Thursday, May 26, 2016

Washington Post - Google Beats Oracle on Copyright, Defeating $9 Billion Claim

Today, Washington Post reports Google Beats Oracle on Copyright, Defeating $9 Billion Claim based on a jury verdict that Google made only fair use of Oracle's APIs in the Android operating system.

Congress states four factors determine if the fair use defense exists. The jury must consider: (1) the purpose and character of the accused use; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount or substantiality of the part used in relation to the copyright work as a whole; and (4) the effect of the accused use on the potential market or value of the copyrighted work.

The Supreme Court has stated elsewhere that factor (4) is "undoubtedly the single most important element of fair use." Thus, a jury verdict for fair use which appears to impact the potential market for Java in mobile devices is a bit surprising. Perhaps the $9B damages Oracle sought worked against the jury's sensibilities.

Copyright © 2016 Robert Moll. All rights reserved.