Episode 3 of The Billion Dollar Code begins with trouble brewing in the Terravision camp. Carsten and Juri need to work together if they’re going to win this case. The trouble is, Juri actually congratulated Brian in his initial email regarding Google Earth and mentioned nothing about stealing his algorithm.
Juri bites back against Eric’s questions though, claiming he didn’t want to scare Brian off and wanted to secure a meeting with him.
As we flash back to 1994, Carsten is the only one who’s not deterred by Brian’s sweet talking when he shows up at the office. He calls out the Google Earth issue, which Brian is quick to give them a favourable ultimatum over. He wants to collaborate and they could make millions in doing so, if they agree to the patent rights being handed ovre. The alternative is fighting in court.
The thing is, that night Brian outright admits to Juri that without Terravision there would be no Google Earth. This is enough for Juri to question this upcoming deal, but Carsten implores them that they need to be careful. Specifically, he wants to get a lawyer but Juri is not so sure.
The patent documents are soon sent over to Google after being approved by the American Patent Department. Everything appears to be on the up… until Dr Newes from Google’s legal department shows up at their office in Berlin. Apparently they have reservations about the patent and in doing so, Google have no interest in working with them anymore.
Both of them are dumbfounded but it’s not helped by Juri refusing to mention any of this in all the time he’s been communicating with Brian. Unfortunately his trust in the man is ill-founded – and this shaky relationship is something our lawyer, Eric, pounces all over.
As we jump back to the present, Eric questions Juri’s ties to Chaos Computer Club and his hyperventilation syndrome. Eventually it all becomes too much for him, and after Juri kicks off against them, he storms out. Both lawyers follow of course, warning Juri that he could come up against these questions in court if he’s not ready.
Juri believes they’ve crossed a line though and decides to walk away, done with rehearsing for now.
Lea heads off to tell Carsten the bad news about Juri. After some thinking, he realizes that his partner is in Budapest. Eric gets cold feet in the sake of all this drama, believing they should pull the plug given their star witness has gone AWOL.
It’s here we cut back in time and see Carsten and Juri butting heads. Juri figures out that Brian has stolen their code and every aspect of Terravision, deciding to bring lawyers in to fight this case. Carsten however, refuses to indulge him, pointing out they should have got a lawyer years back.
Now though, years later and with the wheels already in motion, the pair struggle to find a lawyer to take this seriously – or fight for them. Patent lawsuits are messy business but Lea though, has faith that they’ll pull through and have a good claim to win.
One statement “If we enter into a collaboration” is enough to show an important point – the two guys never actually entered an agreement formally.
While Lea comes to this realization, Carsten catches up with Juri in Budapest and encourages him to keep fighting. The two do eventually reconcile their differences, with Juri admitting that Carsten giving up is what really hurt him. Now though, they find common ground over their disdain for Google and decide to prepare for the biggest court case of their career. Will their friendship and respect for one another stand the test of time? We shall see.
The Episode Review
The penultimate episode to The Billion Dollar Code depicts the trials and tribulations of both Juri and Carsten as they struggle to reconcile their differences in the wake of all this drama.
However, by the end it seems like they’re both on the same page and ready to fight Google with everything they have. This, of course, means that things are going to get messy in this David and Goliath fight.
Understanding more about the past is a nice touch though and the series does a wonderful job depicting how deceitful and megalomaniacal Google was in taking apart Terravision. Unfortunately the naivety and trusting nature of both Juri and Carsten comes back to bite them as they realize that Google have essentially screwed them over.
With the finale up next, everything is left on a knife-edge. Who will win the court case?