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First off today, Nick Wingfield and Quentin Hardy at the New York Times reports that the jury has returned in the Google/Oracle case and sided with Google, ruling that it’s use of the Java APIs in the its Android mobile operating system was a fair use.
The case, which began in 2010, centered around 11,000 lines of code out of millions in Android. Oracle, which owns Java, claimed that Google infringed its copyrights by using the Java APIs to ensure compatibility. Google, however, claimed that it wrote the rest of the implementation from scratch and that the portions it did copy were a fair use. A trial in 2012 ended with a deadlocked jury on the issue of fair use and, after a series of appeals that affirmed the copyrightability of APIs, the case went back for a jury last week.
That jury, however, has sided with Google, finding that it was a fair use. This means that Google will not have to pay the nearly $9 billion in damages that Oracle sought. However, attorneys for Oracle have already promised an appeal, meaning that this case may still be far from over.
Next up today, Fruzsina Eordogh at Forbes reports that popular YouTubes H3H3 Productions are facing a lawsuit filed by Matt Hosseinzadeh, better known as The Bold Guy or Matt HossZone, over a video that they did lampooning one of Hoss’ videos.
H3H3, which is run by Ethan and Hila Klein, did a reaction video to one of Hoss’ videos on their second channel. Hoss, who presents himself as a parkour expert and pickup artist, makes videos about those two things and the Kleins felt it was a ripe combination for jokes. Their video made use of short clips from Hoss’ work and that, it seems, prompted Hoss to file a copyright infringement lawsuit.
The Kleins discussed the lawsuit in a video about the lawsuit and, since the video went online, a GoFundMe was launched to support them in their legal battles. That campaign has already exceeded it’s $100,000 goal and the funds are being put into a special account at their attorney’s office to help the lawyers not only fund this case, but to also help protect others who are being threatened with copyright infringement claims over fair uses.
Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that, attorneys representing Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are accusing the plaintiffs in the Stairway to Heaven lawsuit of attempting to taint the jury pool by asking the court to force Page and Plant to attend the trial even though they have both already agreed to be there.
The lawsuit was filed by the estate of Randy Wolfe, songwriter and member of the band Spirit. They allege that Led Zeppelin’s song Stairway to Heaven is a copyright infringement of Spirit’s song Taurus, which was released a few years prior. The case is expected to go to trial on June 14th but, according to the plaintiffs, there was uncertainty as to whether or not Plant and Page would be at the trial and able to testify.
The plaintiffs asked the court to compel them to appear but attorneys representing Page and Plant say that they had already promised to attend and that the motions were just an attempt to make it appear that they were running from the lawsuit. They believe that this was done to get press attention and hurt their perception with potential jurors.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.