That popular idiom about “well-rounded” female operatic singers may have not been coined with the legal system in mind, but it’s almost a perfect fit. In a system where appeals can be filed again and again, nothing is really over until funds run out. Just take the case between Oracle and Google that has been on-going for almost a decade. After losing it’s case in a federal jury ruling, Oracle has taken the matter to the Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit, insisting that Google’s use of Java in Android is, in fact, illegal.
The legal tug of war between Oracle and Google started way back in 2010, at a time when Android’s popularity, and its profitability, was staring to rise. Oracle sued Google for copyright infringement, claiming that Android use of the Java API didn’t fall under fair use. The underlying message is that Google owes Oracle for all the profits and success that Android now enjoys.
The lawsuit has been bounced around courts, including appeals courts and even the Supreme Court, the latter when the question of copyright over API was raised. Last year, it seemed that the case has already reached its end when a federal jury ruled that Google’s use of Java API actually fell under fair use.
Oracle, naturally, begs to disagree and is bringing its arguments to the Appeals Court. It emphasizes that Google’s use of Java is actually an example of classic unfair use. If the early verdict is overturned, Google could end up owing Oracle the $9 million the latter is seeking.
The case has hit many quarters, including open source communities and even Java’s own developer base. Oracle bemoans how Google’s unfair use of Java has critically hurt the Java platform, but many are only too willing to point out that Oracle’s handling of the platform, after it acquired original owners Sun Microsystems, was equally to blame for Java’s current condition.
SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal