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Oracle Android Google Java The Courts

Court: Oracle Entitled To Copyright Protection Over Some Parts of Java 303

Posted by Soulskill
from the cue-the-wailing-and-gnashing-of-teeth dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Remember the court battle between Google and Oracle? It's the one where Oracle claimed Android violated Oracle's patents and copyright related to Java. Oracle thought they deserved $6 billion in compensation, but ended up getting nothing. Well, it's still going, and the tide is turning somewhat in Oracle's favor. An appeals court decided that Oracle can claim copyright over some parts of Java. It's a complicated ruling (PDF) — parts of it went Google's way and parts of it went Oracle's way — but here's the most important line: '[T]he declaring code and the structure, sequence, and organization of the 37 Java API packages at issue are entitled to copyright protection.' A jury's earlier finding of infringement has been reinstated, and now it's up to Google to justify its actions under fair use."
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Court: Oracle Entitled To Copyright Protection Over Some Parts of Java

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 09, 2014 @12:07PM (#46960641)

    There is a lesson to be learnt here: Never depend on programming language, which is not under appropriate free license.

    Apache Foundation, do you hear me?

  • by pegr (46683) on Friday May 09, 2014 @12:08PM (#46960651) Homepage Journal

    If ever there was a time we needed you... :(

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 09, 2014 @12:10PM (#46960667)

    Wow. If Java's API is copyrighted we've gone so far around the bend with copyright protection we've enterted the Twilight Zone. Is there an end to this insanity?

  • Re:Bye-Bye Java (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BronsCon (927697) <social@bronstrup.com> on Friday May 09, 2014 @12:13PM (#46960695) Journal
    Sure, if your entire userbase is on Windows.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 09, 2014 @12:13PM (#46960697)

    They will keep trying until they get a judge that is politically motivated to rule in their favor.

    Do you have any questions which political party is more motivated towards this type of 'patent-prohibitive-rulings'?

    Thank you SoulSkill for bringing this to our attention, Oracle's stock has risen on the news as you would expect.

    When I read the ruling before, I agreed that Oracle did not have a leg to stand on. Did not see anything wrong with the other court's ruling. Its disappointing to see this type of patent-FUD working.

    People this is why politics matter, the wrong party, motivated by their own greed to re-distribute wealth to corporations and put laws on the books promoting oligopolies while limiting competition are not good for citizens, ever. It depresses wages, reduces the number of jobs, prevent small businesses from creating jobs, redistributes wealth to a very small number of individuals vs the majority of Americans. It prevents the free market from working correctly.

    Some patents are too vague and should never be granted.

    There was a time when to patent something, hardware needed to be involved, in the last decade they gave software patents, which is not the way the system was designed. Software was never meant to rise above the level of copyright for legal protections.

    To add insult to injury, the businesses that exist only to push patent lawsuits, that don't create anything (esp not jobs) are pushing laws to lengthen the period with which patents can be legally enforced.

    Nothing good ever comes of this. Just sad all the way around.

  • Re:Bye-Bye Java (Score:4, Insightful)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Friday May 09, 2014 @12:14PM (#46960699) Homepage Journal

    Mono is a thing you know. A thing not being sued by Microsoft.

  • Re:Coder Boycott (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RichMan (8097) on Friday May 09, 2014 @12:15PM (#46960715)

    The ruling means that any library in any language can be shut down. It means that public interface declarations can be copyright. It means it could be impossible for anyone to reproduce a public interface.

    AkA it makes all public interfaces private. It is not just a Java specific ruling, it has implications across all coding environments.

  • Re:Bye-Bye Java (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BronsCon (927697) <social@bronstrup.com> on Friday May 09, 2014 @12:22PM (#46960783) Journal
    And the implementation is 100%? Nope. [mono-project.com] With Java, though, I get everything Java has to offer, anywhere Java is available. Maybe platform consistency isn't important to you, but it matters to some people.

    From a purely logical standpoint, Java wins if you don't want to have to double-check whether each of the APIs you're about to use is actually implemented on all of your target platforms. From an idealistic standpoint, yes, I can see why someone would avoid Java (and, in fact, I have managed to do so for the entirety of my career, thus far), which is why the Mono projects exists, and why it is important. However, it's just not there yet, from a logical perspective.
  • by Stormy Dragon (800799) on Friday May 09, 2014 @12:39PM (#46960963) Homepage

    I don't get why Oracle bothered to buy Sun since they seem to be systematically destroying the value of everything they got from the purchase.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Friday May 09, 2014 @12:42PM (#46960985) Journal
    Check out the ruling yourself [uscourts.gov], it's surprisingly readable and will make you smarter.
  • Re:Bye-Bye Java (Score:4, Insightful)

    by OhPlz (168413) on Friday May 09, 2014 @12:48PM (#46961023)

    "This new Microsoft has not only removed the problematic restrictions on its licenses, but also worked with Xamarin to solicit design feedback, and published documentation under a Creative Commons license so that it can be redistributed."
    http://arstechnica.com/informa... [arstechnica.com]

  • by reg (5428) <reg@freebsd.org> on Friday May 09, 2014 @12:55PM (#46961107) Homepage

    This is a very bad decision and is only going to harm the software industry. This is Google's fault for using the wrong arguments. APIs are digital forms. You fill one in and give it to a worker, it does what you asked (possibly with side effects) and returns results. This is not an analogy, it is a fact. Forms are not copyrightable, for good reason. Imagine if every bank had to make up a new name for a 'deposit slip', and someone could copyright "First Name, Last Name" on a form! Google copied Java's API, the same as businesses have been copying each others forms since the dawn of time, and for the same reason: its easier to present a known interface to customers.

    Regards,
    -Jeremy

  • Re:Coder Boycott (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kaenneth (82978) on Friday May 09, 2014 @12:57PM (#46961125) Homepage Journal

    It WILL have a huge 'Chilling Effect' though, even if you are in the right, and it is fair use, can you afford to defend against a huge corporation suing you?

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Friday May 09, 2014 @01:00PM (#46961163) Journal
    Yes, it must now be decided if Google's actions fall under fair use.
  • Re:Coder Boycott (Score:5, Insightful)

    by reg (5428) <reg@freebsd.org> on Friday May 09, 2014 @01:06PM (#46961225) Homepage

    Don't be naive. This will be used to shut down APIs. Increasingly the software world is a set of web based and hosted APIs, with big money but little business behind them. Imagine, for example, someone like Snapchat copying Twitter's API to enable their service to grow faster. This ruling, it is stands, will be used by incumbents to shut down start-ups or open-source/non-spyware clones.

    Probably Google's biggest mistake at the get go was to not do a /Java/Davlik/g. Since all code needs to be recompiled, this can be done easily by the build system while maintaining a single source file...

    Regards,
    -Jeremy

  • Re:Coder Boycott (Score:2, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Friday May 09, 2014 @01:17PM (#46961345) Journal

    This ruling, it is stands, will be used by incumbents to shut down start-ups or open-source/non-spyware clones.

    How can you even say that if the ruling on fair use hasn't been given yet? You don't even know if it is fair use. You don't know if the result on fair use will be so narrow it doesn't apply to other cases.

    IF you have a legal argument about why you say is true, then I am interested in hearing it. Otherwise your opinion is meaningless. Read the ruling [uscourts.gov].

  • Re:Bye-Bye Java (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BronsCon (927697) <social@bronstrup.com> on Friday May 09, 2014 @01:21PM (#46961373) Journal
    .Net isn't consistent from one version to another, either, so I might be missing your point. You target a version of the Java API just like you target a version of the .Net API; the difference being that you can trust the implementation of a given version of the Java API to remain consistent across platforms, whereas on non-Windows platforms, how consistently a given version of the .Net API will be implemented depends on which version of Mono the user has installed.

    I'm sorry, but I prefer to be able to debug my application against a known system, rather than an array of unknowns.

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