Oracle Clutches at Pieces of Straw

It is said that a drowning man figuratively “clutches at straws”. Oracle has passed that. They are clutching at any particle of straw floating on the water. Today, in court,
“Mr. Jacobs: Further to ownership and registration and other formalities. Let me try to narrow scope of issues in dispute.

We no longer seek a package-by-package ruling on infringement as it relates to the code. (Relates to question 2 on verdict form.)

On the document part, we urge that to be treated similar to the code packages.

We seek a ruling on documentation copying. If that ruling comes in the context of 37 packages, that would suffice. We don’t need package by package rulings on the documentation. But we do need a ruling on the documentation.

Judge: How would you phrase the question to the jury?

Oracle: To the jury: the question would be of the form. “Did Google infringe by copying the API documentation into its documentation?”

Judge: Compared to what? What’s the work as a whole?

Oracle: We would have it be co-extensive with the determination for the code packages.

Judge: OK, that’s much simpler. But I’m not making any ruling.”

Give me a break, Oracle! Give up! You lost, fair and square. Take it like a man. The API of Java was documented in many books and SUN allowed anyone to use it to write applications and SUN allowed anyone to use it to create a Java virtual machine as long they either obtained a licence for the TCK and called it Java or they didn’t call it Java.

Further, before the jury came in today, this exchange happened:
“Oracle: Offer into evidence 1078. Letter to copyright office with a received stamp on it for java 2 SE5.

Judge: Objection is what?

Google: Hearsay, lack of foundation, and incomplete. Where is this disk? [they have it] And it needs to be authenticated.

Google: These are business records of the law firm.

Oracle: Because of conflict, the records were transferred to Oracle.

Judge: (To Google) Do you really want the jury to think that the case turns on this?

Google: No.

Judge: Then why are you making a big case about this?

Google: We just want someone to testify that the disk has the same contents that was submitted.

[Talking about attorney who recorded these details at Fenwick, then turned it over to Oracle.]

Judge: I think it’s better to bring in Mr. Gonsalves.

Oracle: I would offer 1078 as a self-authenticating document that has on its face indication of authenticity.

Google: They are clearly offering this for the truth of its contents, to show that a disk was submitted.

Judge: Was there a disk, and what was on it? And that’s not something I can take as self-authenticating from the face of the letter.

I’m not going to rule on this – but tentatively I’m going to rule no – you have to bring this in the right way, with a witness. They (Google) have the right to be mean and nasty – which is what I think they’re doing here. I would need some case law to overrule their objection.

Judge: You’re not explaining why you can’t get Mr. Gonsalves here. You’re avoiding that.

I’m not going down this path until you tell me he’s unavailable, as in he refused a subpoena.

Oracle: Offer 1076, the CD rom.

Judge: Same ruling (i.e. no, need a witness)

Judge: Those 4 docs are in limbo. I’m not ruling, but I question the foundation. I’m not ruling it out, but I’m not ruling it in based on a proffer.”

The CD is supposedly containing documentation for Java as part of the registration of the copyright. Rumour is that the CD is blank… Chuckle. What would you do if a blank CD was offered as proof of copyright??? Why doesn’t Oracle want the lawyer who handled the registration to testify?

Again, it seems as though Oracle has a very weak case, certainly not worth $billions nor the handsome fees BSF charges…

see GROKLAW – Day 10 Oracle v. Google Trial ~pj – Updated for the full story…

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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2 Responses to Oracle Clutches at Pieces of Straw

  1. Thanks… I am tired.

  2. eebrah says:

    In the second-last paragraph you say “… it seems as though Google has a very weak case …”,
    I believe you meant Oracle

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