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Jury May Be Deadlocked In Oracle-Google Trial 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the 12-angry-iphone-users dept.
angry tapir writes "The jury may have reached a deadlock in the copyright phase of Oracle's intellectual property lawsuit against Google, although the judge cautioned against jumping to any conclusions. 'What happens if we can't reach a unanimous decision and people are not budging?' one of the jurors asked in a written note sent to the judge. The 12 jurors have been deliberating the copyright phase of Oracle's lawsuit against Google since Monday, and they need to be unanimous in any verdict they reach." According to Groklaw, Judge Alsup raised the possibility of a partial verdict — accepting the issues the jury can agree on and then retrying the rest. Google was less amenable to that than Oracle. Update: 05/04 21:05 GMT by S : The jury has reached a verdict on all claims but one. However, the judge sent them home for the weekend. On Monday they'll vote again and see if they can resolve the last claim.
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Jury May Be Deadlocked In Oracle-Google Trial

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  • by tebee (1280900) on Friday May 04, 2012 @03:15PM (#39894251)

    I can't help feeling this whole thing has be a gigantic waste of time and money

  • by bmo (77928) on Friday May 04, 2012 @03:36PM (#39894609)

    Blame our shitty patent system.

    This has absolutely nothing to do with patents.

    --
    BMO

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @03:43PM (#39894739)

    Whether APis are copyrightable is a matter for professional bodies in computing to consider, such as the ACM and IEEE, not judges nor politicians. It's a technical matter.

    And if this technical matter were decided at the professional body level, then this entire farce would have been avoided, because professionals in the discipline would not be stupid enough to deny interoperability by making APIs copyrightable.

    Neither the judge nor (even less) the jury have the skill and background to make a sound decision in this area.

  • by foobsr (693224) on Friday May 04, 2012 @03:53PM (#39894883) Homepage Journal

    If the whole api and language is copyrighted on sytnax the whole world will change as everyone from car part manufactures to people who the phillips head can have 170 year monopolies and prevent anything from working together.

    Not the whole world, the U.S. will drop back to somewhere around the stone age. The global rest will be somewhat relieved.

    CC.

  • by Ash Vince (602485) * on Friday May 04, 2012 @04:21PM (#39895337) Journal

    Whether APis are copyrightable is a matter for professional bodies in computing to consider, such as the ACM and IEEE, not judges nor politicians. It's a technical matter.

    And if this technical matter were decided at the professional body level, then this entire farce would have been avoided, because professionals in the discipline would not be stupid enough to deny interoperability by making APIs copyrightable.

    Neither the judge nor (even less) the jury have the skill and background to make a sound decision in this area.

    Normally I ignore AC's but in this case you hit the nail completely on the head.

    This is ta big problem facing our society now: that juries made up of laymen or judges are expect to rule on things they have no clue about and the time taken to educate them is simply unfeasible.

    I have been developing software professionally for a decade or so (3 decades if you count when I first learnt basic) and I still have a great deal to learn. I would still have to sit down and draw on much of my experience when it came to deciding this case. I do not see how someone who has just completed coding 101 could really understand the full implications of their decision, let alone someone who has not even got that far.

    I also do not think that a sensible decision is that likely if the jury are only able to base it on which witness the sound of liked better.

    It would be like basing who runs a country based on a some sort of popularity contest. Oh crap, we actually do that as well :(

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @04:31PM (#39895473)

    Copyright is not a matter of social or industry benefit, it's a matter of law. Thus, it's a matter for judges (and juries) to determine if APIs are copyrightable under current law, and for Congress to decide if they should be and, since they obviously shouldn't, to fix the law they are (or if the law is sufficiently unclear that judges end up misunderstanding it to that effect).

    We separate legislative and judicial powers for a reason, and you seem to be confusing what should be legal (legislative power) with determining what is legal (judicial power). Perhaps the argument you meant to make is that industry bodies, rather than Congress, should make copyright law, but that already happened, with the Mickey Mouse industry, and I thought most of us on /. were not pleased with the results?

  • by Beeftopia (1846720) on Friday May 04, 2012 @11:04PM (#39898773)

    You have two multibillion dollar companies hiring the best lawyers money can buy, both arguing complex legal and technical issues. And a group of yokels you picked at random off the street - a group that can afford to sit through a long trial - is supposed to correctly decide the case on its merits?

    I think the jury system, while laudable in its intent, is terribly flawed.

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