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

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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  • Coder Boycott (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RichMan ( 8097 ) on Friday May 09, 2014 @01:11PM (#46960679)

    Ok this ruling would seem to invalidate any ability to reproduce any interface.

    This needs a coder boycott of anything Oracle until Oracle stands up and pubclically disavows this ruling and claims the court was wrong.

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

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Friday May 09, 2014 @01:49PM (#46961045) Journal

    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.

    No, because if you are reproducing a public interface for compatibility purposes, it is fair use. There are lots of ways something could be fair use. Even if Google fails to show that this particular case was fair use, that won't prevent the fair use argument in other cases.

    In reality, purpose matters for fair use. If your goal is to reproduce the public interface for compatibility purposes, that is fair use, because that is the only way compatibility can be reached. However, the goal of Google here was different, it was to make the life of programmers easier on Android by presenting them with a familiar environment. It will be interesting to see if they can defend that as fair use.

    Please don't make the mistake of thinking this will kill Wine or all programming languages or something. There's already enough irrational hysteria on the internet.

  • by dfsmith ( 960400 ) on Friday May 09, 2014 @03:15PM (#46961799) Homepage Journal

    As I read it*, the argument is over the 37 verbatim copied headers that define the API. That's like Oracle making a beautiful (ahem), elaborate sign explaining how to ring their doorbell. Google made their own doorbell but copied the sign, embellishments included. While the content of the sign is "fact", the decorations are arguably product of a creative process.

    While I'll have to wait for better analyses of the ruling, I think we can take away that if you're reimplementing a library, you might want to reimplement the headers too.

    * IANAL, and I'm not speaking for my employer. I only scanned the ruling.

Were there fewer fools, knaves would starve. - Anonymous