SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - An unhappy jury is poised to begin deliberations today on the first third of a potentially 12-week trial over allegedly copyright-protected Java in the Google Android.
One juror, displeased by the length of the trial so far and the "disruption it's caused in her life," started the hearing in a sidebar with U.S. District Judge William Alsup and lawyers.
After that juror returned to the box, Oracle attorney Michael Jacobs began his closing arguments, acknowledging the very complicated questions the last two weeks have raised.
Oracle, which purchased Java creator Sun Microsystems in 2010, claims Google lifted proprietary computer code for use in its Android operating systems.
"People like you decide these titanic questions," Jacobs said.
"The issue is pretty simple: Can somebody use another person's property because it suits them," he added. "Google wanted Sun to throw away their standard license. Google wanted Sun to change their business model. Sun said no, the disagreement persisted, and here we are."
The issue boils down to the importance of rewarding authors for their creations, Jacobs said, pointing out that application programming interfaces (APIs) are creations that Google copied,.
"Google concedes all this copying; either because it jumps out when you look at it, or because it was part of their plan," he added. "Google knew this day would come. They predicted the lawsuits. We've seen email after email from Google, writing each other and warning about this. And why? Because Oracle's 37 APIs get turned on 750,000 times a day on Android devices around the world, and Oracle never gets a dime for any of it."
Jacobs rejected Google's frequent argument that the copying was minimal. "This copying is not minimal," he said. "Four hundred classes, 4,500 methods, 7,000 declarations. If this was printed out, it would be 11,000 pages. 11,000 pages of copyright infringement by Google."
Anticipating what would be a key point in Google's closing arguments, Jacobs discussed a 2007 blog post authored by then-Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz, congratulating Google on Android. "A blog post is not permission," Jacobs said. "A blog post is not a license."
"Sun registered copyright after copyright, version after version," Jacobs continued. "Why? Because they were critical to their business."
Fair use in copyright law allows for criticism, comment, news reporting, educational or research purposes, but Jacobs said Google cannot make that claim because "Google used the Java applications for Android to make money."
The attorney urged jurors to reject Google's argument that fair use also allows for "transformative" use of copyrighted work for public benefit.
"Google wanted to leverage those APIs," he said. "That's not transformative, that's just copying. The more that's taken, the less fair use applies. What did Google take here? Thirty-seven API packages out of 166. If we're talking a six-chapter book, it's a whole chapter."
"They took the crown jewels of the packages in the Java SE," he added.
Google's theft of Oracle's intellectual property also cost Oracle other business, Jacobs said, noting that the Amazon Kindle Fire uses Android OS. He said it also fragmented Java.
"Java compatibility is crucial to Java's 'Write Once, Run Anywhere' business model," he said. "Android has fragmented the Java application. Google understood that it should avoid fragmenting Java. This harm to Java is on all levels, and this cuts against fair use.