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 AdamW on Tue 8th May 2012 07:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Sigh. Thom."
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Heh. Try to make out I have some kind of agenda. Cute, but not going to wash. Sorry, try a different number.

It's a simple matter of efficiency. The jury has to decide one thing. The judge has to decide another thing. Should they a) try to get both things decided as soon as possible or b) do one and then the other, even if it's perfectly possible to do both at once? I'm pretty sure you wouldn't _really_ prefer b). Trials take long enough already. Hell, it's just parallellization. (edit: the point that the judge didn't want to create 'new law' by ruling on whether APIs are copyrightable unless he actually _had_ to is also an important one - probably more important).

Trials are messy affairs where things like this happen all the time. If the media didn't jump on intermediate hearings and determinations like they were the Word of God, less of everyone's time would be wasted.

edit: as far as 'no-one's sure if it's illegal' goes, well, that happens under just about any code, really. It's incredibly difficult to write a law that requires absolutely no kind of interpretation. "Thou shalt not kill" - fine - but what about self-defence? What if you're insane? What if you didn't really mean to? Some kinds of interpretation are done by having the legislators traipse back in and refine the law, sure, but some are done by judges. In this case, the question of whether APIs constitute copyrightable material as defined in the U.S. copyright law is a question of interpretation of the relevant law, and it's a judge's job to perform that interpretation.

Edited 2012-05-08 07:18 UTC

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