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First off today, Jeff John Roberts at Fortune Magazine reports that the judge in the Google/Oracle case has upheld the jury ruling finding that Google’s use of the Java APIs in Android was a fair use.
Oracle sued Google, seeking some $9 billion in damages, alleging that its use of the Java APIs in Android was a copyright infringement. Google, however, claimed that APIs were not copyrightable and that, if they were, the use was a fair use since they only copied a very small percentage of the code. The original jury trial was hung on the issue of fair use but, after a series of appeals that affirmed the copyrightability of APIs, the case went back before the lower court where the jury found in favor of Google.
Now the judge has ruled that the finding was reasonable and likened APIs to typewriters, noting that all keyboards have the same layout. However, Oracle has already promised to appeal and, in the past, has found a more favorable audience at the appellate court level.
Next up today, Alison Frankel at Reuters reports that the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals will take up the question as to whether Ripoff Report owns the copyright to its users review and whether or not an aggrieved attorney can get one of those reviews removed.
The case centers around Boston lawyer Richard Goren who was the subject of deeply critical online review written by Christian Dupont. Goren sued Dupont for libel but Dupont never showed meaning that Goren won by default. As part of that default judgment, Goren won the copyrights to the post itself, a copyright that he attempted to exploit by suing Ripoff Report to get the review removed.
Ripoff Report, however, has a strong history of never removing reviews and fought back claiming that the rights were never Dupont’s to lose. Ripoff Report says that their process for posting a review requires the submitted to assign all copyrights to them. The lower court sided with Ripoff Report and ruled that Goren’s claim was false, awarding Ripoff Report some $200,000 in attorneys fees. However, Goren has appealed to the 1st Circuit and they are set to take the case.
Finally today, Thu-Huong Ha at Quartz reports that Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, has placed some additional copy into the copyright page by comic artist Ryan North’s book, giving readers some added incentive to look at the otherwise boring page.
Penguin, for its part, added a statement espousing the importance of respecting copyright. However, for readers of North’s book, Romeo and/or Juliet, readers receive some “special words” that don’t appear anywhere else in the book.
The vocabulary exercise was actually North’s inspiration, who told his publisher that he felt the regular version of the page was too dry and offered the suggested edits. If more author’s follow North’s path, the copyright page may be one less skipped by readers in hopes of finding hidden secrets.
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.