Another Victory For Google In Oracle Case, Judge Rules Java API Elements Not Copyrightable

It looks like Oracle has been dealt another blow in their failed extortion scheme. Today, Judge William Alsup ended Oracle’s hopes of scraping together enough cash to pay their lawyers by ruling that the SSO of the APIs Google was previously found guilty of infringing, are in fact not covered under current copyright law. Now just play the video above for a complete summary.

In actuality, Oracle will indeed be awarded a minimal amount of damages for Google’s use of nine lines of rangeCheck code and eight Java test files, but for them, it will amount to the change you and I would find under our couch cushions.

This is not only a victory for Google, but for programming and development in general. If Alsup had ruled those APIs copyrightable, it would have spelled trouble for many; thankfully Alsup nailed the ruling:

In closing, it is important to step back and take in the breadth of Oracle’s claim. Of the 166 Java packages, 129 were not violated in any way. Of the 37 accused, 97 percent of the Android lines were new from Google and the remaining three percent were freely replicable under the merger and names doctrines. Oracle must resort, therefore, to claiming that it owns, by copyright, the exclusive right to any and all possible implementations of the taxonomy-like command structure for the 166 packages and/or any subpart thereof – even though it copyrighted only one implementation. To accept Oracle’s claim would be to allow anyone to copyright one version of code to carry out a system of commands and thereby bar all others from writing their own different versions to carry out all or part of the same commands. No holding has ever endorsed such a sweeping proposition.

Appeals are most likely a given, but they will be nothing more than a way to funnel some extra cash into the pockets of high-priced lawyers, as the chance of Oracle having the ruling overturned is about as good as their chance of getting 6 billion dollars out of me.

Good day sir!