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Ah! The Morning After... ~pj
Friday, June 01 2012 @ 10:11 AM EDT

Didn't you wake up feeling great? I did. And the more I think about the Oracle v. Google ruling on APIs, the better I feel. We have statements from both parties now, and I've rounded up the usual suspects, to see how they are taking it.

First, Google's statement:
The court’s decision upholds the principle that open and interoperable computer languages form an essential basis for software development. It’s a good day for collaboration and innovation.
And Oracle's:
Waaah. We hired the same law firm as SCO Group and tried the same strategy and yet we lost. How could *that* ever happen? No fair. We'll appeal! Just like SCO.
Kidding. Here's the real statement:
Oracle said it will appeal the ruling....

Oracle countered that Alsup's ruling would "make it far more difficult to defend intellectual property rights against companies anywhere in the world that simply takes them as their own."

By the way, that AP report got this part wrong:
Now, U.S. District Judge William Alsup said Google’s use of the APIs wasn’t covered by copyright law in the first place.

The effect of Thursday’s ruling is limited because a jury had earlier reached an impasse on the issue of fair use. But the ruling could be important in any appeals.

Um. No. The ruling totally wipes away the earlier partial ruling by the jury on the API question. Or as lawyers would say, it's now moot. There is no question of fair use for code that can't be copyrighted. You can't infringe something that isn't covered by copyright law, and so you don't need a defense like fair use. If that isn't clear, if you read this article on the Sony v. Connectix case, used in the Oracle v. Google litigation, you'll see why.

Caleb Garling provides a slightly longer Oracle statement:

Oracle soon issued a response. “Oracle is committed to the protection of Java as both a valuable development platform and a valuable intellectual property asset,” the statement read. “This ruling, if permitted to stand, would undermine the protection for innovation and invention in the United States and make it far more difficult to defend intellectual property rights against companies anywhere in the world that simply takes them as their own.”
Take them would be more grammatically correct, I believe, but why quibble. They must be upset.

Update: I now have the complete Oracle statement to the press:

"Oracle is committed to the protection of Java as both a valuable development platform and a valuable intellectual property asset. It will vigorously pursue an appeal of this decision in order to maintain that protection and to continue to support the broader Java community of over 9 million developers and countless law abiding enterprises. Google's implementation of the accused APIs is not a free pass, since a license has always been required for an implementation of the Java Specification. And the court's reliance on "interoperability" ignores the undisputed fact that Google deliberately eliminated interoperability between Android and all other Java platforms. Google's implementation intentionally fragmented Java and broke the "write once, run anywhere" promise. This ruling, if permitted to stand, would undermine the protection for innovation and invention in the United States and make it far more difficult to defend intellectual property rights against companies anywhere in the world that simply takes them as their own."
What about Edward J. Naughton, the lawyer for Microsoft who claimed APIs have been copyrighted for twenty years? You remember Mr. Naughton, don't you? The fellow who claimed Google had misused GPL's header files in Bionic, the part that connects Android to the Linux kernel, by putting them under the Apache License? Everyone, including Linus, told him he was all wet, but then did he really believe that silly stuff in the first place? One wonders. You know who believed him and spread the word? Guess. Yup! Florian Mueller. Wherever it is that corporations find their supporters, one thing is for sure, they find each other. Here's a trifecta, on Zoom:
Google supposedly put ...
www.sys-con.com, 19 Mar 2011
Google supposedly put Linux code into Android in a legally questionable way that likely infringes the GPL, the license that governs Linux, according to what IP litigator Edward Naughton said on the Huffington Post Wednesday in a story entitled "Google's Android Contains Legal Landmines for Developers and Device Manufacturers" that patent watcher Florian Mueller picked up on.
Well, he *would*, wouldn't he? They both have received payments from Microsoft for services. Syscon, Mueller and Naughton. Would you buy a used car from any of them? I think you can tell a lot about a company by the people that sing their song, actually.

Where do these corporate players find people willing to say whatever they want said? Pilers-on on Android, while Microsoft and the other proprietary dudes try to take Android down via litigation instead of innovation. And no matter how many times these "experts" get things wrong, you still see headlines, IP Lawyer Says Blah Blah. It should be, IP Lawyer Forgot What He Learned in Law School, or Hopes You Don't Know the Difference. Or IP Lawyer Says Silly Stuff. How'd you like Oracle's expert being described by the judge in his ruling as essentially not-so-truthful? Whatever these people get out of it, it has to be enough to accept a tarnishing of their reputations.

That's what is so refreshing about the Free Software and Open Source community. They are straight-forwardly truthful. And nobody pays them to say anything. If there is a bug in the software, they tell everyone. If they think you are wrong about something, they say so. If you are right and they earlier argued against you, they manfully show up and say they had it wrong.

Here's Mr. Naughton's latest:

Brown Rudnick IP litigator Edward Naughton, who has been following the case and does not represent either of the parties involved, called Alsup's decision careful and measured. "It's something that I think students are going to be reading in copyright classes for a long time to come," Naughton said. "The judge was careful to base this on the facts of the case in front of him and to try to avoid making sweeping decisions."

That said, Naughton added that Oracle still has plenty of grounds for appeal since the decision is based largely on legal conclusions. Pointing to a particular section of Alsup's decision that contained an analysis of Baker v. Seldon, a U.S. Supreme Court case from the 1870s, Naughton said, "There's really no cases that address [the copyrightability of APIs] squarely."

(It's actually Baker v. Selden.)

Ah. No case? That didn't stop him from declaring just the other day that APIs are routinely copyrighted:

The Java API packages are, under copyright law, “literary works.” This category is broad, covering pretty much any written expression, whether on paper or electronically, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, textbooks, reference works, directories, catalogs, advertising copy, compilations of information, and even databases. It was decided long ago that software source and object code are to be treated literary works. The only requirement is that the work must meet the copyright law’s low threshold for originality. (Remember that here Google admitted the originality of the Java API packages.)

I’ve been advising software companies on copyright law for more than 17 years. In my experience, software lawyers and developers routinely treat APIs as copyrightable and proprietary. Virtually every software license agreement declares that the software is copyrighted, and some of the best-drafted licenses I’ve seen specifically state that the APIs are copyrighted....

The idea that these proprietary APIs, developed at great expense, are not protected by copyright and can be freely copied would be regarded as heresy.

And Oracle’s assertion of copyright in its Java API packages is hardly groundbreaking. In the 1990s, for example, 3Dfx Interactive aggressively asserted its copyrights against others who distributed utilities that sought to emulate its proprietary Glide 3D graphics API.

Well, maybe not the best-drafted any more, thanks to Judge William Alsup, who cut through the FUD with a high-powered fire hose. I think Mr. Naughton should instead simply write that while he thought APIs were routinely copyrighted, now he's learned something new from the Hon. William Alsup. By the way, the 'aggressive assertion' was not litigation. It was some letters that told people to stop. But terms of use do not establish copyrightability. I think Mr. Naughton learned that in law school. Claiming one has a copyright doesn't mean one does, as Oracle -- like SCO Group before it -- has just been advised.

That's what kills me about these singers of songs. They are disinclined to admit to being wrong.

Which brings to mind Florian Mueller. I thought about making a list of all the things he got wrong, but really, what did he get right about this case? Seriously. You make a list of the achievements. It's like shooting goldfish in a bowl to list all the errors, so it feels mean. But I note nothing in his reaction to this ruling that admits any error. Instead, he corrects the judge, and while allowing that the judge is not a communist (!?), says his ruling came down on the no-property-rights side of the equation:

While Lotus v. Borland was about a much smaller SSO than the asserted Java APIs, the key thing is that he supported a ruling against copyrightability but felt that this could have unintended consequences and that there should be some kind of privilege to allow the use of some material rather than denying copyrightability in the first place.

Just to be very clear: Judge Alsup despises communism (he blamed Google in one of his orders last year for a "soviet-style" approach to business negotiations). But his order on this particular issue of API copyrightability happens to come down on the anti-property side of the spectrum. He could have held the asserted API SSO copyrightable and pointed to fair use and antitrust as the right ways to address any legitimate concerns....

What Judge Alsup instead decided to do is, in a nutshell, to say that method definitions are inherently so functional that they can't be copyrightable expression, and to point to interoperability considerations even though the very case he mostly relies on in this context, Sega v. Accolade was a fair use case....

The appeals court will have to decide whether a sweeping denial of copyrightability is in line with statutory law and case law, or whether copyrightability has to be allowed since the "sweeping proposition" Judge Alsup is concerned about can always be dealt with in other ways.

As you can see, not only does he know more than you and I, he seems to believe he knows the law better than this judge who has been on the bench in the Ninth Circuit since 1999. What unmitigated arrogance. Mueller is not even a lawyer, not even in his native Germany, and he "corrects" the judge. By the way, Judge Alsup studied law at Harvard University, and then when he graduated, he worked as a law clerk for Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court William O. Douglas. You know how newly minted lawyers get assignments like that? By being the best in the class, that's how. The best in the class at Harvard University in 1971. Alsup was in private practice for a while, and then he worked as an Assistant Solicitor General in the US Department of Justice, after which he was Special Counsel in the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice.

And Mr. Mueller knows more than Judge Alsup? Really? I mean, *really*?!? How could that ever be the case? Who should *you* believe is more likely to get it right?

I don't think Oracle got its money's worth, frankly. They should be more careful in the "experts" they use, in my view. Perhaps after this drubbing, they will be.

And someone needs to apologize to this judge for that "he is not a communist but ..." remark.


  


Ah! The Morning After... ~pj | 360 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Ah! The Morning After... ~pj
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 10:18 AM EDT
Let's not forget that it was his own EU courts that declared *ALL* APIs
non-copyright-able...

So where does that leave him standing? As usual, in his own personal
dementia-laden cloud.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ah! The Morning After... ~pj
Authored by: kuroshima on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 10:28 AM EDT
As I said in another thread, Flo is a rather reliable Oracle.
You can almost always get the right answer after hearing his
words. If it's not on the decisions of those who pay him, he
is consistently and systematically wrong ;)

If Flo said that tomorrow the sun would rise in the east, I
would prepare myself to watch a spectacular sunrise on the
west...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here
Authored by: feldegast on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 10:36 AM EDT
So they can be fixed

---
IANAL
My posts are ©2004-2012 and released under the Creative Commons License
Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0
P.J. has permission for commercial use.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Class action against Microsoft for Android extortion?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 10:37 AM EDT

Someone tell me if I am wrong, but I'm beginning to sense the whiff of potential class-action against M$ here.

M$ has been extorting $5-$15 for each Android smartphone from major makers such as Samsung - no doubt passing on the buck (literally) to end users.

I suspect the patents asserted are all bogus (c'mon, FAT filesystem patents? honestly?)

In addition, here are some clear facts that show M$ is in the wrong on this:

I rest my case.

Is there potential for a class-action suit against M$ here?

I mean $5-$15 patent royalties per smartphone??? That's 15% of the price of the smartphone right there!!! That's clearly extortion!

[ Reply to This | # ]

News picks
Authored by: feldegast on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 10:37 AM EDT
Please make links clickable

---
IANAL
My posts are ©2004-2012 and released under the Creative Commons License
Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0
P.J. has permission for commercial use.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic
Authored by: feldegast on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 10:38 AM EDT
Please make links clickable

---
IANAL
My posts are ©2004-2012 and released under the Creative Commons License
Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0
P.J. has permission for commercial use.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Comes transcribing
Authored by: feldegast on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 10:39 AM EDT
Thank you for your support

---
IANAL
My posts are ©2004-2012 and released under the Creative Commons License
Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0
P.J. has permission for commercial use.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Soviet != Communist
Authored by: rsteinmetz70112 on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 10:41 AM EDT
The Soviets system was an especially corrupt form of totalitarianism run for the
party bosses, by the party bosses.

---
Rsteinmetz - IANAL therefore my opinions are illegal.

"I could be wrong now, but I don't think so."
Randy Newman - The Title Theme from Monk

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who's Buying Whom?
Authored by: swmcd on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 11:12 AM EDT
15 years ago, Paul Krugman wrote Who's Buying Whom? about bought-and-paid-for experts. The field was economics, not law, but the dynamics are similar.

He offers this insight

Rather than simply using their money to buy influence directly, special interests pursue the longer-term strategy of funding plausible-sounding people and institutions that supply intellectual rationales for the policies they want. We're not talking conspiracy theory here: It's all quite legal, and more or less aboveboard. [...]

Since everyone who matters presumably knows all about [this], why does their advice still get taken? The answer, I believe, is an odd but very Washingtonian combination of cynicism and credulity. Of course the Milliken Men get funded because their views happen to be convenient for certain interest groups--but doesn't everyone? And regardless of who supports them, these guys have a lot of expertise to offer, don't they?

Both the cynicism and the credulity reflect ignorance about the world beyond the Beltway. Most economists do not get paid to express particular views. [...] And the Milliken Men do not, in fact, have a lot of expertise to offer. On the contrary, looking closely at their work [...] quickly reveals these particular hired guns as The Gang That Couldn't Think Straight. [...] A Milliken Man, in short, isn't a real expert; he just plays one on television.

I don't think that Washington realizes how bad a bargain it gets when it takes advice from the men and institutions Milliken has supported.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ah! The Morning After... ~pj
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 11:17 AM EDT
He's not a rodent, but is definitely on the side of egg eaters...

He's not a werewolf, but does prefer his meat on the raw side...

He's not Godzilla, but has definitely been monstrous to my side...

[ Reply to This | # ]

The sheer arrogance is what is annoying.
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 11:21 AM EDT

Mueller is not even a lawyer, not even in his native Germany, and he "corrects" the judge.

The arrogance of his latest piece is astounding.

This is why I wish he had a comment section. He talks like he knows something about the law, but if you know even a little bit, you find what appears to be errors all the time. And he frequently makes grand statement of his opinion that cannot be supported by law, like PJ illustrated above.

It should be a rule of thumb for people who obtain their information from the internet that blogs (or any conveyance of information really) without comment sections should not be trusted. If you don't have faith enough in your work to let the public make a comment other readers can read, your opinion should be simply considered not trustworthy, absent some actual credential. And even then, comments would be preferred.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Good old FM.. song never changes.
Authored by: frankieh on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 11:47 AM EDT
I was just recently reading back through previous FM adventures in LaLa land and
I remembered that he was a big supporter of the idea that PJ was either paid by
IBM or actually was IBM.

In addition to predicting big wins for SCO, he also sprouted big about how Turbo
Hercules was going to own IBM in the end. (Didn't that turn out just like he
predicted? :-))
I must ask, can anyone think of an occasion where he has actually been right? I
ask because nothing is springing to my mind. (Then again right is subjective in
his mind, from his employers point of view, he has been saying the right
things.)


Does he think IBM is paying PJ to cover GooglevOracle? Perhaps he thinks she is
being leased by Google? Or perhaps a time share arrangement? PJ, do you time
share?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle should be happy
Authored by: xtifr on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 11:47 AM EDT

The sad part is...this decision probably helps Oracle. They were trying, really hard, to shoot themselves in the foot, but the Judge wasn't having any of it, and came to the best decision for both companies.

Now all the people who want to program for Android are still going to have to learn Java, which increases the pool of people who know Java, which makes it easier for Oracle to sell Java.

---
Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for it makes them soggy and hard to light.

[ Reply to This | # ]

A big success for Oracle
Authored by: swmcd on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 12:00 PM EDT
I think this case is a big success for Oracle.

They have established the principle that when they come to you demanding license fees for

  • invalid patents that you don't infringe
  • copyrights on things that can't be copyrighted
you either
  • pay up
OR
  • spend many years and many millions defending yourself in court
They are now well positioned to exact such fees from anyone smaller than Google.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Florian Mueller and the BBC
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 12:11 PM EDT
What I can't understand is why such reputable news
organizations such as the BBC and NPR keep using "experts"
like Mueller, Enderle and DiDio.

In general, I have a great deal of respect for the BBC's
reporting, but knowing their reliance on these experts for
this matter makes me really question their other reporting.

-- nyarlathotep

[ Reply to This | # ]

Avoid Appeals to Authority...
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 12:36 PM EDT

PJ said:

And Mr. Mueller knows more than Judge Alsup? Really? I mean, *really*?!? How could that ever be the case? Who should *you* believe is more likely to get it right?

I feel appeals to authority are best avoided. While credibility and competence are valid issues, it's best to use supporting facts to illustrate why one side is more credible and/or competent. For example, Mueller stated that "Sega v. Accolade was a fair use case", so you could have responded with the following:

Judge Alsup clearly has a better handle on Sega Enters., Ltd. v. Accolade, Inc. than Mr. Mueller. The case was not exclusively about fair use. It also dealt with issues of copyrightability under Section 102(b) of the Copyright Act.

Reasonable people can usually figure out for themselves if someone is an idiot when presented with the facts. Faith in humanity trumps vitriol.

- Matthew Raymond

[ Reply to This | # ]

Judge Alsup should be nominated for Supreme Court
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 02:03 PM EDT
It is time for a computer literate to be elevated.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I don't think an apology is needed
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 02:07 PM EDT

When dogs bark and growl, you whack'em on the head, tell them to shut up. I think Judge Alsup did just that to all the would be IP experts. A very resounding whack on the head.

Now you're hearing that whimper as the dog slinks off, tail between legs.

PJ. Thank's for the good reporting and the excellent bio of Judge Alsup. I didn't know he was so distinguished.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What about Apache?
Authored by: jvillain on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 02:49 PM EDT
Is there any reason to believe that this ruling would not apply to Apache's
version of Java as well?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle: But... but...
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 02:59 PM EDT
[In Darl McBride voice]
But we spent millions on lawyers! Surely that must mean Google infringed! Why
else would we spend such a ridiculous sum? Do we look like we're stupid?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Miguel de Icaze believed what Florian Mueller said
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 03:01 PM EDT
He every exchanges tweets with him... Guess who was wrong?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Would it be legal for Google to indulge in some payback?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 03:03 PM EDT
Would it be legal for Google to indulge in some payback? Do a few things like challenge some Oracle database patents that have nothing to do with Android.

Or throw a few programmers into making Postgress a more competitive product.

Or starting a service company that offered per-seat postgress support? They would probably make money to go with their revenge. Call it GoogleGress.

I am not sure if doing such payback would be legal, but it sure would be fun, and it would send a message load and clear, Don't mess with us.

[ Reply to This | # ]

William O Douglas
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 03:04 PM EDT
People my age (baby-boomer) remember Douglas. From Wikipedia:
In 1975, a Time article called Douglas "the most doctrinaire and committed civil libertarian ever to sit on the court."
And he was an environmentalist. He spent time on the Board of Directors of the Sierra Club and hiked the entire Appalachian Trail.

He was just the type that the Tea Partiers of the day hated.

(My apologies if this violates the Groklaw rules about staying away from politics. PJ please feel free to remove this comment or reply with a rebuke.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ah! The Morning After..THANK YOU. ~pj
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 03:44 PM EDT
The coverage Groklaw supplies.
Is tremendous.
Thank You.

[ Reply to This | # ]

'Soviet style' or guilty-by-association-thrice-removed
Authored by: BJ on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 04:04 PM EDT
Since FM gleefully quoted the judge on Google's Soviet style
negotioations -- here's what I've come up with:


Searched for 'soviet' OR 'sovjet'; see groklaw search for 'soviet' or 'sovjet'
Found 5 items.
First 4 results are quotes from the 5th; that 5th is the actual order by
Judge Alsup here: order by Judge Alsup.
From this, I am quoting paragraph 9. fully here:

9. GOOGLE'S SOVIET-STYLE NEGOTIATION.

Google emphasizes that negotiations between Sun and Google regarding
a Java license for the mobile space "never got anywhere near the
billion-dollar level." Google recounts that "Google rejected a
proposal made by Sun to pay Sun $60 million over three years plus
an additional amount up to $25 million per year in revenue sharing"
and suggests that the total value of this offer -- "at most, a figure
around $100 million" -- should serve as a ceiling for the reasonable
royalty reached in any hypothetical negotiation (Br. 19-20). In other
words, since Google rejected the offer, the rejected offer must serve
as a ceiling for the hypothetical negotiation, or so Google argues.

This would be a Soviet-style negotiation: "What's mine is mine and
what's yours is negotiable." The test is not what the infringer
actually bargained for but what reasonable parties would have
negotiated. Google may have simply been brazen, preferring to
roll the dice on possible litigation rather than to pay a fair
price. Moreover, by law, the hypothetical negotiation presupposes
infringement and validity of the claims in suit, whereas back in 2006
Google was entitled to a discount based upon the risks of litigation
over validity and non-infringement. Google is wrong on this criticism.

I think the quote by FM is making an old connotation of a judge's order
seem like the present portee of said judge's later ruling (i.e. presenting
a mooted point as being actual):

1. he is saying 'This would be a Soviet-style negotiation' , the operative
word here being 'would'.

2. in his next sentence "Google may have simply been brazen...", the
operative word is 'may'.

3. 'Soviet style' was to characterize a Google position on damages in
which infringement had been proven (and under which presupposition the
hypothetical negotiations took place). Since the judge just ruled exactly
the opposite, namely that infringement did NOT take place, the 'Soviet style'
tactic from a hypothetical becomes moot.

FM is being purposely tendentious in using that quote unannotated, and
a fortiori in bad faith when making it appear these words are resounding
unaltered by more recent developments (legal facts), unmooted, from
the judge's mouth.

bjd


[ Reply to This | # ]

    Google's statement is rubbish
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 04:33 PM EDT
    The court’s decision upholds the principle that open and interoperable computer languages form an essential basis for software development. It’s a good day for collaboration and innovation.
    Uh, what? Maybe Google's speaker should have checked back with his company's excellent legal department before fantasizing what this case was about. This is not even remotely related.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    FUD from confusing API with its implementation
    Authored by: LouS on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 05:59 PM EDT
    It seems to me that much of the FUD we are hearing is based on the attempt
    to confuse the API as interface specification with the implementation of the
    interface. Anyone else get that impression?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Ah! The Morning After... ~pj
    Authored by: charlie Turner on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 06:31 PM EDT
    Mom and Grandma used to tell me that you can tell a lot about people by the
    company they keep. pj said:"I think you can tell a lot about a company by
    the people that sing their song, actually." I would bet Mom and Grandma
    would rephrase that to: "You can tell a lot about a company by the people
    they keep." Funny how that saying works both ways. And, how the older I
    get, the more Mom and Grandma were right all along. :)!!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    "Legal costs at ~$50million each" - Patrick Doody (Lawyer & former patent examiner.)
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 01 2012 @ 06:39 PM EDT
    “As a general rule, even simple patent cases can cost a few million dollars,” said Doody. “This is probably ten times the size of the average patent case. $50 million in legal fees for both sides [is a reasonable guess].”
    ...
    And appeals seem inevitable. Both companies have suggested that they are far from finished and Doody predicts that Oracle will try and drive the case all the way to the Supreme Court.
    If this comes to pass, the estimated $50 million price tag will have only covered the first few games of a 7-game World Series.
    Renowned software developer Linus Torvalds decried the situation by saying Oracle would “pay lawyers to take it to the next level of idiocy.”

    Article also notes the amount spent hiring an ethically challenged blogger to spin the case. No prizes for guessing who that might be ;)

    It's a shame in a way that Oracle won't likely end up paying Google's legal fees. That would make it impossible to spin as anything other than crushing and humiliating defeat (which is hard enough as it is, but some people are still trying...) It does seem a shame that frivolous and baseless claims can end up costing a defendant millions of dollars to defend.

    GigaOM article

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    The final tally is Google 3, Oracle 0 in the software giants' Android-vs-Java fight
    Authored by: SilverWave on Saturday, June 02 2012 @ 03:50 AM EDT
    A 3-0 win for Google...

    Yes that’s my take as well :-)

    ---
    RMS: The 4 Freedoms
    0 run the program for any purpose
    1 study the source code and change it
    2 make copies and distribute them
    3 publish modified versions

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    There are always exceptions though.....
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, June 02 2012 @ 06:33 AM EDT
    "That's what is so refreshing about the Free Software and Open Source
    community. They are straight-forwardly truthful."

    ...as you should know very well.

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    Can APIs be patented? (nt)
    Authored by: Anonomous on Saturday, June 02 2012 @ 08:49 AM EDT
    -Wang-Lo.

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    Judge Alsup Rules: Just finished a leisurely read thro., very happy, Bois's strategy interesting
    Authored by: SilverWave on Saturday, June 02 2012 @ 10:19 AM EDT
    I felt this ruling deserved a thorough read through and I am glad I have, as it
    makes very interesting reading.

    1st off, Oracle will have problems refuting the logic of the ruling.

    They will be better off trying to get it thrown out on some procedural
    technicality, if at all.

    2nd thing to strike me was Bois's strategy:

    Ambush is Key. He comes up with an esoteric, but potentially valid, new reading
    of the law and bases his case on this.

    As we saw initially, you can't see how he can be serious as he is doing all he
    can not to tell you the heart of his argument.

    Hence the famous lack of specificity.

    This is deliberate, if he is to be successful with his ambush and spring his new
    theory on the defence and the court, later is better.

    So in this case the defence is building arguments to counter the upfront copying
    allegations, not seeing the API copying thrust until late in the day.

    Also looking at the previous cases explained by the Judge as being on point,
    there _was_ potentially some wiggle room between the case law. Bois strategy is
    not illogical, high stakes yes, but interesting nevertheless.

    ---
    RMS: The 4 Freedoms
    0 run the program for any purpose
    1 study the source code and change it
    2 make copies and distribute them
    3 publish modified versions

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    IBM vs the world
    Authored by: HockeyPuck on Saturday, June 02 2012 @ 11:11 AM EDT
    Remember when the first IBM PC's came out? IBM thought to make the machine work,
    they would patent "Basic" and the BIOS. Oracle claims they are
    protecting their hard work to promote innovation. No, they are only protecting a
    revenue stream and if anyone thinks different, well, I think therapy is in
    order. Back to IBM. Others built machines by using their own BIOS and other
    computer languages. That created "clones", now known mainly as
    "Wintel" machines. Look at innovation today on that front. We are not
    stuck with almost no choices (Apple or IBM) and pricing. We have many platforms
    to choose from. Different operating systems and much more.

    We have evolved from specific CPU's and languages to many options. Software
    patents and copyrights stifle innovation. We all know that if that barrier is
    removed, then great things will happen. It's Ok if Microsoft doesn't want to
    show the world how they did something. But don't stop anyone that can improve on
    that something. It will benefit the creator.

    I look at this in a medical fashion. Why patent penicillin when it could save
    someone (I believe it was never patented). The point I want to make is why
    create a barrier to something than can benefit all mankind just to make a buck.
    You'll make your buck by delivering the product first and best. This does 2
    things; 1 it promotes innovation, 2 it keeps that company on their toes. You
    can't live by what you created years ago, you must improve.

    Think about this a second. Microsoft would not be where they are today without
    innovation. Had not the "gang of nine" (Compaq, Zenith, HP... others)
    fought IBM, we would have to deal with IBM pricing, smiler to Apple. Apple would
    have won (probably since they had the best interface... business...? that's
    another story). The bottom line is innovation would have been dead, and the
    consumer would have paid dearly.

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    Judge Alsup is a neat guy
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, June 02 2012 @ 11:15 AM EDT

    Early on in the case he asked some questions that caught my eye. It was
    clear that he wasn't just you average judge from those questions, which
    were needle sharp, and put both litigants on the defensive.

    And then he takes the time to learn how to program in Java!

    A real neat guy.

    Wayne
    http://madhatter.ca

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    Where Does The Appeal Go?
    Authored by: sk43 on Saturday, June 02 2012 @ 01:36 PM EDT
    Speaking of Florian Mueller, he has the following to say regarding Judge Alsup's
    ruling on the APIs:

    "The Federal Circuit, which has more expertise in intellectual property
    than any single district court, is now going to look at this."

    Really? The Federal Circuit ordinarly does not receive appeals regarding
    rulings on copyrights - an appeal of Judge Alsup's ruling would ordinarily go to
    the Ninth Circuit. The Federal Circuit does receive appeals regarding patents,
    and Oracle may well appeal the denial of its JMOL on its patent claims. Which
    leads to the question - would the appeal of the copyright ruling go "along
    for the ride" to the Federal Circuit, or would Oracle file two different
    appeals, one to the Ninth, one to the Federal?

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    "Everyone, including Linus, told him he was all wet"
    Authored by: Yossarian on Saturday, June 02 2012 @ 02:07 PM EDT
    Think for a moment, if somebody like Linus tells you:
    "I will not sue you for X", do you believe him?

    If a big company like Sun tells you: "I will not sue you
    for X", do you believe it? Would you worry about somebody
    like Oracle taking it over and the promises just go away?

    IMO one of the best achievements of open software is the
    "climate" of high trust. People say what they mean, and
    mean what they say, and everything is done in simple English
    with no fine print.

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    Whats next for Java?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, June 02 2012 @ 09:43 PM EDT
    I was wondering whats next for Java if Oracle appeals the case and the decision
    is confirmed and widened by a higher court. In this situation the World+Dog now
    knows they are safe to re-use and transform Java's API's. In the past people
    have been so scared of patent and other IP claims on Java that no incompatible
    Java implementations have really taken off. Sun/Oracle's position has recently
    been that you can implement compatible Java and we will protect you from our IP
    lawyers greedy hands. However the implied threat here could be very much
    blunted if the Judge's decision is upheld.

    So In theory a new JCP could be formed to create a new improved Java like
    specification that suits the Goal of the new founders of this organization.
    There are many players like IBM that may be interested in having the power to
    innovate without one of there main competitors (Oracle) having veto on all
    decisions. They can even start with OpenJDK code base and re-use. They could
    take this GPLv2 with classpath code and upgrade it to GPLv3 if they wanted. In
    theory someone could make an alternative licensed or even propriety based
    re-implementation of the new specification and possibly charge for support or
    use licensing of this. Note that any of this would not be called 'Java' or
    'JavaSE' but it would be a new platform that uses the Java Programming language
    and shares much of the original Core API but maybe reworked with less bloat and
    the ability to fix broken parts of Java that remain for JavaSE compatibility.

    Another interesting idea would be to take the Open source Android/Dalvik code
    and specification and make a new fork of this that can be used to Develop cross
    platform apps just like JavaSE is used for now. So then code written for
    Android/Dalvik can be easily ported to this new unified platform and run on
    PC/Mac/Linux/Web.

    Anyway just some ideas. Most of this probably won't happen but Oracle may still
    be worried about things like this affecting their remaining Java revenues. This
    may be why they will keep on fighting to keep everyone else wary of touching
    Java but also how they could shoot them selves in the foot in the end.

    Michael

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