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Java Oracle The Courts

Oracle Clings To Java API Copyrights 207

An anonymous reader writes in with a story about some of the ramifications of the Oracle-Google lawsuit. "You could hear a collective sigh of relief from the software developer world when Judge William Alsup issued his ruling in the Oracle-Google lawsuit. Oracle lost on pretty much every point, but the thing that must have stuck most firmly in Oracle’s throat was this: 'So long as the specific code used to implement a method is different, anyone is free under the Copyright Act to write his or her own code to carry out exactly the same function or specification of any methods used in the Java API. It does not matter that the declaration or method header lines are identical. Under the rules of Java, they must be identical to declare a method specifying the same functionality — even when the implementation is different. When there is only one way to express an idea or function, then everyone is free to do so and no one can monopolize that expression. And, while the Android method and class names could have been different from the names of their counterparts in Java and still have worked, copyright protection never extends to names or short phrases as a matter of law.'"
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Oracle Clings To Java API Copyrights

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  • by Kaenneth ( 82978 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @06:50PM (#43327065) Homepage Journal

    "Droid" is a valid Trademark vs. "GetCurrentTime()" being an invalid Copyright.

  • by foniksonik ( 573572 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @07:29PM (#43327249) Homepage Journal

    Trademark's not the same as copyright derp.

    Try again.

  • Re:Unix (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31, 2013 @07:32PM (#43327261)

    You mean, can you imagine of Bell Lab's hadn't sued for controll of UNIX. Bell did (well, it's parent, AT&T did).

    No, Bell Labs didn't sue for control of UNIX.

    BSD was sued by USL (UNIX Systems Laboratory, which at that time was a spinoff from AT&T) because there was UNIX code in BSD UNIX.

    It turned out there was more BSD code in USL UNIX so BSD countersued and the matter was settled out of court.

    Although that was a setback to BSD UNIX, it's questionable if that was Linux's most significant advantage.

  • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @07:40PM (#43327299)

    I wish people would stop thinking this is about Java. Its about Java Mobile Edition.

    Now Oracle (or Sun, whatever) released Java with a permissive licence that said you can use it pretty much freely, but they kept the Java ME version to themselves, if you wanted the phone edition, then you had to buy a licence form Oracle. Google didn't feel they wanted to give Oracle a percentage of each Android sale so made their own very-compatible version.

    Much as I dislike Oracle, I don't feel Google played fair on this, they took someone else's technology and effectively stole it. It doesn't have anything to do with Java the language, or Java that everyone (no longer) uses. Its all about the proprietary ME version.

    Its not like Microsoft who used patents (IIRC) to extort a cut of each Android sale.

    Its still good news for developers though, so the big boys - now all of us can copy whatever APIs we want. I guess any API that's out there is now effectively an open standard, all you have to do is write your own implementation. I wonder if Google'll see the funny side when someone creates a map and exposes it to developers using an identical google maps API. The Samba boys can write their own Active Directory with exactly the same external surface, just with their own internal mechanisms and there's nothing MS can do about it. Anyone could write a Facebook API as long as it uses their own internal implementation. This is still good news for us, but I still can't help thinking its feels like we'd be thieving someone else's designs.

  • by MrDoh! ( 71235 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @09:16PM (#43327741) Homepage Journal
    Differences. MS took Java, changed it, kept calling it Java. Google took the Java API's, changed it (where needed), didn't call it Java (Dalvik).
  • Re:Unix (Score:4, Informative)

    by devent ( 1627873 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @09:18PM (#43327747) Homepage

    Apropos misinformation. The reference implementation of Java 7 is now OpenJDK:
    https://blogs.oracle.com/henrik/entry/moving_to_openjdk_as_the [oracle.com]
    OpenJDK is under the GPLv2. So I don't know how Orcale "own[s]" the reference implementation of the JVM.

  • by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @09:30PM (#43327813) Homepage

    Just in case anyone believes this:

    Oracle founded 1977
    DB2 first version 1983

  • by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @09:37PM (#43327839) Homepage

    Stallman has defended right to fork long after XEmacs. At the time what he said was:

    The long delay in releasing Emacs 19 is the FSF's fault. (In some sense, therefore, mine.) While it's regrettable that there are multiple versions, I can't blame people for filling the gap that the FSF left. One of the goals of the copyleft is to allow people to do this--so that one central maintainer's lapse does not hold back the rest of the community.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31, 2013 @09:52PM (#43327911)

    IBM System R database - lead from IBM co-founded SDL which became RSI, which became Oracle - sorry - grabbed wrong database name...

    Still came from IBM Database code...

  • by LarryWest42 ( 220323 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @11:33PM (#43328269)

    You're getting your facts wrong. Sun *approved* of Google's efforts, publicly and officially, in the forum of their CEO's blog.

    Search (e.g., Groklaw [groklaw.net]) for Jonathan Schwartz's blog from November 5, 2007:

    • "I just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of others from Sun in offering my heartfelt congratulations to Google on the announcement of their new Java/Linux phone platform, Android, Congratulations!"

    And it continues in that vein, referring to Android as a Java-based platform.

    This is after much discussion between the companies. The context matters. Google weren't being jerks.

    Read up on the Oracle's lawsuit at groklaw [groklaw.net] for more factual background and generally reasoned commentary on the Oracle suit.


  • you're quite wrong (Score:5, Informative)

    by stenvar ( 2789879 ) on Monday April 01, 2013 @01:30AM (#43328657)

    The jerkiness of Google is they went against the direct wishes of the creator of the project.

    The creator of the project (Sun) had promised to make Java an open ISO and ECMA standard. That's why people initially adopted it.

    After several years, all of that turned out to have been a lie.

    Sun decided they wanted to make Java open source, but took measures to make sure any new implementation would be compatible.

    Just because Sun decides they own or control something doesn't mean they do.

    Then Google decided to make an incompatible version, apparently to avoid the J2ME license issues, but for whatever reason, they made it incompatible. Not cool.

    Google didn't decide to make an incompatible version, Android Inc. did.

    Android Inc did this before Sun released Java under an open source license.

    Android Inc decided to do this because Sun had already screwed them once before on J2ME

    Making Android compatible with J2ME would have made no sense; J2ME was a lousy design.

    The only thing that's been "not cool" is Sun's long string of lies, their technical ineptness and mismanagement, and Oracle's attempt to establish API copyrights. Everybody else is just trying to dig out from under the consequences of their mess, deceptions and trolling.

  • Re:Unix (Score:5, Informative)

    by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Monday April 01, 2013 @01:41AM (#43328689) Journal

    I don't care if Oracle released it under the BSD license. They claimed in this suit to have copyrights on max() and min() as if they invented that shit. It took a judge who was a programmer also to call them out on it or that stupid shit would have gone to a jury ignorant of the technology history. "I could implement that in 15 minutes" or some such he said. They claim to have various patents to prevent all of Java, Unix, Linux, Windows and every other thing involving technology everywhere in this universe and any alternates that subordinate all of the open source licenses they grant.

    A company like that, their output is toxic. The safest course is not to deal with them or anything claiming to be derived from them at all. That means nothing from Solaris (not even ZFS or its derivatives), no MySQL (forks should be safe for now), No BTRFS, no Java - or anything even in the most remote sense related to Java. If they would sue over the API, what wouldn't they sue over?

    It's a shame as Oracle has bought up some of the greatest stuff in IT - but perhaps that's the point. Uncle Larry isn't and has never been in the giving stuff away business and has no respect for the folks who are. He's found great success in the selling stuff business so when he finds givers in dire straits he takes their scalps and then scalps their customers too.

    I have no interest in buying him another island. I've got useful stuff to do.

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced -- even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it. -- John Keats