A Northern District of California jury has found Oracle failed to
prove whether Google wilfully infringed patents RE38,104 and 6,061,520.
Earlier, a jury found Google infringed Oracle's copyrighted application
programming interface but could not agree on whether it constituted fair
use. Google has moved for a mistrial.
It's likely Oracle will file for a judgment as a matter of law,
asking the judge to throw out the jury verdict because of insufficient
evidence – "typically a very difficult standard," said Ian DiBernardo of
There were some important lessons in the case, however. In the
decision, Judge William Alsup said the Copyright Act allows anyone to
write code to carry out the same function so long as the specific code
to implement a method is different. But because Oracle's Java requires
identical method specifications to carry out the same function, it could
not be owned.
Lawyers also said that Oracle should have registered its code in
small snippets instead of in its entirety. By registering the entire
work, it opened itself up to claims that the infringement was de minimis. The jury found that Google infringed only nine lines (roughly 3%) of the code.
Treaty on Audiovisual Performances finalised Representatives of WIPO member states finalised the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances (BTAP) in June. At the moment, national laws provide a patchwork of rules on how performers’ rights are protected once a performance is fixed in an audiovisual product, and some countries provide no protection at all. The treaty will require performers to give their permission before their work can be exploited in recordings.
EU law limits broadcaster compensation Advocate General Bot has advised the Court of Justice of the EU in Sky Österreich v Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF) that EU law could limit the amount a broadcaster could receive for a rebroadbast. ORF, the Austrian public broadcaster, wanted to use clips from Europa League matches that Sky owned. Bot advised the Court that the freedom to receive information and the need for media pluralism took priority.
Authors Guild class action against Google certified Judge Denny Chin has granted a request for class certification in the Authors Guild case. In 2005, Authors Guild filed a copyright claim against the Google Books project, claiming the search engine was “engaging in massive copyright infringement”. Without class certification, “many times the suit is never filed after evaluating the risks and benefits,” said Stephen Zralek of Bone McAllester Norton.
Ofcom publishes draft code Ofcom has set out its draft code, as required by the Digital Economy Act 2010, regarding how ISPs must help rights holders combat infringement and notify users if their IP address is associated with infringement. Under the code if a customer receives three letters or more within a 12-month period, copyright owners can ask the ISP to provide anonymous information showing which infringement reports are linked to that customer’s account.
Japanese authorities have made the first arrest under the Unfair
Competition Prevention Act, according to Nintendo. The arrested party
was selling majikon, devices which allow users to use unauthorised
software on video game systems.
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has denied Thomson Reuters' motion seeking leave to appeal the class certification of Waldman v Thomson Reuters. At dispute is whether Thomson Reuters has the right to copy, sell and reproduce lawyer-drafted documents for a fee.
Broadcasters, libraries and museums will be able to digitise
certain types of orphan works – such as photos, films and poems –
without rights holders' consent, after European politicians agreed a
deal in June. Orphan works are those which fall under copyright
protection but where it is impossible to identify the rights owner.
DISH network successfully requested that the lawsuits brought by
Fox Broadcasting, NBC and CBS against its Hopper DVR service be enjoined
until its own suit is resolved. The Hopper includes a feature called
Auto Hop, which allows users to skip commercials when playing back