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First off today, Reuters is reporting that jurors in the Oracle/Google case heard evidence that Google’s alleged infringement of Java harmed Oracle by costing the company customers and significant licensing revenue by giving away their version of the software for free.
The lawsuit is over Google’s implementation of Java in their Android mobile operating system. Google claims that they did not use any of the original Java code, just the APIs to ensure compatibility, and that should be allowed under fair use. At the original trial the jury was deadlocked on the issue of fair use and, after a series of appeals that affirmed the copyrightability of APIs, the case is back before the lower court for a retrial.
Oracle, seeking to prove that use of the APIs had a negative impact, said that they have lost long-time clients and received less in licensing fees for, especially from phone manufacturers, after Google gave their version away as open source. Under cross examination, Oracle’s chief executive admitted that Oracle was considering releasing a phone of its own before deciding to file suit instead.
Next up today, Joseph Cox at Motherboard reports that Danish students who publicly released data on some 70,000 OKCupid users on an open science site have had their repository at least temporarily removed due to a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice from OKCupid itself.
The students posted the data, which included usernames and various personal details of the users involved, on Open Science Framework, a repository for both scientific papers and data sets that allow other searchers to do their own statistical analyses. The data, according to the students, wasn’t hacked but was scraped from various profiles but the posting still sparked a debate about the sharing of private and semi-private data.
The students claim that there is nothing both copyrightable and owned by OKCupid in the dataset though OKCupid, in their terms of service, claim that the data is protected and that scraping is a violation of the terms of the site.
Finally today, RAPSI reports that Universal Music Russia has filed a cassation appeal in its case with local social network VKontakte (VK) over the latter’s involvement in illegal distribution of Universal’s music.
The case specifically deals with the media sharing functionality in VK, which is widely used to share illegal music files. Universal attempted to hold VK legally responsible and demanded both the removal of the infringing work and 31 million rubles ($477,400) in damages. However, both the lower court and an appeals court have sided with VK, saying that the site is an honest intermediary.
Sony Music settled it’s similar dispute with VK in 2015 for 15.6 million rubles ($240,300) and, in the process, struck licensing deals that gave VK a path to licensed streaming. Universal pressed on and has faced setbacks in court but is now appealing its latest loss.
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.