 May 2014, 22:38 1

14. sprockkets (Posts: 1236; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


appleinsider is -------->

posted on 10 May 2014, 04:52 8

31. Sniggly (Posts: 7113; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Lol at all the ignorant kids ripping on Google. As has been stated, the judge who declared that the software was not copyrightable actually did his research.

Further of note: in the original trial, Oracle was found to have attempted to hide evidence that didn't support their claims. The most damning was the erasure of a blog post by the CEO of Sun, who was HAPPY about Android using Java and praised Google for it. Oracle was essentially exposed as a patent troll with nothing to offer the tech community.

posted on 10 May 2014, 06:01 4

36. jroc74 (Posts: 4934; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Exactly...

All the folks declaring Google stealing, doing wrong...all this means is the case will get looked at again.

The outcome could still be the same...

posted on 10 May 2014, 06:02 2

37. rantao333 (Posts: 254; Member since: 21 May 2013)


Whenever google / samsung found guilty, fanboy start questioning the fairness and justice of the patent law, the judge, the conspiracy of US to protect homeland company.

Whenever microsoft, apple found with misbehave, fanboy cry with joy of tears.

JUST because google doenst charge them, suddenly everything sound acceptable and noble to them.

posted on 10 May 2014, 06:24 5

38. jroc74 (Posts: 4934; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


You have to be a lil more specific...because fanboys of Apple dont cry with joy of tears...if Apple is found to misbehave...some even chose not to read that Apple was also found guilty of wrong doing in the latest Samsung v Apple trial...

Remember...there are fanboys on all sides...not just for Google, Android, Samsung...

posted on 10 May 2014, 07:44 2

39. papss (unregistered)


Bahahahahaha!!! What's right will win and what's wrong will be fined... If any of us fanboys think that our favorite tech companies are perfect and never have hidden agendas then you truly are an idiot... Whether it be M$, Google, Apple, SS or any of the others.

posted on 10 May 2014, 23:16 2

51. joey_sfb (Posts: 3002; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Why is there a favorite tech company in the first place?

Those companies that you mention treat us like cash cow but we normally earn our money from smaller companies that rely on free and open market.

This ruling is going against that it protecting big cooperation Google included. Google has so much patent and copyright in their hands and they will do whatever it take to survive.

What I am trying to say is please don't take regular folk bread and butter away!

posted on 10 May 2014, 09:58 3

40. putes (Posts: 38; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)


You knew nothing good was going to happen to Java after Oracle purchased Sun Micro. This will send a chill to all Java developers and it marks the beginning of the end of Java.

posted on 10 May 2014, 14:13

43. crazymonkey05 (Posts: 155; Member since: 20 Nov 2012)


Even though I love Google so much...I believe that oracle has the right to sue.....this was their product and Google used it without payment and that's not right.

posted on 10 May 2014, 17:12 4

45. ojdidit84 (Posts: 375; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


This was Sun's product that gave Google the rights to use it. It wasn't until Oracle bought Java (through purchasing Sun) that it became a problem that Google was using Java. What Oracle is doing is classic patent troll behavior.

posted on 10 May 2014, 23:40 2

52. joey_sfb (Posts: 3002; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


"As we and others tried to explain to the court, the freedom to reimplement and extend existing APIs has been the key to competition and progress in both hardware and software development. It made possible the emergence and success of many robust industries we now take for granted—for mainframes, PCs, workstations/servers, and so on—by ensuring that competitors could challenge established players and advance the state of the art. In other words, excluding APIs from copyright protection has been essential to the development of modern computers and the Internet."

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/05/dangerous-ruling-oracle-v-google-federal-circuit-reverses-sensible-lower-court

This ruling disrupt both software and hardware development.

posted on 11 May 2014, 08:17

53. AstroBouy (Posts: 5; Member since: 11 May 2014)


Cheat Lary page.. now u will have to pay pagy boy.. hahaha

posted on 12 May 2014, 06:01

56. DigitalJedi_X (banned) (Posts: 202; Member since: 27 Apr 2014)


I'm sure he will. But only if you learn how to spell first.

posted on 11 May 2014, 21:36

54. MyJobSux (Posts: 81; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)


Wonder if Google could buy out Oracle or at least buy Java...maybe thats dumb but if the patents would go with Java then maybe that could be a good thing.

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