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Oracle Not Satisfied With Potential $150,000; Goes Against Judge's Warning 234

Posted by Soulskill
from the courtroom-hail-mary dept.
bobwrit writes with news about how the monetary damages in the Google v. Oracle case might shake out. On Thursday, Judge Alsup told Oracle the most it could expect for statutory damages was a flat $150,000, a far cry from the $6.1 billion Oracle wanted in 2011, or even the $2.8 million offered by Google as a settlement. However, Oracle still thinks it can go after infringed profits, even though Judge Alsup specifically warned its lawyers they were making a mistake. He said, "It's the height of ridiculousness to say for those 9 lines you get hundreds of millions." Groklaw has a detailed post about today's events.
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Oracle Not Satisfied With Potential $150,000; Goes Against Judge's Warning

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  • by catmistake (814204) on Friday May 11, 2012 @06:07PM (#39973799) Journal
    What the fuck are they talking about...? Google pirated a GPLed programming language and used it in Android?!! What damages could Oracle possibly be listing? I wanna know. Show the damages, Oracle.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2012 @06:22PM (#39973961)

    The engineer has admitted he "probably" copy-pasted the code over.

    (Google wasn't exactly running a 'clean room', and Android engineers were also contributing to Sun Java.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2012 @06:46PM (#39974169)

    The engineer made was rewriting the sort function for dalvik and contributed it back to java. He was the original author of the java sort function, and reused the java sort range check function since he believed it would all be reintegrated back into the the original java sort.

  • by Githaron (2462596) on Friday May 11, 2012 @06:49PM (#39974179)
    Barring formatting changes, considering the exception is different depending on the case, there would still need to be nine lines. I do wonder why they did not use the if/else construct though. I seems kind of wasteful to run checks on cases at are no longer possible.
  • by Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) on Friday May 11, 2012 @07:04PM (#39974325)
    Oracle has a history of going after smaller companies, (Ask me how I know.) and threatening litigation. Smaller companies usually fold, and just pay out. It is cheaper than court. I love that they have decided to go after someone who can afford to say "Let's let the courts decide."
  • by MonsterTrimble (1205334) <monstertrimble&hotmail,com> on Friday May 11, 2012 @09:40PM (#39975439)
    Because stupid amounts of money have gotten involved.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2012 @10:59PM (#39975923)

    Its worth noting that the judge isn't informing Oracle that their damages are minimal. He has informed Oracle that they didn't bother presenting evidence on damages or infringers profits from the infringement of the work at issue, and since they didn't do that, there is no evidence in the case on which to find anything other than statutory damages.

    Ahh, but there's 17 USC 504(b) to consider (emphasis mine)

    (b) Actual Damages and Profits. â" The copyright owner is entitled to recover the actual damages suffered by him or her as a result of the infringement, and any profits of the infringer that are attributable to the infringement and are not taken into account in computing the actual damages. In establishing the infringer's profits, the copyright owner is required to present proof only of the infringer's gross revenue, and the infringer is required to prove his or her deductible expenses and the elements of profit attributable to factors other than the copyrighted work.

    Taken at face value, this means if Google infringed even a single line of code (let alone 9), Oracle is entitled to ALL of Google's gross revenue unless Google proves that each dollar was either
    1) Used for expenses or
    2) Attributable to some factor other than the infringed work

    And you probably thought statutory damages were the most unjust part of copyright law.... turns out actual damages are even worse.

    Unfortunately for Oracle, Google probably has armies of lawyers and accountants who can do the proving. Probably it will cost Google more than $150,000 just to do so.

  • by Shavano (2541114) on Friday May 11, 2012 @11:54PM (#39976233)

    Oracle is out exactly nothing because of Google's infringement. Google's benefit from using that code instead of rolling their own -- and they clearly intended to roll their own -- was less than an hour of a competent programmers time. So the benefit to Google was at most $200.

    Copyright law is not intended to protect a few lines of code. It's intended to protect the ownership and merchantability of a significant body of work.

    Let's hope they award Oracle what they ACTUALLY LOST by Google's mistake.

  • by makomk (752139) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @01:14AM (#39976667) Journal

    In theory, the poor may collectively be more powerful than the rich, but because there's more of them the costs associated with actually organising and exercising that power are higher. For instance, suppose a handful of wealthy billionaires think that they want the law changed in a particular way that benefits them. Because their individual benefits from the change are high and they each have lots of resources, they can rationally afford to carry out their own in-depth analysis of what the law change does and whether it will benefit them and to follow it as it passes through Congress to make sure that it doesn't get amended in detrimental ways. It'd be irrational for poor individuals to each carry out this kind of in-depth analysis of whether laws benefit them because their individual expected gain from expending the time and resources required to do so is so much smaller than the cost, leaving them reliant on third-party sources of information like Fox News which have their own - often conflicting - interests.

While money can't buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.

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