According to reporter Sarah Jeong on Twitter, the jury in the long-awaited Oracle v Google trial regarding Google's use of Oracle's Java APIs has found that Oracle's claims for copyright infringement are not valid. Google's use of the APIs structure, sequence, and organization fell under fair use.
GOOGLE'S USE OF THE DECLARING CODE AND SSO OF APIS IS FAIR USE
— sarah jeong (@sarahjeong) May 26, 2016
Oracle had, after a higher court found certain aspects of the Java APIs copyrightable, sought damages against Google for using those APIs as part of Android's Dalvik virtual machine. Oracle's argument had long been considered near-baseless in terms of true technological "theft," but the finding that the structure, sequence, and organization of the APIs were copyrightable led many legal analysts to believe Google may well lose the case. It turns out the jury saw otherwise, and deemed Google's usage of the SSO of Oracle's Java APIs fell under fair use.
In any practical sense, Oracle's claims have always been subject to intense scrutiny, and some have deemed the whole case a mere vendetta of Oracle founder Larry Ellison against Android. Oracle has long asserted that Android's use of Java without Oracle's cooperation essentially "stole" the mobile market from Oracle and robbed it of billions in potential profit. Oracle would have much preferred that Google paid a license to Oracle for use of Java APIs in its Dalvik VM, but Google has argued consistently that the open source nature of Java itself (versus use of the Java name and obtaining of Java-specific certifications) made any such licensing unnecessary, and that Dalvik was free and clear of Oracle's copyright under the doctrine of fair use. There's more to it than that, of course, but that's the general gist of things.
Appeals will, of course, be coming (Oracle has now commented, and appeals will be filed). But for today: Google and Android have won. Again.