Monday, May 7, 2012

Phase One Verdict in Oracle v. Google, and It's a Mess

The Oracle v. Google case is being tried in San Francisco federal court.  The jury came back this morning with a partial verdict on Oracle's copyright claim (phase one).  Oracle claimed that Google infringed the APIs (Application Program Interfaces) in the Java language.  The jury decided that Google infringed the "overall structure, sequence and organization" of the APIs, but did not reach a verdict of whether this is fair use or not.  It is highly debatable whether API's are copyrightable at all -- the Judge will have to decide that -- and the jury's failure to decide fair use creates a real mess.  Articles by Techdirt and Ars Technica describe the mess.  Update: Here's EFF's post on the verdict.

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