Google staves off Oracle code copyright claim

Posted:
in General Discussion
Putting an end to a contentious trial, a jury on Thursday found that Google's implementation of 37 Java APIs in Android represented fair use -- rebuffing complaints by Java's nominal owner, Oracle.




A Google spokesperson called the ruling a "win for the Android ecosystem, for the Java programming community, and for software developers who rely on open and free programming languages to build innovative consumer products," according to TechCrunch. While Oracle sometimes licenses Java for commercial products, Google argued that it was exempt under fair use terms, because it transformed the code into a new product -- in this case, Android.

Oracle has already indicated it will file an appeal in the case, which dates back to 2010. "We strongly believe that Google developed Android by illegally copying core Java technology to rush into the mobile device market," said Oracle general counsel Dorian Daley.

A decision in Oracle's favor could potentially have deterred developers from tapping into third-party programming languages, something that's common practice. At the same time, some developers do rely on licensing APIs for income, necessitating protection.

Apple also famously claimed that Google stole to create Android, which resulted in a flurry of patent lawsuits, primarily against Samsung, its main competition in the phone and tablet space. These battles have largely been resolved, but the U.S. Supreme Court should soon hear a Samsung appeal of a $548 million verdict in Apple's favor. Samsung is looking to reduce the amount of money it may owe.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 61
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Damn shame, really.
    "We strongly believe that Google developed Android by illegally copying core Java technology
    Well, core something technology.
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 2 of 61
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Crime pays. 
    patchythepirateairbubble
  • Reply 3 of 61
    ronnronn Posts: 312member
    This ain't over by a long-shot. The judge, after being thoroughly rebuffed by the appeals court, went out of his way to steer the jury to this ruling. Hell, the 20+ minutes of jury instructions, and the constant announcement that everything would be over should they find for Google on the fair use portion gave the jury the very incentive to rule as they did. The judge allowed too much info to be kept from the jury that was favorable to Oracle in its appeal. This may -- and probably should -- lead to another successful appeal by Oracle.
    ericthehalfbeemoreckcalipatchythepiratemagman1979repressthisairbubblemacplusplusjony0
  • Reply 4 of 61
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 3,966member
    We knew this was coming. Aslup is biased (and pissed the Appeals Court reversed his previous decision) so he made sure to inject his bias into this trial (namely the jury instructions).

    Oracle will have to appeal again (and win again) before this gets settled.
    patchythepiratemagman1979mjhnlronnjony0
  • Reply 5 of 61
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,182member
    It's about time one of these thieving companies got their comeuppance. 
    palomine
  • Reply 6 of 61
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,818member
    We knew this was coming. Aslup is biased (and pissed the Appeals Court reversed his previous decision) so he made sure to inject his bias into this trial (namely the jury instructions).

    Oracle will have to appeal again (and win again) before this gets settled.
    Eyes in the courtroom were reporting Alsup was going out of his way to make sure the record was unassailable (MercuryNews). But in any event this was never going to over at this point anyway. The loser was guaranteed to appeal. Give it a few more years and we'll know more. 

  • Reply 7 of 61
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    Google's business practices are proof that sometimes crime does pay.
    calironnlatifbpjony0
  • Reply 8 of 61
    nextguynextguy Posts: 8member
    Guys, why are you cheering Oracle? Have you so quickly forgotten that Apple's OSX and by extenstion, ios, use POSIX style APIs all the way back from unix, and that Attachmate is the current owner?

    Oh but Apple took it from BSD you say. So what? Google took theirs from Apache Harmony, another BSD style licensed software.

    You really want Apple having to fight off a potential jury since APIs are being infringed?
    curt12BornSlippyrepressthisrevenantcnocbuisingularityfreshmaker
  • Reply 9 of 61
    sockrolid said:
    Google's business practices are proof that sometimes crime does pay.
    And this patently false. There's no need for fanboy rhetoric here. 
    cnocbui
  • Reply 10 of 61
    curt12curt12 Posts: 41member
    nextguy said:
    Guys, why are you cheering Oracle? Have you so quickly forgotten that Apple's OSX and by extenstion, ios, use POSIX style APIs all the way back from unix, and that Attachmate is the current owner?

    Oh but Apple took it from BSD you say. So what? Google took theirs from Apache Harmony, another BSD style licensed software.

    You really want Apple having to fight off a potential jury since APIs are being infringed?
    Reimplementing interfaces is a standard practice as old as the software industry. GNU/Linux and BSD (which OS X is partially based on) are among the most prominent examples, as free implementations of proprietary Unix. Amazon reimplements Google APIs. OpenStack reimplements Amazon's AWS APIs. Microsoft has implemented iOS APIs. Oracle was the one trying to change the game and make this practice no longer possible.
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 11 of 61
    curt12 said:
    Reimplementing interfaces is a standard practice as old as the software industry. GNU/Linux and BSD (which OS X is partially based on) are among the most prominent examples, as free implementations of proprietary Unix. Amazon reimplements Google APIs. OpenStack reimplements Amazon's AWS APIs. Microsoft has implemented iOS APIs. Oracle was the one trying to change the game and make this practice no longer possible.
    This is totally true.  I could not believe Oracle would try to argue that writing to the APIs was copying code.  However, after I looked at their "case in pictures," I thought they actually did a pretty good job of making that argument, as bogus as it is.  Clearly the jury was not so easily fooled.
    curt12cnocbui
  • Reply 12 of 61
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,432member
    curt12 said:
    Reimplementing interfaces is a standard practice as old as the software industry. GNU/Linux and BSD (which OS X is partially based on) are among the most prominent examples, as free implementations of proprietary Unix. Amazon reimplements Google APIs. OpenStack reimplements Amazon's AWS APIs. Microsoft has implemented iOS APIs. Oracle was the one trying to change the game and make this practice no longer possible.
    This is totally true.  I could not believe Oracle would try to argue that writing to the APIs was copying code.  However, after I looked at their "case in pictures," I thought they actually did a pretty good job of making that argument, as bogus as it is.  Clearly the jury was not so easily fooled.
    heh, Oracle's case in pictures is cogent, not bogus. Java has never been a truly free language. Just because Google copied parts of it wholesale and published them for anyone to use at no charge doesn't mean that's right--or legal--particularly when Google and its employees have been profiting handsomely from the effort.
    edited May 2016 ronn
  • Reply 13 of 61
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    It seems as if big tech companies with plenty of cash can do whatever the hell that they please, and they feel that they are above the law.

    They can copy, steal and rape other products, and what's the worst that will happen? They get sued? Big freakin' deal. By the time that the court cases are decided, many years will have passed, and the products that they've stolen are no longer current, and they'll have pocketed an enormous amount of profit. Just look at all of the iPhone copying that Samsung has done.

    If any and all methods are acceptable, then it would be hilarious if some new company comes along that has even worse morals than Google and Samsung, and that company employs methods such as arson, industrial espionage and even the occasional assassination. As long as they are able to hide their crimes, then what's the problem? All's fair in love & war & business too. :# 
    edited May 2016 palomine
  • Reply 14 of 61
    staticx57staticx57 Posts: 398member
    sockrolid said:
    Google's business practices are proof that sometimes crime does pay.
    And this patently false. There's no need for fanboy rhetoric here. 
    There is always a need for fanboy rhetoric
    repressthiswetlandertallest skilpscooter63singularityronn
  • Reply 15 of 61
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,953member
    nextguy said:
    Guys, why are you cheering Oracle? Have you so quickly forgotten that Apple's OSX and by extenstion, ios, use POSIX style APIs all the way back from unix, and that Attachmate is the current owner?

    Oh but Apple took it from BSD you say. So what? Google took theirs from Apache Harmony, another BSD style licensed software.

    You really want Apple having to fight off a potential jury since APIs are being infringed?
    I agree that Oracle shouldn't have tried to go the API copyright route.  I never really understood that line of argument.

    However, the core people at Google know damn well what they did is shady.  They needed to quickly get a software development environment for Android, and instead of going with something truly open and spending the time/resources in polishing it for commercial use (as NeXT/Apple did with Objective-C), or licensing it from someone, they simply "cloned-and-owned" Java.  They took advantage of the investment Sun had made in creating, refining, and popularizing Java amongst developers, without paying them a dime in licensing fees (as other companies were doing).  In turn, killing the core business model for Java.

    Sorry, but anyone who works in tech and doesn't see that as a sleazy, bad-for-the-industry, dick move deserves to lose their job/business to a knock-off company.
    edited May 2016 patchythepiraterepressthisronnpalomine
  • Reply 16 of 61
    nextguynextguy Posts: 8member
    auxio said:
    nextguy said:
    Guys, why are you cheering Oracle? Have you so quickly forgotten that Apple's OSX and by extenstion, ios, use POSIX style APIs all the way back from unix, and that Attachmate is the current owner?

    Oh but Apple took it from BSD you say. So what? Google took theirs from Apache Harmony, another BSD style licensed software.

    You really want Apple having to fight off a potential jury since APIs are being infringed?
    I agree that Oracle shouldn't have tried to go the API copyright route.  I never really understood that line of argument.

    However, the core people at Google know damn well what they did is shady.  They needed to quickly get a software development environment for Android, and instead of going with something truly open and spending the time/resources in polishing it for commercial use (as NeXT/Apple did with Objective-C), or licensing it from someone, they simply "cloned-and-owned" Java.  They took advantage of the investment Sun had made in creating, refining, and popularizing Java amongst developers, without paying them a dime in licensing fees (as other companies were doing).  In turn, killing the core business model for Java.

    Sorry, but anyone who works in tech and doesn't see that as a sleazy, bad-for-the-industry, dick move deserves to lose their job/business to a knock-off company.
    They used apache harmony as their base, not JavaSE. If that's the case Oracle should sue the Apache Foundation for hosting material and allowing people to copy Java.

    Of course, Sun and now Oracle, have thing thing called openjdk which has those same api's on a GPL and a classpath exemption, so really, Oracle has no rightful reason to be angry with someone "stealing" Java when they give it away themselves!
    freshmaker
  • Reply 17 of 61
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,818member
    auxio said:
    nextguy said:
    Guys, why are you cheering Oracle? Have you so quickly forgotten that Apple's OSX and by extenstion, ios, use POSIX style APIs all the way back from unix, and that Attachmate is the current owner?

    Oh but Apple took it from BSD you say. So what? Google took theirs from Apache Harmony, another BSD style licensed software.

    You really want Apple having to fight off a potential jury since APIs are being infringed?
    I agree that Oracle shouldn't have tried to go the API copyright route.  I never really understood that line of argument.

    However, the core people at Google know damn well what they did is shady.  They needed to quickly get a software development environment for Android, and instead of going with something truly open and spending the time/resources in polishing it for commercial use (as NeXT/Apple did with Objective-C), or licensing it from someone, they simply "cloned-and-owned" Java.  They took advantage of the investment Sun had made in creating, refining, and popularizing Java amongst developers, without paying them a dime in licensing fees (as other companies were doing).  In turn, killing the core business model for Java.

    Sorry, but anyone who works in tech and doesn't see that as a sleazy, bad-for-the-industry, dick move deserves to lose their job/business to a knock-off company.
    Java itself isn't copied is it? At least that's been reported. 
    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/why-the-very-silly-oracle-v-google-trial-actually-matters
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 18 of 61
    nextguynextguy Posts: 8member
    We knew this was coming. Aslup is biased (and pissed the Appeals Court reversed his previous decision) so he made sure to inject his bias into this trial (namely the jury instructions).

    Oracle will have to appeal again (and win again) before this gets settled.
    And the appeals court you mention of, the CAFC, has had their rulings rebuffed many times by the Supreme Court.

    Trust me, you don't want it any other way. Apple is currently fighting patent trolls that past rulings by the CAFC made possible. You know, trolls like VirnetX.

    If the case went to the 9th circuit, past decisions were in favor of using apis. It only went to the CAFC due to a patent dispute, even though not appealed.
    gatorguy
  • Reply 19 of 61
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,953member
    nextguy said:
    They used apache harmony as their base, not JavaSE. If that's the case Oracle should sue the Apache Foundation for hosting material and allowing people to copy Java.

    Of course, Sun and now Oracle, have thing thing called openjdk which has those same api's on a GPL and a classpath exemption, so really, Oracle has no rightful reason to be angry with someone "stealing" Java when they give it away themselves!
    Yup, and before that there was the Blackdown port of Java to Linux, which I worked a bit on.  Which was eventually superseded by OpenJDK.  These were community efforts to port Java to other platforms not done for profit (which Sun obviously benefitted from).  The game changes dramatically when you now bundle these technologies into a commercial product (as Google did).

    Sure Sun/Oracle has been confused about where they wanted to take Java, but it's still their choice to make whether someone is allowed to bundle it with their technology or not.  At the time, mobile platform creators had to pay a licensing fee for it.  Google decided not to and took a legally grey route to do it.  Just because they can't be pinned down by any particular copyright law doesn't mean that people in the tech industry should applaud them for anything.
    edited May 2016 patchythepirategatorguypscooter63palomine
  • Reply 20 of 61
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,953member
    gatorguy said:
    auxio said:
    I agree that Oracle shouldn't have tried to go the API copyright route.  I never really understood that line of argument.

    However, the core people at Google know damn well what they did is shady.  They needed to quickly get a software development environment for Android, and instead of going with something truly open and spending the time/resources in polishing it for commercial use (as NeXT/Apple did with Objective-C), or licensing it from someone, they simply "cloned-and-owned" Java.  They took advantage of the investment Sun had made in creating, refining, and popularizing Java amongst developers, without paying them a dime in licensing fees (as other companies were doing).  In turn, killing the core business model for Java.

    Sorry, but anyone who works in tech and doesn't see that as a sleazy, bad-for-the-industry, dick move deserves to lose their job/business to a knock-off company.
    Java itself isn't copied is it? At least that's been reported. 
    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/why-the-very-silly-oracle-v-google-trial-actually-matters
    Again, I don't agree with the notion that APIs and programming language structures should be copyrightable.  However, when you put together programming APIs, tools, a highly portable runtime environment, make it simple to use and well documented.  Then set up a licensing structure for device creators so that, if they choose to pay it, they can easily spin up a development environment for their commercial products (saving them a ton in R&D costs), you should have a protectable product IMO.
    edited May 2016 ronn
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