Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 7th May 2012 20:09 UTC
Legal There's some movement in the Oracle-Google lawsuit today, but it's rather difficult to determine just what kind of movement. The jury was told by the judge Alsup to assume APIs are copyrightable - something Alsup still has to determine later during trial - and with that in mind, the judge ruled Google violated Oracle's copyright on Java. However, the jury did not come to an agreement on a rather crucial question: whether or not it was fair use. All in all, a rather meaningless verdict at this point, since it's incomplete. Also, what kind of nonsense is it for a judge to tell a jury to assume something is illegal? Am I the only one who thinks that's just complete insanity?
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RE[2]: Sigh. Thom.
by tanishaj on Tue 8th May 2012 01:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Sigh. Thom."
Member since:

I find a jury system insane enough even without nonsense like this, but alas. I'm glad we don't have this medieval nonsense in this country.

I do not live in the US but Thom's reaction is mostly one of ignorance here.

1) The judge will avoid creating new law unless he has to
2) The judge will only decide if APIs can be copyrighted if Google is found to have done that
3) The jury is assumed to be impartial, unbiased, and to be a source of common sense
4) The jury will decide if Google has wrongfully copied the API
5) In order to get a ruling from the jury, the judge has to tell them to assume it is illegal
6) The judge is assumed to be capable of forming an informed legal opinion on whether or not an activity is illegal
7) If Google is found to have infringed, the judge will decide if what they did was illegal
8) Instead of relying on the (possibly biased) decision of one man (the judge) when assessing guilt the US relies on the consensus of twelve people (selected to be unbiased)
9) When deciding complex legal technicalities, the US relies on the judgement of one highly educated and experienced person (the judge) instead of the purposely uneducated opinions of a group (the jury)
10) The whole thing is subject to appeal

It is cumbersome, but it actually makes a fair bit of sense to me.

Juries decide "did" or "did not".
Judges decide "legal" or "illegal"

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Sigh. Thom.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 8th May 2012 01:45 in reply to "RE[2]: Sigh. Thom."
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

Yeah, I get what you are saying. Its often that cases that do adress unclear areas of the law are thrown out on an unrelated matter. Judges won't often make a ruling on an unclear part of the law unless they have to. It prevents arguing of hypothetical situations that will never happen in real life.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Sigh. Thom.
by terrakotta on Tue 8th May 2012 18:31 in reply to "RE[2]: Sigh. Thom."
terrakotta Member since:

Why would the judge have to make a new law, if it's not illegal, it's legal. If there needs to be a new law, it's up to politicians to create them. These new laws are triggered by unfair results in trials, granted, you loose some effectivity there, but it avoids the result of the fairness of a trial to depend on one (or a few) mans'(mens') vision(s). A judge only has to decide whether or not it is illegal what has been done. That's where the common law, to me, (and to thom) seems so flawed. The seggregation of power is really not respected in common law and has very nasty unwanted sideeffects that are not negated by the advantage of a nimble judicial system.

Reply Parent Score: 2