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Google Cellphones Handhelds Java Oracle The Courts Your Rights Online

Google Says 3rd Parties Would Be Liable For Java Infringement 236

Posted by timothy
from the that-guy-did-it dept.
angry tapir writes "Third parties, not Google, would be liable for any Java copyright violations in the Android mobile OS, according to a filing Google made in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. Oracle sued Google in August over a number of alleged Java patent and copyright violations in Android."
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Google Says 3rd Parties Would Be Liable For Java Infringement

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  • by Giometrix (932993) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @07:47PM (#34202346) Homepage
    Microsoft promises to take legal responsibiliy in the case of patent lawsuits resulting from use of their platform. Interesting times we live in...
  • Re:nice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by clang_jangle (975789) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @07:50PM (#34202372) Journal
    I think it may be Oracle that's left "twisting in the wind". Google is a huge target, but suing several dozen developers instead is probably not going to be nearly as easy or lucrative.
  • Re:nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @07:55PM (#34202412)

    I think it may be Oracle that's left "twisting in the wind". Google is a huge target, but suing several dozen developers instead is probably not going to be nearly as easy or lucrative.

    Does it have to be lucrative or just effective at preventing anyone from using it without a licensing fee?

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @07:58PM (#34202434)

    They also charge for that feature.
    I am sure for enough money google could do the same.

  • Re:nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @08:01PM (#34202468)

    Rent seeking the last refuge of the truly un-innovative.

  • by aaarrrgggh (9205) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @08:41PM (#34202726)

    It is a reference to the Dalvik VM code pre-dating Android. Since the code had an Apache (?) license, Google complied with that license. If the original party had no authorization to license the code under those terms (copied it from the JVM), then that is not Google's fault (or liability). Seems like a solid defense to this engineer...

  • Miss Sun yet? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by h8sg8s (559966) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @09:06PM (#34202870)
    I read and re-read tfa and just coudn't see Sun *ever* doing this level of crap. Larry may be a "great capitalist" but he's a failure as a human being. Bad Larry! Baaad! (smacks Larry on head with rolled up newspaper)
  • Re:nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Proudrooster (580120) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @09:18PM (#34202934) Homepage
    Oracle just got $4B from SAS so they have cash to spend on lawyers. I imagine Oracle will make this part of their standard business practice now. Sue everyone, sue big, demand license fees even on stuff you don't own. :)
  • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:46PM (#34203448) Homepage
    If Oracle sued Red Hat claiming Linux violates their patents, would you say that Red Hat was acting in a "low" fashion for pointing out the fact that Linux is not Red Hat's OS? Of course not. So why would you expect Google to take the hit when Android is not their OS? (Hint: It is FOSS, and is an Open Handset Alliance [openhandsetalliance.com] OS)
  • by IBitOBear (410965) on Friday November 12, 2010 @01:25AM (#34204192) Homepage Journal

    The objection is, to my understanding, that "Exhibit 'J'" doesn't consist of any of the actual source code at all. It's got nothing to do with the headers or locations. Exhibit "J" is a decompile. To that end it has all the expressive part stripped. It may be that both halves of the comparison are decompiled from their respective objects using the same tool.

    This would naturally strip the result of any indicators as to whether any code was copied because the _tool_ would pick the variable names, and the indenting style and so on.

    So consider two implementations of some function "int add_two_integers(int, int)".

    One guy goes in for the one-liner: "int add_two_integers(int l, int r) { return l+r; }"

    Another guy does the long haul: /* giant copyright notice */ /* motivation for writing code */
    int32 /*specific integer sizes selected to constrain results within 32 bits for sure */
    add_two_integers(int32 Left, int32 Right)
    {
        return (Left + Right); /*with comments and everything */
    }

    In no way did either party "copy" the other.

    But you compile both on a 32-bit platform, then decompile them both, and then say look, that second guy just stole the first guy's code.

    The outcome of the above would be different code were both compiled for, say, an amd64. The intent is clearly different. The amount of effort clearly different again. The actual act of copying isn't even in question when the source is examined.

    But cook it right and use decompiles and whatnot and you produce a misleading sense of similarity.

    So don't go looking at the files from the two distributions and how similar or different they are. The objection is to the particular details of an exhibit we don't have that has, according to Google, been produced or redacted or just plain old manipulated to remove the obvious dissimilarities in a way that Google thinks the court should see as dishonest or biased against a correct finding of fact.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 12, 2010 @04:01AM (#34204674)

    So why is Google being sued then?

    Oracle is concerned about Google's unique combination of high profile, database experience in relation to their search and similar businesses, expansive business strategy and collection of high profile friends and business partners. Google is a potential threat. Dell would like to reach a settlement that keeps Google from becoming their competitor in the future.

    I know you weren't seriously asking why they are being sued but were using a rheorical device to imply that if they're being sued for something then therefore they must be liable in some way - but that's so stupid it doesn't warrant a response.

  • Re:nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gtall (79522) on Friday November 12, 2010 @10:00AM (#34206080)

    Try rereading what you wrote with C in place of Java. You cannot patent or copyright a language. All Google did was write a different infrastructure for the language.

  • Re:nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pastis (145655) on Friday November 12, 2010 @10:11AM (#34206158)

    > very much the same thing that Microsoft did

    Let's clear this up a last time. Microsoft and Google did _very different things_.

    As you agree, Java is a language (syntax) _and_ a platform (the API and the VM). (actually there are 3 platforms from Oracle: ME, SE, EE)

    Google is using the _language_. Google never said it was using a _platform_ from Oracle. Check http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/fundamentals.html [android.com]

    Microsoft on the other hand was implementing a JVM for Windows, under a license to do so from Sun. Microsoft extended the platform in a non cross-platform way (against the license) in order to "Kill cross-platform Java by grow[ing] the polluted Java market." Doh !

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Java_Virtual_Machine#Antitrust_trial [wikipedia.org]

    This is *very* different!

    So now back on the android/dalvik google/oracle suit.

    > Dalvik shoots Java ME and probably also JavaFX in the head.

    First JavaFX is for the desktop. Nothing to do with the mobile.
    Second JavaMe has had its success (2B devices) but isn't technically adapted to compete on smartphones. It's a 10 years old platform. The programming model for application developers is outdated. The licensing scheme (and fees) is not adapted, and the amount of work for implementors is too large. Android seeks and manages to alleviate those issues.
    Third, Google is under no contractual obligation to not compete with Sun on providing a _platform_ for mobiles.

    > That is not in Sun's interest, not in Oracle's
    > interest, and generally not in the development
    > community's interest.

    It's not in Sun's interest, it's not in Oracle's interest but who says it's not in the community's interest ? You ? Based on what ?

    As a developer, I say: JavaMe doesn't work for everything, there's a better technology out there, let's use it.
    The manufacturers say: this allows us to focus on building and selling a phone, not a VM and software stack. Great !

    Only Oracle is unhappy because their expected revenues on JavaME are potentially reduced.

    > Google/OHA should not be allowed to fragment the Java platform [...]

    JavaME and JavaSE are already different platforms you know ? There's no such thing as a unique Java platform.
    Google isn't thus fragmenting _the platform_.

    > Google could have worked with the community to
    > fix JavaME and JavaFX, but Google doesn't foster
    > than kind of an environment internally.

    You can't fix an inappropriate platform. You replace it: the VM, the class libraries, everything had to be modified in a non compatible manner.

    So why would Google help Sun/Oracle create something that only one compagny had control on ? No one wanted that. Hence the OHA.

    Given the patent wars risks & the market complexity, with its reuse of the Java language, development environment and developer pools, the reuse of Apache code, the OHA, Android is one of the smartest move in the industry in the past years. Sun couldn't pull that. Google did. Oracle is pissed because it kills their revenue forecast. But there's a big chance Oracle cannot do anything about what Google did. Google carefully thought their plan, and Sun/Oracle's patents/copyrights/license&strategy may not have protected them against Google's move. That's called business.

    Now instead of working hand in hand to make the language and the platforms more universal, Oracle seems to have taken a step against, alienating some of their best supporters (developers and FOSS community). That's a very very bad long term move for the platforms that Oracle present.

    To me, the one who is damaging the most the platforms, isn't Google. It's Oracle.

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