It was just days ago when the federal judge presiding over the upcoming Oracle v.
Google API copyright trial said he was concerned that the tech giants were already preparing for a mistrial—despite the fact that the San Francisco jury hasn’t even been picked yet. US District Judge William Alsup said he was suspicious that, during the trial, the two might perform intensive Internet searches on the chosen jurors in hopes of finding some “lie” or “omission” that could be used in a mistrial bid.
To placate the judge’s fears, Google said (PDF) it won’t do Internet research on jurors after a panel is picked for the closely watched trial, set to begin on May 9.”The Court stated that it is considering imposing on both sides a ban on any and all Internet research on the jury members prior to verdict. Provided the ban applies equally to both parties, Google has no objection to imposition of such a ban in this case,” Google attorney Robert Van Nest wrote to the judge in a Tuesday filing.
Google was referring solely to Internet searches of the jury once jurors were picked.
Oracle didn’t go so far in its response Tuesday and said the dueling companies should be able to investigate jurors both before and after they are chosen. “…the parties should be permitted to conduct passive Internet searches for public information, including searches for publicly available demographic information, blogs, biographies, articles, announcements, public Twitter and other social media posts, and other such public information,” Oracle attorney Peter Bicks wrote (PDF) Alsup on Tuesday.
However, Oracle was concerned that Google might tap its vast database of “proprietary” information connected to jurors’ Google accounts and said such research should be off-limits.
“Neither party should access any proprietary databases, services, or other such sources of information, including by way of example information related to jurors’, prospective jurors’, or their acquaintances’ use of Google accounts, Google search history information, or any information regarding jurors’ or prospective jurors’ Gmail accounts, browsing history, or viewing of Google served ads…” Oracle wrote.
Google has never suggested it would violate its customers’ privacy in such a way.
Oracle is seeking $1 billion in damages after successfully suing the search giant for infringing Oracle’s Java APIs that were once used in the Android operating system.
A federal appeals court has ruled that the “declaring code and the structure, sequence, and organization of the API packages are entitled to copyright protection.” The decision reversed the outcome of the first Oracle-Google federal trial before Alsup in 2012.
APIs are essential and allow different programs to work with one another.
The new jury will be tasked with deciding solely whether Google has a rightful fair-use defense to that infringement.