3 Count: Virtual Piracy

Virtual reality and virtual insanity...

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1: Google’s Closing Argument: Android was Built from Scratch, the Fair Way

First off today, Joe Mullin at Ars Technica reports that Google and Oracle presented their closing arguments in the Java lawsuit on Monday and, with them, turned the case over to the jury for what is now the second time.

The case centers around Google’s implementation of Java in its Android mobile operating system. Google claims that it coded the language from scratch and only kept the APIs the same to ensure compatibility. Google says that this is a fair use but Oracle holds that it’s an infringement. The case reached a jury in 2012 but it was deadlocked on the issue of fair use. Now, after a series of appeals that ruled APIs are copyrightable, the matter is back before a jury for the second time.

In their closing arguments, both sides restated their case. Google argued that it built Android from scratch and only adapted technology from open sources while Oracle claims that thousands of lines of code were copied and that Google used them to gain an unfair advantage over them in the marketplace. There is no way of knowing how long the jury will deliberate but, if it doesn’t find that Google’s use was a fair use, it will have to award damages, of which Oracle is asking for nearly $9 billion.

2: Fifield Dismisses Copyright Act Amendment Recommendation

Next up today, Corinne Reichert at ZDNet reports that, in Australia, Communications Minister Senator Mitch Fifield has said that the government has no intentions of adopting recommendations made by the Productivity Commission that would have greatly shortened the term of copyright and also limited import controls on books.

The Intellectual Property Arrangements: Productivity Commission Draft Report leaked from the Productivity Commission and encouraged sweeping changes in the nation’s intellectual property law including limiting the copyright on books to 15-25 years after publication, greatly expanding fair dealing exemptions and expanding safe harbor to include cloud and streaming services among others.

Many of the changes were widely decried by creators, in particular authors, who said that they would result in a “brain drain” within the country. However, Fifield has assured creators that they have no intention of moving forward with the proposal, showcasing recent site blocking legislation as a sign of the government’s strong commitment to copyright.

3: Oculus Anti-Piracy Update Cracked in a Day

Finally today, the BBC is reporting that an anti-piracy update for the Oculus virtual reality system has been defeated within one day of its release, casting doubts on the platform’s ability to secure the software written for it.

For some time, an unofficial patch called Revive allowed games written for Oculus to be run on other devices without Oculus’ permission. Oculus released a patch of their own to defeat the workaround but, within a day, Revive’s creators had found a way to disable Oculus’ checks, which also prevents the software from determining if it was legally-purchased.

Previously, Oculus had showed support for Revive and how it enabled gamers to play Oculus games on other hardware. However, more recently Oculus has begun striving to stop the use of its games on other software and that has resulted in the current cat-and-mouse game over software protection.


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.

The 3 Count Logo was created by Justin Goff and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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