Yesterday’s ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversing a jury decision on Google’s use of Oracle’s Java API packages “protects creators and consumers from the unlawful abuse of their rights,” according to a statement from Oracle general counsel Dorian Daley.
However, advocates of fair use in copyright law say yesterday’s ruling could cost Google $9 billion in damages as well as put a deep chill on future tech innovation. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a digital rights organization, called the reversal “a surprising decision that should terrify software developers.”
As Oracle yesterday welcomed the opportunity to revive its original 2010 complaint against Google, it also unveiled a new service that’s the first based on its “self-driving” Oracle Autonomous Database. The Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud automates database administration and management tasks for enterprise customers, and is being positioned as a far cheaper alternative to Amazon Web Services, which dominates the “as-a-service” cloud market.
Since Oracle first filed suit against Google for using its Java application programming interfaces (APIs) in the development of the Android mobile operating system, the complaint has taken several twists and turns. In May 2012, a Northern California district court jury found there was no infringement, but that verdict was partially reversed and the case was sent back to the district court in May 2014. A second jury trial also found in favor of Google in May 2016, but that decision was reversed yesterday and the case remanded back to the district court.
“[W]e conclude that Google’s use of the 37 Java API packages was not fair as a matter of law,” the appeals court ruled yesterday. “We therefore reverse the district court’s decisions denying Oracle’s motions for JMOL [judgment as a matter of law] and remand…