Linked by OSGuy on Fri 21st Jan 2011 22:22 UTC
Google "Sometimes the sheer wrongness of what is posted on the web leaves us speechless. Especially when it's picked up and repeated as gospel by otherwise reputable sites like Engadget. 'Google copied Oracle's Java code, pasted in a new license, and shipped it', they reported this morning. Sorry, but that just isn't true."
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RE[2]: Comment by Radio
by rhavyn on Sun 23rd Jan 2011 02:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Radio"
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The perpetrator of the infringement is liable, not the possessor, unless they are identical, of course. Even if the programmer is a Google employee Google is not liable for the infringement unless someone in Google's management team authorized and directed it. And then that person (or persons) is guilty of conspiracy to infringe and the infringer is the only one guilty of actual infringement.

This is 100% factually incorrect. If an employee inserts copyright infringing code into their employer's codebase, the employer is most definitely liable. It is irrelevant whether they acted with management's direction or authorization. Largely this is because the entity doing the infringing is the one distributing the work. In this case it is Google through their source repository that is doing the distribution. Thus, Google is directly infringing and liable.

Second, everyone worrying about whether it is willful, or included in Android is missing the big picture. If it is shown that Google is infringing on Oracle's copyright's, even largely irrelevant ones in the grand scheme of things, it is going to make this lawsuit much more difficult for them. Starting out a judge is likely to give you the benefit of the doubt. Once it is obvious you are doing something wrong, that benefit goes away. See the Psystar case to see how quickly this can happen and how badly the results can be. And since Google seems unable to bring counterclaims against Oracle, this is a very, very bad development for Google.

Mr. Patel isn't the only person who had trouble getting the details right in stuff like this.

In this case, the attorney has it right.

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