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: Comment by Radio
by umccullough on Sat 22nd Jan 2011 01:03 UTC in reply to "Comment by Radio"
umccullough
Member since:
2006-01-26

Alas, there is a difference between technical and legal implications of the case, well summed up by a level-headed engadget:
http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/21/android-source-code-java-and-cop...

Google can remove the infriging files at once and Android will still run fine, but Oracle is going to win the case.


But, Oracle still has to prove they willfully intended to violate the copyright... (which could definitely still happen)...

Pardon my comparison to real, tangible property, but it's sorta like discovering someone has stolen goods in their car, which they claim they didn't know were there, never saw before, and have never used - but would gladly give them back to the rightful owner now that they know about it.

Ultimately, someone is responsible for wrongdoing, but it can be fuzzy. In this case, "possession" is a pretty powerful circumstance, and will be the major point that Oracle uses to prove Google's alleged wrongdoing - but there are always gray areas. In the case of the "stolen goods" - perhaps someone else threw them into an open car window and the owner didn't notice when they got back to the car... How might that play out in court?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Radio
by malxau on Sat 22nd Jan 2011 03:35 in reply to "RE: Comment by Radio"
malxau Member since:
2005-12-04

"Google can remove the infriging files at once and Android will still run fine, but Oracle is going to win the case.


But, Oracle still has to prove they willfully intended to violate the copyright... (which could definitely still happen)...
"

Why? AFAIK willful copyright infringement attracts higher damages awards, including statutory damages, but copyright infringement can still occur whether the act is willful or not. Oracle wins either way. The question now is all about damages.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Radio
by Praxis on Sat 22nd Jan 2011 05:17 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Radio"
Praxis Member since:
2009-09-17

well a lawsuit between two companies as big as google and oracle is going to cost a hell of a lot of money win or lose. So how much money you can get from an infringement is a huge issue. They need something much much bigger than a small one time infringement in non-shipping code. They want something they can use to get a piece of every android device sold. Otherwise the cost/benefit analysis of their case doesn't work out. Remember the legal costs of this case may very well reach the level of 100 hundreds of millions of dollars (numbers based off the viacom/youtube suit) So they need something that will make them more than that. This is not it.

I'm still betting this ends in settlement though.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by Radio
by JAlexoid on Sun 23rd Jan 2011 12:41 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Radio"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Why? AFAIK willful copyright infringement attracts higher damages awards, including statutory damages, but copyright infringement can still occur whether the act is willful or not. Oracle wins either way. The question now is all about damages.


Oh, Oracle will get this one 100%. It's just not a big deal, because Google have already removed the files and these files haven't exactly created financial losses to Oracle(the code is/was freely distributed by Oracle with limitations).
Oracle's lawyers will have to find some really obscure legal hook that will hit Google financially.
Copyrighted works are accidentally redistributed all the time, most of the time compliance with a take down notice is enough.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Radio
by tyrione on Sat 22nd Jan 2011 08:02 in reply to "RE: Comment by Radio"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

Ignorance of the Law is not a defense in the US. It was incumbent on Google's part to scour the IP it was buying before they bought the code base.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Radio
by bhtooefr on Sat 22nd Jan 2011 11:31 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Radio"
bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

Ignorance isn't an excuse, but US law treats accidental and willful infringement differently.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Radio
by umccullough on Sat 22nd Jan 2011 20:56 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Radio"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Ignorance of the Law is not a defense in the US. It was incumbent on Google's part to scour the IP it was buying before they bought the code base.


In the end, it's only going to really matter if the infringed bits were actually shipped in Android, and so far it sounds like none of it was.

Otherwise all Google is going to get is a "slap on the wrist" for re-releasing code in a public repo that Oracle owned the copyright on - some of which was already freely available under GPL anyway, some which may not have been.

Oracle is still going to have to demonstrate that there was a monetary loss as a result of the infringement if they plan to actually get anything out of Google.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Radio
by tanishaj on Sun 23rd Jan 2011 04:08 in reply to "RE: Comment by Radio"
tanishaj Member since:
2010-12-22

Except that stealing has nothing to do with copyright. The key is "distribution". Copyright infringement is not theft.

Distribution does not have to be product. It seems Google makes their unit tests available to lots of folks. That is "distribution" regardless of what some developer thinks. I cannot use Mickey Mouse in my presentations whether they are internal only or not.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Radio
by tanishaj on Sun 23rd Jan 2011 04:25 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Radio"
tanishaj Member since:
2010-12-22

For another example, imagine that you make a product available as open source and make the code available publically via a Git repository. Now try loading the source to Microsoft Windows into a subdirectory in that repository. The Windows code is not part of your build and is not shipped in your product but anybody can use Git to download it to their local machines.

Are you in trouble or is this just a minor or irrelevant matter?

You are in a shitload of trouble is what you are.

Now think again of the Google example.

What Google seems to be distributing may prove to be unimportant but it sure does not sound legit.

Reply Parent Score: 3