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Jury Rules Google Violated Java Copyright, Google Moves For Mistrial

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the opening-a-big-can-of-worms dept.

Google 475

eldavojohn writes "Details are thin, but the long-covered Oracle v. Google trial has at least partially been decided in favor of Oracle. The jury says Google violated copyrights with Android when it used Java APIs to design the system. Google moved for a mistrial after hearing the incomplete decision. The patent infringement accusations have yet to be ruled upon."

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475 comments

Time for the Judges ruling? (5, Informative)

niado (1650369) | about 2 years ago | (#39919015)

Does the judge now have to rule on whether API's can be copyrighted?

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919087)

Yes.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (-1, Troll)

Miskaata (2633855) | about 2 years ago | (#39919145)

It's more about Google finally getting what is has been asking for. They have blatantly violated laws, copyrights and privacy of both people and companies. People, including judges and the government, have finally started to catch up. It's good to see. I foresee that Google will be getting many fines and loses in courts in upcoming months and it serves them well, as they are a bullshit company that abuses just about everything to get what they want.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (4, Informative)

harrkev (623093) | about 2 years ago | (#39919167)

Great plan. You don't like Google, so of COURSE they did something wrong.

Part of Java (from what I understand) is open-source. But, if Oracle is right, you could get sued for using it anyways. Well, if whoever owns the C language decides to sue, GCC could go bye-bye.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (0, Troll)

Jamestos (2633863) | about 2 years ago | (#39919259)

Open source does not mean it's not copyrightable. In fact, GPL is by definition a restrictive copyright license too. Open source, by definition, just means that - you get the source. It doesn't give you any more rights.

And Miskaata is right. Google has been abusing tons of laws and people in their road to glory. They have finally coming under review and sanctions for it. Not just in the US, but around the world, including Europe, Australia, South Korea and tons of other countries.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (5, Insightful)

harrkev (623093) | about 2 years ago | (#39919455)

Well, I, for one, support Google.

They are in the business to sell advertising. If you do not buy advertising, then you have probably never paid a dime directly to Google. I hate to say it, but invading privacy is just part of the business. How MUCH a part of the business is definitely open for debate, however.

It is a balancing act. No invasion of privacy = no money. Too much = evil.

I admit that everything that they have done has NOT been perfect, and there have been many mis-steps. However, for a company of their size, they do indeed manage to be the least evil. To me, Apple is very very evil. Microsoft is evil. Sony is evil. Google is fairly benign.

Name another company that size that is as friendly to open source software. Name another one that gives you as much stuff for free (yes, I know -- paid for by advertising to you). Name another company that actually CARES about not being evil. Apple and Microsoft simply care about the bottom line -- period.

No, Google is not perfect, but they could be a LOT worse, and they seem to actually care.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 2 years ago | (#39919553)

They are in the business to sell advertising. If you do not buy advertising, then you have probably never paid a dime directly to Google. I hate to say it, but invading privacy is just part of the business. How MUCH a part of the business is definitely open for debate, however.

I presonally, would rather pay money to a company, than have them invade my privacy. Of course, I'd like to not have to pay money to them in order to have them not invade my privay –that would be a protection racket.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919579)

Please stop drinking the Google kool-aid. It is killing what few brain cells you have left.

Who is paying you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919513)

It's Facebook, amirite?

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#39919383)

The real fun begins when Alan Turing's vengeful ghost returns to assert that his invention of the stack renders all implementors of push and pop infringing...

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#39919441)

How about the still-quite-alive-and-American(thus subject to American copyright rulings) Donald Knuth, who is the quite demonstrated owner of a very large selection of API designs?

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919467)

The real fun begins when Alan Turing's vengeful ghost returns to assert that his invention of the stack renders all implementors of push and pop infringing...

...only to have its ass kicked by the ghost of Ada Lovelace, who has an even lower ID.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (1, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#39919181)

Oh shut the fuck up you fucking goddamned shill. Look, you twisted worthless pile of garbage, if they start deciding APIs can be copyrighted, we're all well and truly fucked, even you, you cancerous little toad.

Fucking hell, do you think we're all fucking morons that we don't know that you're getting paid by MS to post this crap? I hope you die horrifically.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (4, Funny)

Nadaka (224565) | about 2 years ago | (#39919245)

You are way off base here and jumping to conclusions that are not likely to be correct.

Is is just as likely that he is a paid schill for oracle or apple rather than microsoft.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (-1, Redundant)

Jamestos (2633863) | about 2 years ago | (#39919295)

The ironic thing here is that Google has themselves copyrighted many of their APIs and only give access to them if you pay them. For example, Google Search API [google.com].

Paid Usage Any usage beyond the free usage quota will fail if you are not signed up for billing. Once you have enabled billing, you will continue to receive 100 free queries per day. However, you will be billed for all additional requests at the rate of $5 per 1000 queries, for up to 10,000 queries per day. If you need additional quota, please request additional quota from the console.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (5, Insightful)

bws111 (1216812) | about 2 years ago | (#39919357)

Those APIs are providing access to a service. They are not charging for using the API, they are charging for the service. Not the same thing at all.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (-1, Flamebait)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#39919359)

Oh look, another fucktard. That's not to pay for the API, you cognitively challenged anal discharge, that's to access their fucking servers. Now please, take kitchen knife A and jab into eyesocket B and twist repeatedly.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919489)

Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays!

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | about 2 years ago | (#39919511)

Oh dear, your language makes me immediately reach for a -1 modifier. But then I catch the content of your post and suddenly it's +1 Informative, Funny and Insightful all at once.

Thanks for the laughs, or in other words, I'm fresh out of mod points.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919527)

Why are people up voting your drivel. Your points may be correct but you are FAR too rude.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (-1, Redundant)

Jamestos (2633863) | about 2 years ago | (#39919533)

So how much do you pay to access Google? This is worse here. They are charging you to access API, but not charging to access in non-programming way. I think it clearly shows that Google thinks APIs should be chargeable.

Regarding Oracle and Java, they also have costs to keep the language evolving and working. It is not free. If you don't want to play by the rules, then don't use Java. I cannot see why Oracle shouldn't be allowed to charge for Java, especially when Google is doing so too.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (2)

royallthefourth (1564389) | about 2 years ago | (#39919365)

The fact that they bill for access to their own services doesn't mean they will necessarily prevent you from using an API with the same commands to sell a service you've made yourself.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#39919367)

The ironic thing here is that Google has themselves copyrighted many of their APIs and only give access to them if you pay them. For example, Google Search API [google.com].

I pretty sure you are paying for use of the implementation of the API. Not the API itself.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (1)

karolbe (1661263) | about 2 years ago | (#39919395)

You pay for the SERVICE not for the API. You could implement the same API but without the data their service is providing it would be useless...Also, Google DID NOT copyright those APIs, if you look carefully you will see that the whole API is a simple REST like webservice. There is nothing to copyright.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919423)

That is a completey different thing. They are charging for usage of the api.

We're talking about an API itself (i.e. the interface), not any one incarnation of it. That is, if this holds, then you wouldn't be able to create a competing service that used the same API as the google search API... if you have a search engine you would have to create a different method to access it programatically, so people who want to use both your api and google's would have to program them seperately, instead of just changing the url. This can only hurt interoperability.

Wine, which re-implements the win32 API, as one example on the desktop, would be fucked.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919457)

Different kind of API though; the term's been overloaded a bit and that's causing confusion.

  Oracle is claiming copyright on the function names themselves, which means you cannot make anything interoperable with their system. Google is claiming copyright not on the function names, but on the code behind those function names - there's nothing (in theory - up until this ruling) preventing you from writing an API of your own using the same function names; the software running with it wouldn't care if the API was yours or Googles as long as the function names and results match up.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#39919531)

You seem to be suffering some confusion about what is being restricted:

Those APIs are descriptions of how to make a request from Google's servers. If you don't pay them for the service, they limit the number of times that their servers will respond to you. The restriction isn't on the API itself; but a description of the terms under which their hardware will talk to you.

A restriction on the API itself, analogous to what Oracle is claiming in this case, would be an assertion by Google that implementing a compatible API for access to my search engine(analogous to Google's Dalvik, which implements a java-compatible API).

To the best of my knowledge, Google has never made such an assertion, nor have such assertions been historically made about compatible implementations of various historical and current APIs.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (-1, Troll)

Mabhatter (126906) | about 2 years ago | (#39919517)

But AT THE TIME Google started the project, Java was not an "ISO" language. I do RPG programming on AS400 and just about every manual is labeled by IBM that it is tied to the software license, can't be reverse engineered, blah, blah.

The issue is that Google set out with j
The Java API manual and recreated them ALL with the same names and function calls, etc... That's pushing it even for open source projects.

Even MONO doesn't go THAT far in that they only implement the released ISO specs EXACTLY as written... The .Net APIs had to be rebuilt with different names.

Google even copied to the point the Binary programs in Java would work.. Google COULD have backed off. Google could have kept the language, but not the binary. Google could have redone the work in Python or something... But they were too far along and Sun didn't want to play ball versus Sun's crippled JAVAME. Google took a risk and they lost.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (1)

Bigby (659157) | about 2 years ago | (#39919279)

Is it illegal for a store to have cameras? Is it illegal for me to look at you as you leave your house? What a slippery slope that "illegal activity" would be.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (4, Interesting)

Picass0 (147474) | about 2 years ago | (#39919477)

To carry your metaphor a step further - This is like buying a Nikon camera and Nikon claiming ownership of the pictures you take with that camera. My understanding is this opens the door to the creators of programming languages trolling created works for fees, if not outright ownership.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919283)

Some of what you wrote they may indeed be guilty of, but nothing you wrote has anything to do with this particular case.

Copyright doesn't apply in this case, hence the call for mistrial, but yes they have blatantly violated copyrights when trying to make sure that the worlds books are archived for future generations.

So evil, my god, how can we be so blind!

Hi bonch! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919325)

Gotta get paid!

Even James Gosling favors Oracle (2)

jmcbain (1233044) | about 2 years ago | (#39919347)

Java creator James Gosling stated that Google totally slimed Sun [wired.com] and favors Oracle in the trial. “While I have differences with Oracle, in this case, they are in the right,” he wrote on his blog [nighthacks.com]. “We were all really disturbed, even [former Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz] just decided to put on a happy face and tried to turn lemons into lemonade, which annoyed a lot of folks at Sun.”

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919209)

Does the judge now have to rule on whether API's can be copyrighted?

By my understanding of the case, he already did when he instructed the jury to assume that APIs can be copyrighted.

Re:Time for the Judges ruling? (3, Insightful)

harperska (1376103) | about 2 years ago | (#39919371)

By my understanding of the case, there were several things that needed to be decided, specifically 1. whether APIs can be copyrighted, and 2. if they can, do the facts of the case support the argument that Google did violate them? It is certainly possible that legally APIs can be copyrighted, but Dalvik is derivative enough that it doesn't count as a violation. Because of the timing of things, and to ensure expediency, the judge asked the jury to rule on #2 before #1 even though #2 technically depends on #1. If the jury decides to acquit on #2, then Google is off the hook regardless of what is later decided on #1.

IANAL, but it is not as simple as 'the judge instructed the jury to assume X, therefore X is true'.

The copyright scope issue (4, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#39919333)

Does the judge now have to rule on whether API's can be copyrighted?

It certainly seems like the judge has to rule on whether the copyright on the Java source files extends to protect the "structure, sequence, and organization" in the way being referred to as "API's being copyrighted". But its also win-win for Google.

If they can be copyrighted, the jury is hung on an issue critical to the resolution of Google's liability, which is grounds for a mistrial, and Oracle has to start all over on the copyright claims if it wants to do anything with them.

If they can't be copyrighted, the Google's in the clear.

abandon ship (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919023)

it's over guys, the reapers won.

With the judge (5, Interesting)

phorm (591458) | about 2 years ago | (#39919027)

IIRC, the judge instructed to have the jury come to their decision based on the concept that the material in question could be copyrighted. The judge still has the final says as to whether the material *CAN* be copyrighted. That's still a big if for this case, so it's not over yet.

Re:With the judge (1)

niado (1650369) | about 2 years ago | (#39919061)

This is my understanding of the situation also. IMHO this was probably the best way to go about it.

Re:With the judge (4, Interesting)

gr3ggx0r (1375035) | about 2 years ago | (#39919125)

I completely agree. If Google had been ruled to not infringe, then there would have been no opportunity for the judge to rule whether or not APIs are copyrightable. From all indications, it seems that Alsup is inclined to rule in Google's favor on that one ....

Re:With the judge (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919229)

Which indications? Back when agent orange was being litigated, the judge explicitly warned the manufacturer that if they were smart they'd settle before wasting his time. It was a bluff. He ultimately ruled that the manufacturer had no liability. Judges say all kinds of thing attempting to goad litigants into settling out of court.

Re:With the judge (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about 2 years ago | (#39919465)

i think it was retarded. how about deciding if they CAN first? and if they CAN be copyrighted, then decide if they DID violate. but if they can't be copyrighted then don't waste a whole jury's time debating potentially useless questions that they are magnificently ill equipped to solve. if the judge decides that APIs can't be copyrighted, then he wasted everyone's fucking time with this pointless exercise (besides the fact that he's asked a bunch of laymen who will never truly understand this stuff in their lifetimes), not to mention spreading all the conjecture and rumors this potentially moot point generated. fuck this judge til he limps, he's a moron. i have no faith in his ability to consider this legal issue with what little understanding of logic he portrays.

Re:With the judge (-1, Flamebait)

Kenja (541830) | about 2 years ago | (#39919175)

This is the same judge that basically told the jury Google was guilty before they started to deliberate. Thus Googles call for a mistrial.

Re:With the judge (4, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 2 years ago | (#39919345)

This is the same judge that basically told the jury Google was guilty before they started to deliberate. Thus Googles call for a mistrial.

Can you please return your geek credentials? The judge didn't tell the jury Google was guilty, that's about the worst bullshit I've ever heard. The judge told the jury to assume that Oracles stuff was protected by copyright, and _then_ to decide whether the evidence said that Google actually copied or not.

The jury has decided, on the evidence, that Google copied Oracle's APIs. NOW the judge will decide whether this API is protected by copyright or not.

To explain this with a car analogy: There may be a legal argument whether you own a car or not. When you drive away in the car, you are accused of theft. The jury will decide whether there is evidence to prove that you took the car. The judge will decide whether the car was yours (and you were allowed to take it) or not (in which case taking it was theft).

Jury instructions (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#39919495)

Can you please return your geek credentials? The judge didn't tell the jury Google was guilty,

True. But on the point that the jury did find (that, before considering the fair use defense and assuming that APIs are copyrightable), the judge essentially directed the jury that Google had infringed. The jury instructions included both:
1. An instruction that, on the issue of the "API copyright" point, infringement should be found if the defendant had access to the copyright-protected work and the alleged-infringing work was substantially similar, and
2. A note that Google had admitted that the APIs at issue were substantially similar to those that the jury was instructed to assume were protected.

Re:With the judge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919377)

[citation needed]

Re:With the judge (5, Informative)

elashish14 (1302231) | about 2 years ago | (#39919323)

Right. The EU has already decided [slashdot.org] that APIs are not copyrightable and wrote an extremely reasonable and balanced explanation as to why:

The object of the protection conferred by Directive 91/250 is the expression in any form of a computer program, such as the source code and the object code, which permits reproduction in different computer languages. On the basis of those considerations, the Court holds that neither the functionality of a computer program nor the programming language and the format of data files used in a computer program in order to exploit certain of its functions constitute a form of expression. Accordingly, they do not enjoy copyright protection.

To accept that the functionality of a computer program can be protected by copyright would amount to making it possible to monopolise ideas, to the detriment of technological progress and industrial development.

So maybe there's still some hope left... otherwise we'll just have to hire lawyers to write the software of the future.

Re:With the judge (0, Redundant)

Caerdwyn (829058) | about 2 years ago | (#39919529)

Except that Google is an American company, and EU law has no effect on American soil. What Google does in America is governed by American law and no other.

MISTRIAL WIND !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919029)

It's one HOT motherfucka, motherduckas !!

Not what it sounds like (5, Insightful)

rewt66 (738525) | about 2 years ago | (#39919057)

The jury was instructed that APIs were copyrightable. They found that Google infringed Sun/Oracle's Java API. But the judge will actually decide later whether APIs are in fact copyrightable (which question will almost certainly go to the Supreme Court before it's all over).

So what the jury actually decided doesn't mean much. It means that Google copied the Java API. Well, yeah, we knew that already.

The Ruling Wasn't About Verbatim Copying (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#39919139)

So what the jury actually decided doesn't mean much. It means that Google copied the Java API. Well, yeah, we knew that already.

That's not exactly true, the jury's verdict read that what was copied was the "structure, sequence, and organization" of Java APIs. Of which, if you're up for implementing a non-standardized version of Java, you should take note.

Disclaimer: This Ars article has grown from two lines when I submitted this to a full fledged report.

Re:The Ruling Wasn't About Verbatim Copying (1)

rewt66 (738525) | about 2 years ago | (#39919387)

Well, it's not quite that simple. The judge said that a function prototype/signature was not copyrightable. Oracle's only claim, then, was that the "structure, sequence, and organization" of them was copyrightable. But that "structure, sequence, and organization" is the set of signatures that you provide, and which packages you put them in - which, in fact, is a pretty good description of the API.

Re:The Ruling Wasn't About Verbatim Copying (1)

Caerdwyn (829058) | about 2 years ago | (#39919551)

That's not exactly true, the jury's verdict read that what was copied was the "structure, sequence, and organization" of Java APIs. Of which, if you're up for implementing a non-standardized version of Java, you should take note.

Correct. While the idea of the API might not be copyrightable, implementation of that API is.

Re:The Ruling Wasn't About Verbatim Copying (5, Interesting)

msobkow (48369) | about 2 years ago | (#39919567)

Copying the "structure, sequence, and organization" of the Java APIs is the definition of implementing an object-oriented interface, regardless of the specifics of the implementation.

The article is also incorrect when it says Android is the "only" project/product impacted by the decision. There's this little Apache project that wrote the code Android uses, so every product or project which relies on that code is affected by this ruling. They just haven't been sued yet.

The essence of this ruling is that publishing something under open source means nothing if the copyright holder later changes their mind. And that is the biggest blow to the software industry that could have been levelled by any company for any reason, because it affects over 75% of the systems which implement the infrastructure of the internet.

When (not "if") this idea is propagated to the POSIX APIs, the C-library interfaces, the C++ standard libraries, and a host of other open source products and packages, the whole industry is fucked!

Re:Not what it sounds like (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 2 years ago | (#39919267)

I suspect the supreme court will wait for conflicting judgements on this one, especially if it's ruled not-copyrightable.

If the judge decides they are not protectable with copyright, then it will essentially be business as usual, and non-disruptive. This would mean the supreme court has little incentive to look into it unless the law begins to vary from district to district.

If on the other-hand, it is ruled that they are indeed protectable, we end up with a massive shift in the way the industry works, and therefore a desire to really flesh out exactly what it means, this makes it likely they will take the case.

The jurors found GOOG guilty of infringement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919069)

but were hung on the matter of whether or not it was Fair Use. So....

"In favor or Oracle?" (5, Interesting)

miltonw (892065) | about 2 years ago | (#39919077)

From Groklaw: "The judge has stated, pending judgment as a matter of law, that there is "zero finding of copyright liability" other than the 9 lines of code to which Oracle's damages report attributes no value."

In other words, a very good day for Google, not Oracle.

Re:"In favor or Oracle?" (2, Interesting)

bonch (38532) | about 2 years ago | (#39919185)

Then why is Google moving for a mistrial?

Re:"In favor or Oracle?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919287)

Are you just that dense? Obviously, any ruling, no matter how trivial, in favor or Oracle wouldn't be in the best interest of Google.

Re:"In favor or Oracle?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919397)

You're telling me Google wouldn't accept a trivial fine for infringing on 9 measly lines of code but would instead risk a whole new trial, even after learning that this jury thinks they're guilty of infringement given the facts of the case? No way. When you're a multi-billion dollar company, you don't gamble like, that especially after the evidence has already persuaded one jury. If this was such a great day for Google, they wouldn't be moving for a mistrial.

Re:"In favor or Oracle?" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919459)

It's entirely pro forma. Their lawyer would be negligent and guilty of malpractice if they didn't file the motion.

Re:"In favor or Oracle?" (0, Troll)

bonch (38532) | about 2 years ago | (#39919563)

I guess I am dense, because if this is a very good day for Google, and the judge believes that all they infringed on was nine lines of code according to the OP, I don't understand why Google would risk another trial after this set of evidence already convinced one jury that they are guilty of infringing on Oracle's copyrights, and I don't understand why they'd risk getting a less (apparently) sympathetic judge.

Anyone a legal background who can convincingly explain this stuff? Is this more or less a good or bad ruling for Google?

Re:"In favor or Oracle?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919293)

Because the jury hung on the "fair use" question.

However, it doesn't sound like Google even made a fair use defense, so how the fuck was the jury was supposed to decided this? Maybe that's why Google wants a second shot at this.

Re:"In favor or Oracle?" (1)

noh8rz3 (2593935) | about 2 years ago | (#39919565)

how the fuck was the jury was supposed to decided this?

I don't know how the jury was supposed to decided it. maybe they could go back in time to see what they decided, and they could use that info to help them decide.

Re:"In favor or Oracle?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919479)

Then why is Google moving for a mistrial?

Probably because they see the court lacking jurisdiction over the case, since it has not yet been determined that API's are copyrightable, and for that to be figured out they need to go to a higher court? That is a wild guess.*
Once they figure that out they will probably have a retrial of the mistrial in the same court again.
I think Google will get their mistrial as well, because I could imagine that all the lawyers from *both* sides will agree to any action that makes them more money by dragging out the process. I am sure the mistrial option was suggested by the lawyers of Google. That is what we expect from lawyers, that they think of their own pockets first.

*IANAL.

Re:"In favor or Oracle?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919499)

Only to re-try question 1 on the verdict form. The rest of the verdict would stand.

Re:"In favor or Oracle?" (1)

miltonw (892065) | about 2 years ago | (#39919509)

Google is moving for a mistrial on the first jury question not on the rest of the verdict. As I understand it, mistrial on that part allows that part to be retried.

Yes, in favor of Oracle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919309)

Your post is an example of total denial. It was a terrible day for Google. Not only did a jury find that Google infringed on Oracle's APIs (how could they not after Andy Rubin's damning emails), but what this ultimately does is cast more uncertainty around Android as a free and open OS.

Re:Yes, in favor of Oracle (1)

miltonw (892065) | about 2 years ago | (#39919577)

More from the judge on the copyright part of the trial (from Groklaw) "Judge: Zero finding of liability so far."

How is that not terrific news for Google and horrible news for Oracle? Talk about total denial, you've got it.

Re:"In favor or Oracle?" (1)

miltonw (892065) | about 2 years ago | (#39919537)

More from the judge on the copyright part of the trial (from Groklaw) "Judge: Zero finding of liability so far."

Jury NOT Judge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919081)

The JURY has handed a partial decision based on the Judge's instructions. The Judge will now decide if and API can be copyrighted in the first place! The game is not over by a long shot....

Ugh, no, they didn't. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919083)

The JUDGE said "based on the assumption that SSO's are copyrightable" make your rulings.

In no manner are SSO's (or API's) copyrightable at this point.

It is all to give the Jury a baseline from which to make their own decision.

Does anybody really read these things before making up headlines, or is sensationalism the only way to get eyeballs,
nevermind understanding?

We ALL better pray for a mistrial here... (1)

pla (258480) | about 2 years ago | (#39919089)

Wow. Just... Wow.

So when does Dennis Ritchie (or does this all go back to the Lovelace estate?) plan to file suit against Oracle?

Re:We ALL better pray for a mistrial here... (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#39919437)

I bet Larry Ellison will cry like a little girl when Ritchie's ghost hovers over his bed demanding justice.

ouch? (1)

Zaph0dB (971927) | about 2 years ago | (#39919097)

Lot's of "not an infringement" marks there. Yes to "overall structure", but no to almost everything else, including a yes to "did Sun pushed Google to do this" (rephrased). I wonder how much weight does a blurred statement like that have. You could almost say that the same covers all "inspired" work.

Oracle (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919101)

Check out this quote from Oracle (via Washington Post [washingtonpost.com]):

... Every major commercial enterprise — except Google — has a license for Java ....

Wait, what?

Dump Java if this goes to Oracle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919117)

Dump Java if this goes to Oracle. Seriously, if Oracle wins on these bullshit claims everyone needs to start migrating off of Java and do not go back, however much Oracle pleads.

Along with that, if Oracle wins then we need to seriously consider a new justice system. Juries suck, we all know that but it's also the whole process. I honestly would take a smart non-corrupted judge over a jury any day.

Re:Dump Java if this goes to Oracle (2)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#39919189)

I honestly would take a smart non-corrupted judge over a jury any day.

May want to research this further. The verdict was based on the judge ordering the jury to consider APIs as copyrightable.

Right now I'm thinking fast, have I ever written anything since 1981 that reimplements or interoperates or is compatible with any API, and if so, what country can I escape to that will not extradite me...

Re:Dump Java if this goes to Oracle (4, Insightful)

ukemike (956477) | about 2 years ago | (#39919355)

Spoken like a person who has never served on a jury. The jury probably represents the last vestige of true participatory government left in the US. They do great work and deserve our heartfelt thanks. Most decisions by juries that people find to be badly decided are the result of bad instructions from the judge or evidence that has been withheld for one reason or another.

Re:Dump Java if this goes to Oracle (1)

harperska (1376103) | about 2 years ago | (#39919549)

Juries rule on facts, judges rule on law. All that the jury did was take an assumption that a thing was law (APIs being copyrightable), and rule on whether the facts of the case support an infringement of that hypothetical law. In this case, it is pretty clear that the Dalvik APIs are a rather direct copy of the Java APIs. So assuming that APIs are in fact copyrightable, there really was no way that the jury could find in a way other than what they did. So in the end, the jury's decision was pretty minor and unremarkable in the grand scheme of things. The judge's decision on the law of whether copyright protection extends to APIs is much more important, and I am sure many more judges from appeals courts and possibly even the supreme court will also get their chance to weigh in on that law.

It's only the beginning (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | about 2 years ago | (#39919131)

The patent trial still has to happen, and in the end it seems to be a fairly benign copyright infringement ruling against Google (by Google's terms, it would bankrupt me!)

Cool... If this goes for Oracle... (2, Interesting)

gral (697468) | about 2 years ago | (#39919173)

I can see MORE innovation going to countries that have not setup copyright along with the USA. Java being completely dead, companies like Microsoft going after everyone on US soil that "Infringed" on their API by implementing it. Apple going after.... Oracle going after...

I guess IBM should watch out.....

I guess the good news is that if Google puts their weight behind Python or some other language then it will actually tag along with the success that Android has already become. The better for the language whichever it happens to be. Of course, they could also just fix up their Go language as well.

Companies can really be stupid sometimes. All in the name of protecting their "Shareholders" I guess.

Re:Cool... If this goes for Oracle... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919277)

When did Microsoft sue anyone for infringing on an API? Why should IBM watch out?

Re:Cool... If this goes for Oracle... (2)

exabrial (818005) | about 2 years ago | (#39919317)

IBM makes tons of Java products. While they have a "License", I bet somewhere in there they have an api named "public void sort(Integer[] ints);" which Oracle says they own a copyright to.

Re:Cool... If this goes for Oracle... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919419)

IBM should sue Oracle on the same grounds as Oracle want to copyright language syntax. After all, SQL is IBM's invention.

Re:Cool... If this goes for Oracle... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919405)

Face it: Python is shit.

Google is better off adopting Mono, or Vala/Genie.

Errmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919195)

Too much water going on here for just 9 lines of code....

Seriously guys... You all need to stop reading yellow press... :)

Time for Google to switch to Tizen or Boot2Gecko (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919261)

Or WebOS. I fucking knew Java was too evil to be trusted

Re:Time for Google to switch to Tizen or Boot2Geck (2)

exabrial (818005) | about 2 years ago | (#39919349)

I don't think you understand the implications if Oracle won. I'll help you out though, what is your favorite programming language? (You sound like a PHP guy)

Misleading Title -- again (4, Interesting)

ChicoLance (318143) | about 2 years ago | (#39919407)

I'm getting very disappointed with Slashdot this past few years, and they seem to be pandering to the sensationalist. I used to come here for some real news.

It's all over the wire about the jury deliberations, mistrial, infringements. I come to Slashdot thinking I'd get the real scoop. Nope, more of same sensational stuff.

So, Groklaw [groklaw.net] has the real story, and it turns out, it's not much of a story at all.

There's all sorts of sensational web sites out there. I used to come to Slashdot for the comments, which have always been rational. Now, I'm not sure why I stop by from time to time.

lol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919415)

I bet PJ over at groklaw is crying right now, a bottle of vodka in one hand, a 12-inch black dildo in the other.

Not really in Oracle's favor (4, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#39919443)

Details are thin, but the long-covered Oracle v. Google trial has at least partially been decided in favor of Oracle. The jury says Google violated copyrights with Android when it used Java APIs to design the system.

Yeah, that's not really all that much in Oracle's favor. The jury instructions all-but dictated that result (the instructions instructed the jury that the relevant legal test was "substantial similarity" and that Google had admitted substantial similarity), the key question in dispute for the jury was Google's fair use defense which had to be evaluated once the jury found that there was infringement before considering the defense. And that's the point that the jury hung on.

Without a verdict on that point, there are two plausible outcomes for the copyright claims:

1) As Google has already requested based on the jury impasse, a mistrial is declared and Oracle has to start the copyright case over at square one (with or without the judge reaching the legal issue on the "API copyright" issue), or
2) The judge moves on to deciding the legal issue of copyright in favor of Google, so that the API copyright issue is dead (pending appeal--and if Oracle wins on appeal, they still go back to square one and a new trial on the facts since the jury hung.)

So its hard to see this as any kind of a win for Oracle.

The actual code infringed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39919541)

From http://cr.openjdk.java.net/~martin/webrevs/openjdk7/timsort/raw_files/new/src/share/classes/java/util/TimSort.java, here are the 9 lines of code that google is accused of infringing:

        private static void rangeCheck(int arrayLen, int fromIndex, int toIndex) {
                if (fromIndex > toIndex)
                        throw new IllegalArgumentException("fromIndex(" + fromIndex +
                                              ") > toIndex(" + toIndex+")");
                if (fromIndex arrayLen)
                        throw new ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException(toIndex);
        }

The code boils down to: if (x > y || x max) { error(); }
Tell me how you'd write the code differently. (Keep in mind that the engineer who wrote this, Josh Bloch, used to work at Sun, then moved to Google. It's very possible he rewrote the code in the exact same way, given its triviality.)

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