One e-mail sent by Android cofounder Andy Rubin in 2006 may end up costing Google billions in its ongoing legal war with Oracle.
At the core of the case is whether or not Google infringed on Oracle's copyright by putting key pieces of the Java technology into the mega-popular Android operating system.
Java was first developed by Sun Microsystems, a company that Oracle acquired in 2009. Shortly after the acquisition, Oracle filed a series of lawsuits against Google alleging infringement.
To prove its case, Oracle's legal team today dredged up an e-mail from 2006, where Rubin acknowledged that the Java programming language APIs were copyrighted by Sun. This was reported by Vice Motherboard contributing editor Sarah Jeong on Twitter.
On the surface, this e-mail shows that not only did Rubin, who was then leading Android, know that the Java APIs are copyrightable — but that Google was knowingly and willfully circumventing Sun's copyright. If and when the jury has to calculate damages owed to Oracle, this could end up seriously hurting Google.
Rubin wrote in a 2006 email, "Ha, Wish them luck. Java lang apis are copyrighted. And Sun gets to say who they license the JCK to."— sarah jeong (@sarahjeong) May 12, 2016
Rubin says that he meant the *implementations* are copyrightable.— sarah jeong (@sarahjeong) May 12, 2016
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