Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 14th Nov 2010 22:41 UTC
Legal About time! Google has responded to Oracle's amended complaint in the big Oracle v Google patent and copyright hoedown, and it's a contradictory grab bag of various defences, basically throwing everything and seeing what sticks - a normal and common course of events in cases like this. There are some juicy claims in there.
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RE[11]: PolicyNodeImpl
by ricegf on Mon 15th Nov 2010 12:12 UTC in reply to "RE[10]: PolicyNodeImpl"
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If it is distributing

Putting code in a repository accessible by others is clearly distributing. I think your "If" is unnecessary here.

and that is indeed the complaint

The complaint (I think) is that said distribution was done not in accordance with the offered license, and thus is a copyright infringement.

then all that Google needs to do is remove the files from their git repository, and carry on.

If the judge or jury agrees. Or Google may well be liable for substantial damages, if the commercial value of the unlicensed file is determined to have been damaged or Google is determined to have acted recklessly. In Jacobsen v. Katzer, for example, the damages were $100,000, although the case was quite a bit more complex than our "simple" discussion here (is the law ever really simple?). It also involved patent counter-claims, cyber-squatting claims, abusing cute kittens claims, and as much confusing language as legal minds could render. Kind of like Oracle v. Google. :-D

Look at it this way. Say I put all 7 Harry Potter novels on gitorious. Ms. Rowling sues my butt. Do you really believe that if I simply remove the files, I have no further liability?

Or do you mean to argue that distributing in violation of the GPL can be cured by simply not distributing any more? But that's incorrect, too - if you distribute in violation of the GPL, then you are violating *copyright*, not the GPL (because you are distributing without a license - the GPL thus doesn't apply, because the GPL is a license, not a contract).

And you can most certainly win damages for copyright violation. Happens with distressing frequency.

Now I have no idea whether Google violated Oracle's copyright, of course, and I'm not a lawyer, but having studied copyright as it relates to open source software for many years now, I'm fairly certain the above isn't terribly inaccurate (can you tell I've dealt with lawyers for far too long :-D ).

The only way that it makes sense is if Oracle believe they will get a cut of Android.

Or an obscenely large lump sum of money. Or they are in league with another company that makes competing smartphones that is having their butt kicked by Android (and really, who isn't?), and are hoping to damage Android's reputation, market share, or profitability for smartphone manufacturers. Or they have motives we haven't discerned, because we don't know their trade secrets. Or...

Oracle's problem lies in the fact that the files in question are not part of Android.

Whether the files are distributed on a smartphone is irrelevant in a copyright lawsuit. Simple distributing (if indeed that happened) is sufficient to cause problems for Google and potential income for Oracle.

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