(Note: the original Sun licence in force during Google's development of Android did not refer to tablets and was much more loosely phrased. Oracle 'tightened it up' after the start of the case. Google never used Sun's binary code, but used the Sun licensed Apache code. The Sun license must apply to the API as well as any Sun binary code otherwise the licence is useless for Sun's desktop plans.)
Oracle were incensed that their plans for a money-making, Java-based, mobile phone OS were stymied by Android. That is why there was all the discussion about mobile phones and tablets in the case because that's the basis of the complaint.
Google Chrome is a general purpose computer. It has a full Java SE licence. It can also use the open source Java JDK licensed by Sun.
If Oracle are going to sue every Unix/Linux based general purpose computer OS that implements or uses Java SE, then that is the end of Java.
As Maurice will know, 17 USC says 'Copyright protection subsists... in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression'.
It explains that the intention of the limited monopoly on copying is: '(A) To maximize the availability of creative works to the public.' '(B) To afford the copyright owner a fair return for his or her creative work and the copyright user a fair income under existing economic conditions.'
As That One Guy points out, the production of the photos was accidental. David Slater never planned for the monkeys to take their selfies and neither did the monkeys: it was not a creative work of authorship and does not qualify for copy protection under the law.
PS: 17 USC § 801 uses the phrase 'copyright owner' which seems to allow for the 'ownership' of a legal right under the law.
Oh dear, I've come to the conclusion that David Slater does, indeed, have the copyright to the snapshot. But... later!
First, copyright is not property under the Constitution: it is a right. That's why it is called copyright.
Irell & Manella are wrong to state 'Defendant Slater does not argue here that he owns the copyright'. Nobody owns the copyright: one can only have, or not have, the right to copy.
If a wildlife cameraman sets up a camera with an infra-red detector and catches a picture of a fox, there is nothing that passes the low hurdle under copyright law of creative expression.
If David Bailey sets up a studio shot, poses the model, has the lighting and flash set up to his satisfaction, chooses the ISO setting and shutter speed and gets an assistant to click the shutter, that does leap the creative hurdle and David Bailey has the copyright to the image.
David Slater was half way there. He set up the camera, settings, backdrop, flash, iso, etc (some of which might have been the cameras automatic doing) and then arranged for the model to operate the shutter once in a suitable pose. Since the 'creative' hurdle is so low under copyright law, I cannot see how David Slater does not have the right to prevent others copying his creative expression.
At last the CAFC puts front an centre the law that says a patent is invalid if it fails to fall into the four classes of invention permitted by §101.
It also concedes what the Supreme Court has long impressed on them that there are judicial exclusions.
In O'Reilly V. Morse (Supreme Court 1853) the court said "The mere discovery of a new element, or law, or principle of nature, without any valuable application of it to the arts, is not the subject of a patent. But he who takes this new element or power, as yet useless, from the laboratory of the philosopher, and makes it the servant of man; who applies it to the perfecting of a new and useful art, or to the improvement of one already known, is the benefactor to whom the patent law tenders its protection."
They intended 'philosopher' to encompass scientists, mathematicians, engineers, computer programmers, pharmacists, chemists etc. as we see in Bilski, Benson, Mayo, Flook, Diehr and so on.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
One day the CAFC will realise that the computer that runs generic apps in a smart phone, tablet, smart TV or smart Blu-ray player is also a generic computer.
The generic computer is added to a dumb device that already requires a user input device and a display for its operation and is only powerful because of the need to run generic software.
Is swiping a mechanical slide switch to power a device on or off a different invention to swiping a touch pad to do the same thing? Is it a novel machine invention being patented or is it just patenting the abstract idea of using a swipe motion to power a device on or off?
A browser running on a TV is no less generic software than a browser running on a desktop computer.
A software invention onna phone or onna computer or onna server or on the interweb is a software invention on one or more generic computers.
It's worth asking why anyone buys Internet access service.
An Internet Service Provider uses a fast, broadband connection to the internet (if they have to!) for a rental charge. The Internet is not a content provider: it is connectivity only and that is what the service customers contract for. The customer expects to have full access to any legal Internet supported product or service.
In addition, the ISP may offer additional services; some based on connectivity such as email and VOIP and some based on content provision such as 'broadcast' and on-demand television.
I gather that each ISP in the USA is a government authorised commercial monopoly for the provision of Internet service.
When Microsoft used their monopoly to act anti-competitively against Netscape (which was later adopted by Mozilla) the courts found that they were violating the Sherman Act. That was on the basis that Netscape, Java and other programs provided a potential OS-like platform (web and java based programs) that could compete with Windows.
I'm not sure that this applies to Internet provided content services, but it does apply to competing Internet-provided connectivity services including cloud-based services.
Let's just ask the DOJ to take the irresponsible ISPs to court for using a business monopoly for anti-competitive activities and extorting non-market related tariffs from other companies.
Techdirt has not posted any stories submitted by royleith.