It was recently reported that Oracle might only be able to collect $150,000 in fines from Google, for infringing upon its Java APIs in the the development of the Android operating system, and now presiding Judge William Alsup confirmed these damages. A billion dollars has been a sort of buzz-phrase surrounding the tech industry as of late, with Facebook’s recent acquisition of Instagram for a billion dollars. Some have said Oracle might also get a billion dollars from Google per inflated fines, but as the case continues to play out, it would appear that the makers of Java will not only fail in achieving a billion, but might also fail to save face, in a case exhibiting an undertone of corporate hubris.
So far, Google has only been found to have infringed upon 9 lines of rangeCheck code found in TimSort.java and ComparableTimSort.java – 9 lines out of the 15 million that comprise Android, which equates to one count of infringement. While Oracle asked Alsup to rule on fair use, Google likewise requested a mistrial. By statute, the 9 lines of code in question can only garner a maximum fine of $150,000, which Judge Alsup confirmed today.
There has yet to be a ruling on Google’s bid for a mistrial, and Oracle today filed to divorce from the portions of the case already heard, a motion likewise still up in the air. The next phase of the trial will likely surround further classification of the 37 Java APIs in question, a ruling on whether or not any of them are actually copyrighted, which would lead to a better look at the issue of fair use.