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

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.



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

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56 Comments

1. darkkjedii

Posts: 30895; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

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

8. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

On this one they are

42. Sauce unregistered

He was being sarcastic.

47. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

America is the lands of frivolous lawsuits. Why works hard on having new inventions when you can sue the inventors.

48. Sauce unregistered

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

49. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 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

9. arenanew

Posts: 286; Member since: Dec 30, 2013

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

11. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

Microsoft? Nokia? You are making sht up now. And no, Microsoft vs. Motorola doesn't count.

16. 12Danny123

Posts: 87; Member since: Aug 18, 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

19. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

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

32. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

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

50. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

41. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

And motorola sued everyone before google owned them, including apple. Saying otherwise is just bullsht. Oh, and no one can argue about nokia.

18. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

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

15. 12Danny123

Posts: 87; Member since: Aug 18, 2012

Pff please since when has Google acted as innocent company?

20. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Time to change diapers baby...

29. bon24x7

Posts: 211; Member since: Aug 30, 2012

are you google's nanny?

30. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Whatever suits you

34. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 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

22. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

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

44. Tsoliades

Posts: 228; Member since: Dec 22, 2012

Shawshank haha

35. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

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

46. ojdidit84

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 16, 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

2. dlionbench

Posts: 8; Member since: May 07, 2014

if its copyrightable then it is googleable....

3. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 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

4. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2348; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

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

5. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 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.

6. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 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/

7. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 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.

12. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

You know lot about system software

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