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First off today, Sarah Jeong at Motherboard reports that Oracle has asked for a new trial in the Oracle v. Google case, saying that Google withheld key information that may have prejudiced the jury against Oracle.
Oracle sued Google alleginging that, when making its Android mobile operating system, Google copied APIs from Oracle-owned JAVA to make development for it easier. The case has been ongoing since 2010 and has already seen two trials. The first trial ended in a hung jury but saw the district judge rule APIs were not copyrightable. After the appeals court reversed that ruling, it went back for a second trial, where the jury found that Google’s actions were a fair use.
However, Oracle is now claiming that Google withheld key information, namely that it was working to port Android apps to the desktop. According to Oracle, one of the key reasons for the jury’s decision was that Android did not directly compete with Java since it wasn’t on desktop. That information wasn’t presented to the jury though Google recently announced the effort publicly. Google, however, claims that Oracle was aware of it and simply chose not to raise the issue at trial.
Next up today, Joe Mullin at Ars Technica reports that the lawyers in the Happy Birthday to You lawsuit have been awarded some $4.62 million in fees, an amount that equals to one-third of the settlement fund.
The lawyers, working on behalf of a filmmaker, filed a class action suit on behalf of those who paid royalties to use the song. Accord to the lawyers, the copyright in the song had long since expired and Warner/Chappell records, the claimed owners, were unjustly seeking licensing fees from its use.
After a series of legal setbacks, Warner/Chappell agreed to a settlement that saw them relinquish their claim on the song and set up a $14 million fund to repay those who had paid licenses within the last three years. The lawyers, for their efforts, will receive $4.62 million for their work in the case, which includes a 1.2 multiplier based on their “impressive skill and effort” in the case.
Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Sophia Eggleton has won an early round against the producers of the hit Fox drama Empire as the judge is allowing her lawsuit to move forward.
According to Eggleton, the character of “Cookie” Lyon from Empire is based on her 2009 memoir The Hidden Land. To boost her claim, she cited several similarities between her book and Cookie, including both being ex-cons who lead gangs and like to slap people. Fox, however, had argued those claims did not rise to copyright infringement though the judge in the case has said there is enough for the matter to move forward.
With this, there will likely be more discovery in the case. While this is a victory for Eggleton, there are still many more challenges for her, including trying to convince the court that it has jurisdiction in the case.
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.