Remember last year, when Oracle sued Google for some $6 billion? It lost big when the jury found that the Android operating system didn’t infringe on Oracle’s patents.Oracle had also claimed copyright infringement and wanted Google to pay $1 billion in damages. The judge basically threw out that part of the case.
Well, Oracle hasn’t given up.
On Monday, the database giant filed an appeal arguing that if every work of fiction is protected by copyright, so should the computer language at the centre of the suit, Java. Oracle now owns Java as a result of its acquisition of Sun Microsystems.
Oracle’s lawyers took the literary metaphor: Their brief imagines a character named “Ann Droid”:
“Ann Droid wants to publish a bestseller. So she sits down with an advance copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix—the fifth book—and proceeds to transcribe … Ann’s defenses: “But I wrote most of the words from scratch. Besides, this was fair use, because I copied only the portions necessary to tap into the Harry Potter fan base. … Defendant Google Inc. has copied a blockbuster literary work just as surely, and as improperly, as Ann Droid—and has offered the same defenses.”
We’ll see if the second time is a charm.
Some legal experts don’t think so.
“Yes. Ann Droid. You know what’s wrong with this Introduction? Software is not a novel. The copyright rules are not identical. Duh,” writes the legal blog Groklaw.
Even so, Oracle is clearly serious about the appeal. It hired a whopping 28 lawyers to work on that brief, Groklaw points out.
Oracle declined to comment beyond its legal arguments.