Reply to post: De minimis

IBM, Microsoft, a medley of others sing support for Google against Oracle in Supremes' Java API copyright case

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De minimis

The rangeCheck function and security files were still in dispute, since the first jury found infringement for rangeCheck, and the district court found for infringement on the 8 security files "because the trial testimony was that Google's use of the decompiled files was significant — and there was no testimony to the contrary". Google argued for de minimis on appeal, but lost; the copying was not found to be de minimis. In the event, no damages were awarded in respect of the function and security files, but Google appealed anyway.

Sure, the more interesting part concerns the API. But as I've argued elsewhere, Google's particular conduct here is not typical and the rulings in this case against them don't really represent a disaster for software users or makers. It might steer folks away from reimplementing proprietary APIs, and accepting them as de facto standards worthy of re-implementation on other platforms; I think that is a good thing.

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