Jurors for Google v. Oracle Case Exposed to Major Privacy Violation Potential
August 1, 2016
The article titled Judge Doesn’t Want Google to Google the Favorite Books and Songs of Potential Jurors on Billboard provides some context into the difficulties of putting Google on trial. Oracle is currently suing Google for copyright violations involving a Java API code. The federal judge presiding over the case, William Alsup, is trying to figure out how to protect the privacy of the jurors from both parties—but mostly Google. The article quotes from Alsup,
“For example, if a search found that a juror’s favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird, it wouldn’t be hard for counsel to construct a copyright jury argument (or a line of expert questions) based on an analogy to that work and to play upon the recent death of Harper Lee, all in an effort to ingratiate himself or herself into the heartstrings of that juror,” he writes. ” The same could be done… with any number of other juror attitudes…”
Alsup considered a straightforward ban on researching jurors, but this would put both sides’ attorneys at a disadvantage. Instead, Google and Oracle have until the end of the month to either consent to a voluntary ban, or agree to clearly inform the jurors of their intentions regarding social media research.
Chelsea Kerwin, August 1, 2016