It's finally finished. The titanic battle between Google and Oracle has been decided, and Google stands tall over the broken body of it's enemy. Okay, so that was a flagrant over-dramatization, but sometimes the creative writer in me grabs me and tosses me around like a rag-doll, just like what happened to Oracle. At any rate, the Judge in the Oracle vs. Google case has handed down his final ruling. Judge William Alsup ruled that Oracle's Java API elements are not copyrightable. Furthermore, all related claims against Google have been dismissed. Oracle did win on a couple of points, but their minuscule victory will end up costing them far more than it gained them. Here's a quote with some final details,
It's a great day for Justice, and I am not saying that because I am a fan of Android or Google. It's good to see that some sort of balance is beginning to take shape in the world of Intellectual Property rights. The Patent and Copyright wars have gone on for too long because the system is far too loose. Perhaps now that a specific ruling has been made, it will set a precedent that creates a ripple effect throughout the whole system.With the ruling, the jury's finding on the SSO infringement is now rendered moot, and after months of legal maneuvering Oracle now only has two things to show for its efforts: statutory damages for the use of nine lines of rangeCheck code and eight Java test files. At most, the pair will amount to a payout of just $300,000. Appeals are a certainty, however the specificity of Alsup's ruling here will make it that much more difficult for his decision to be overturned (Alsup's caution throughout the trial has indicated a real concern for making decisions that will be considered airtight when revisited later). Additionally, Alsup's not claiming that APIs are not copyrightable under all circumstances — only that these particular elements, when matched with the specifics of the copyrights Oracle applied for, aren't covered.
Nevertheless, it's a vindicating end to the proceedings for Google. The company has providing us with the following statement in response to the ruling:
The court's decision upholds the principle that open and interoperable computer languages form an essential basis for software development. It's a good day for collaboration and innovation.