No judge has tried harder than Judge Alsup, presiding over the Oracle-versus-Google case, to persuade two warring parties not to go to court. But he hadn’t counted for the egos of the two billionaire Larrys.
The jury seems to affirm Alsup’s instincts were correct. At the weekend, after five days of deliberating, the panel turned in its verdict on the first phase of the trial, covering copyright issues. The jury found Google to be unequivocally guilty of copyright infringement on the major charge, copying the “overall structure, sequence and organization” of Java for its mobile operating system Android. Google isn’t guilty of infringing the Java documentation, the jury decided.
However, the jury was unable to reach a verdict on whether Google’s use of the code was permitted under “fair use” – a US legal concept covering exemptions for special purposes such as literary criticism, accessibility for blind users, and so on.
Fair use has expanded to include very limited clean-room copying for compatibility purposes, and Google tried to use this to justify the use of Java APIs in Android. However, Alsup didn’t like this argument, and so when some jury members wanted more time for their deliberations, the judge allowed them to leave the question blank …
… article excerpt taken from and continued on theregister.co.uk …
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