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Google & Oracle Accused Of Selecting Jury They Can Discredit

March 3, 2016 - Written By John Anon

There are some court battles which seem to go on indefinitely. Samsung and Apple battling it out is certainly one which quickly springs to mind. However, the last few years has seen an equally long battle in the legal system between Oracle and Google. The crux of the battle revolves around the use of APIs by Google that are based on Oracle’s Java code. On the one hand Oracle argues that developers should be paid for their work while on the other hand Google argues that these fall under open source and their content is fair game, so to speak.

While Google is unlikely to argue with the notion of paying developers for their work, the problem is the sheer volume of API usage based on Java. An issue which if Oracle is successful, could see Google liable for a substantial amount. As a result, again like Samsung and Apple, Oracle and Google have been going back and forth on this debate. Although to try and reduce the impact of any decision, Google has already made moves to eliminate the dependency on Java. The issue is though, ‘fair usage’ is not something that is easy to quantify in any meaningful capacity. So in spite of Oracle receiving backing that the underlying aspects of Java are ones which can be copyrighted, the current trial will rest squarely on the shoulders of the Jury selected to decide whether the use of the APIs was indeed a fair level of usage. Needless to say, the jury in this particular trial is pivotal. On that note, the latest reports detail that the judge presiding over the case believes both companies are trying to essentially build a jury, which they can then discredit when one of them eventually loses the case.

In terms of the prepping of this particular jury, Judge Alsup has been noted stating that the two companies filed a joint questionnaire for the selection which was so vague that either company would have been able to question the validity of jurors based on the fact that their responses to the questions could be interpreted as untruthful ones. Furthermore, according to the information, both companies (again jointly) asked for a two-day extension on the selection process. Which although might sound like a reasonably request, is far longer than these selections take. As such, the request is being thought to be a move which is designed to give the companies ample time to thoroughly investigate the jurors’ backgrounds. Again, with a view to discrediting them if and when needed. Either way, it seems the moves are not working as the judge is reported to have forbidden the use of the questionnaire and refused the extension.