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First off today, Steven Musil at CNet reports that, on Wednesday, the U.S.Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit heard arguments between Oracle and Google over Oracle’s allegations that Google, in its Android mobile operating system, infringed copyrighted Code created by Oracle for Java.
At specific issue was Java’s application programming interfaces (APIs), which are instructions that other applications use to interact with the language. Google copied the APIs and used them in their version of Java for Android, saying it was necessary for their version of the language to work.
Though a jury in the lower court was split on whether or not this was a fair use, the judge ruled that APIs are not copyrightable, ruling in favor of Google. Oracle has appealed that ruling and may have found a more favorable audience on the Appellate level as the judges there expressed skepticism of the lower court’s findings. However, a full ruling is not expected for months.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that a California court has denied SiriusXM’s motion to move a lawsuit against them, this one filed by the group The Turtles, meaning that the satellite radio provider will have to battle multiple lawsuits on the issue of pre-1972 sound recordings.
Prior to 1972, sound recordings, though not compositions, were protected under state copyrights rather than the federal copyright system. Since the statutory licenses that govern SiriusXM’s use of music are federal laws, this has led to a flurry of lawsuits saying that SiriusXM’s use of pre-1972 sound recordings is a violation of their rights.
Though The Turtles’ lawsuit was first, other lawsuits have been filed in New York and Florida. SiriusXM wanted to move the California lawsuit to New York and possibly combine it with the one there, calling the lawsuit an example of “lawsuit lottery”. However, the judge noted that all three states have different laws and, while the facts of the cases are similar, the legal questions are different. As such, it looks likely that SiriusXM will have to battle multiple lawsuits on the subject in multiple states.
Finally today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that a German court has ruled against the company Appwork, finding the organization liable for for a third-party contribution to an open source project that it manages.
At issue is the JDownloader software, a download management application. A contributor to the project uploaded code to an unofficial beta that enabled the user to capture and record encrypted video streams, which the German court was a violation of laws against circumventing digital protections on content.
Appwork has been hit with a 250,000 euro ($340,000) fine for the “production, distribution and possession” of the software. Apwork filed an appeal and the ruling was upheld. Appwork says that it must now screen and evaluate every submission to the project and that the decision could have a “chilling effect” on open source development in general.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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