Judge Alsup Rules: Oracle's Java APIs are Not Copyrightable (Groklaw)
Posted Jun 2, 2012 19:34 UTC (Sat) by jzbiciak
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In reply to: Judge Alsup Rules: Oracle's Java APIs are Not Copyrightable (Groklaw)
Parent article: Judge Alsup Rules: Oracle's Java APIs are Not Copyrightable (Groklaw)
Seriously, it sounds like he really did his homework on this one, and provided a complete, thoughtful and (one hopes) airtight justification for his ruling. That said, thoughtfulness pervades the ruling. For example, I thought this was a bit of genius:
For their task of determining infringement and fair use, the jury was told it should take for granted that the structure, sequence and organization of the 37 API packages as a whole was copyrightable. This, however, was not a final definitive legal ruling. One reason for this instruction was so that if the judge ultimately ruled, after hearing the phase one evidence, that the structure, sequence and organization in question was not protectable but was later reversed in this regard, the court of appeals might simply reinstate the jury verdict. In this way, the court of appeals would have a wider range of alternatives without having to worry about an expensive retrial. Counsel were so informed but not the jury.
That means everyone knows what the stakes are up the appeals chain and at least everything is on the table. I would imagine it limits the ability for Oracle to wiggle their argument around differently also, though IANAL. At least it sounds like it bounds what a jury can decide to what this jury decided.
In general, Judge Alsup's ruling is a pleasure to read so far. He's really taken the time to explain everything clearly, and leave little question of how he's arrived at his decision. An Oracle will have quite some work to do to justify a reversal to an appeals court and that court will have to make some serious mental leaps, IMHO.
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