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Legal Analysis of Oracle v. Google

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the not-to-be-confused-with-a-free-market dept.

Google 206

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Martin Heller provides an in-depth analysis of Oracle's legal argument against Google, a suit that includes seven alleged counts of software process patent infringement and one count of copyright infringement. 'Oracle's desired relief is drastic: not just permanent injunctions, but destruction of all copies that violate copyright (thus, wiping all Android devices), plus triple damages and legal costs. Also, it demands a jury trial,' Heller writes, and while this amounts mainly to saber-rattling, the Supreme Court's recent Bilski ruling did not completely invalidate software process patents despite their shaky ground due to prior art."

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Infoworld? (3, Insightful)

eldiabloencarne (1882562) | more than 4 years ago | (#33310902)

Where's Groklaw in all of this?

Re:Infoworld? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33310950)

right here http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20100815110101756

Re:Infoworld? (1)

eldiabloencarne (1882562) | more than 4 years ago | (#33310970)

Thank you.. That's a thousand time more informative that the submission.

the company formerly known as Sun...

...should be unpronounceable in mixed company

Re:Infoworld? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311010)

Don't know how this is offtopic... Must have insulted an advertising partner, perhaps???

Google should publish the Android layer under GPL (0, Troll)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 4 years ago | (#33310904)

So, why doesn't Google publish the Android layer under the GPL licence? After all, it does float on top of Linux, which is GPL.

Re:Google should publish the Android layer under G (2, Informative)

perlchild (582235) | more than 4 years ago | (#33310920)

It wouldn't help with patent infringement, especially after the fact.
They'd also have to gpl every single android maker's software, which(htc comes to mind) they might not want to.

Re:Google should publish the Android layer under G (2, Informative)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311688)

> They'd also have to gpl every single android maker's software

Not so. And where there's doubt, they could just use the Classpath exception, just as Sun used for OpenJDK (distributed under GPLv2 [swpat.org] plus the "Classpath exception").

Re:Google should publish the Android layer under G (3, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#33310932)

I'm not saying that Oracle has a legitimate case, but I don't see how Android being GPL'd would invalidate any of their claims if you assume they are valid to begin with.

If the idea is that making Android free eliminates Oracle's ability to litigate against it, consider that a stubborn enough man will insist on trying to get blood from a stone, and Larry Ellison is several orders of magnitude more stubborn than that.

Re:Google should publish the Android layer under G (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311016)

so he would try getting blood from a asteroid, or fire.

Re:Google should publish the Android layer under G (1)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311032)

GPL as such doesn't help. However, it is interesting to note that if Google had used Sun Java as starting point they would have had the GPLv2 implicit patent protection.

GPLv2's implicit patent grant doesn't really help (1)

FlorianMueller (801981) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311110)

Re:GPLv2's implicit patent grant doesn't really he (1)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311364)

Interesting posting, thanks. I still don't see how you can say that the implicit patent grant probably does not protect modified redistribution at all... The EU decision says

...this implicit license would be limited to the use that is being made of the patent claim by the code as originally released under the GPL. If the licensee now changes the code in a way that adds another use or implementation of claim Z it may be liable for patent infringement as regards the code it has added to what it had originally received under the GPL.

In other words only reimplementing Z or using it in a new context would trigger the infringement. That's still dangerous but totally different from your paraphrasing. What gives, have I misunderstood?

Re:GPLv2's implicit patent grant doesn't really he (1)

FlorianMueller (801981) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311424)

What you refer to is only a scenario where you take X amount of existing code and add Y amount of new code, without changing the existing code. The problem is that once you modify any part of the code on which the old patents read, it becomes "another use or implementation" of the patent claim. I believe Google would have had to make changes to many parts of the inner workings of the existing Java (OpenJDK, phoneME) code in its effort to optimize performance and take account of the specific characteristics of mobile devices.

Re:Google should publish the Android layer under G (4, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311088)

patents != copyright

GPL is a license which grants certain rights using copyright law. This has no bearing on patent infringement.

Re:Google should publish the Android layer under G (3, Informative)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311320)

Actually the GPL3 has patent wavier in it so it isn't just a license to do with copyright.

Re:Google should publish the Android layer under G (2, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311600)

Actually the GPL3 has patent wavier in it so it isn't just a license to do with copyright.

Unless Sun/Oracle released the code under GPLv3, Google can't waive Oracle's patents.

GPLv2's implicit patent grant wouldn't really help (5, Informative)

FlorianMueller (801981) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311098)

There's some confusion out there about how Google would be in a better position from a patent point of view if it had used existing Java code under the GPL (OpenJDK, phoneME). The Android ecosystem as a whole would have had other benefits (such as making it much harder for the makers of Android-based phones to keep important parts of their source code closed) but it wouldn't really help as far as Oracle's patent infringement allegations are concerned.

The GPLv2 (under which OpenJDK and large parts of phoneME are available) does not contain an explicit patent grant. Only an implicit one. As a result, any fork (derived/modified version) is probably not covered.

The InfoWorld article that this Slashdot story refers to talks a lot about forking as a possible strategy -- especially toward the end, where MySQL is also mentioned. I was very much involved with the debate over whether Oracle should get to acquire MySQL (together with Monty, MySQL's original author/founder, I opposed the deal). In that context, it was also a subject of debate whether MySQL forks would be safe from Oracle patent threats in the future. Eben Moglen, who was basically part of Oracle's legal team and had botched the patent aspect of GPLv2 (thus tried to fix the problem with GPLv3), argued that GPLv2 would take care of those forks. However, the European Commission, which (unlike Moglen) is impartial and has vast legal resources, concluded that the implicit patent grant does not -- at least not reliably, but probably not at all -- protect forks.

If you're interested in more detail on the question of whether Google would be or would have been better off with GPLv2, here's a link to the related part of a blog posting of mine [blogspot.com] . It discusses that question and right thereafter (or you can go there directly [blogspot.com] ) explains that my work related to Oracle's acquisition of MySQL was not an effort to change MySQL's license away from the GPL to something else. I have meanwhile published documents from the process that serve as conclusive evidence that I argued vehemently against -- not for -- a license change. Still, the GPLv2's limitation concerning patent claims against forks is a fact.

Re:GPLv2's implicit patent grant wouldn't really h (2, Insightful)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311134)

"Covering forks" really isn't very meaningful. What that means is that you can't redistribute the software under the GPL at all since you can't meet the terms of the GPL. As a result, the GPL on OpenJDK (or any other patent-covered software) is really a sham.

Re:GPLv2's implicit patent grant wouldn't really h (2, Insightful)

FlorianMueller (801981) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311178)

A very strict interpretation of the GPL would indeed be incompatible with today's legal framework. There's no such thing as a piece of software that's guaranteed to be patent-unencumbered. So there will also be some exposure to the risk as long as there are software patents (if it were up to me, there wouldn't be any). The whole notion of "free software" is a wonderful vision but as long as there are software patents, it can't materialize to the full extent.

Re:GPLv2's implicit patent grant wouldn't really h (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311428)

However, as Oracle is the plaintiff in this case, one would suppose it is possible for Google to claim that Oracle had stated in earlier submissions that people could rely on the implicit patent protection of GPL v2 in respect of forks, and therefore Google could rely on the statement from the rights holder in this particular case ....

Re:GPLv2's implicit patent grant wouldn't really h (1)

FlorianMueller (801981) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311472)

It's an interesting thought, I admit, that someone would be able to hold Oracle's claims in the Sun merger control context against them now. But even if Google had forked on a GPLv2 basis and tried this now, the problem is that Eben Moglen made those statements in his effort to support Oracle. He denied that Oracle paid him for that particular effort but admitted that his Software Freedom Law Center (which is consipicuously silent on Oracle vs. Google) received "no more than 5%" of its funding from Oracle. So formally, Oracle can say that Eben Moglen acted independently. From a common sense point of view, everyone familiar with the EU process obviously knew that Eben Moglen was in Oracle's camp. But it couldn't be used legally against Oracle.

Re:GPLv2's implicit patent grant wouldn't really h (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311542)

I can't remember
Did Oracle submit Ebens opinions to the EU themselves, or did Eben submit them directly?

Re:GPLv2's implicit patent grant wouldn't really h (2, Informative)

FlorianMueller (801981) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311572)

The way I read the European Commission's decision, Oracle submitted Eben's paper as a supporting document along with its reply to the Commission's Statement of Objections. Attaching a supporting document is not the same as making a claim in one's own name. For an example, companies routinely attach market research from the likes of IDC and Gartner to their submissions, and that doesn't mean that they necessarily claim all of what's stated in those reports. (Of course, the way it was used calls into question Eben Moglen's independence by any reasonable standard, but not necessarily formally.)

Also, those merger control processes are pretty confidential. Oracle's response to the Statement of Objections was never published in its entirety. All that's publicly known is what the Commission's published decision states.

If the recording of the hearing were public, it would actually be a real problem for Oracle because of what they (several of them, not just Eben Moglen in his formally independent capacity) said about how to interpret the GPL in general, but I'm not allowed to disclose what exactly they said because the hearing took place behind closed doors and on a confidential basis.

Re:Google should publish the Android layer under G (0, Flamebait)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311242)

Google likes control, like Apple they want the best of both worlds.
The tech buzz of been seen as open and having the world hunt bugs and give back. The MS side to burn, hide, exclude and control, airbrush out.
If its pure GLP to the hardware, anyone could run Linux and Google loses all tracking, ad lockin, long term cookies, ip to real person marketing. They dont want to be a hardware factory, Google wants to track you and your habits. GPL gives you too much freedom to say thanks for the phone and opt out.

Haw. (3, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#33310910)

Everybody knows how to use Googles' services, but not everybody's had the displeasure of working with Oracle's often slow-as-shit Java databases. Oracle's balls in this case are a typical indication of its niche-but-top-heavy domination in the 'states.

This is in depth analysis? (5, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#33310914)

I'll sum up the article:

1) Oracle is suing Java over Android.
2) Oracle hired a really good lawyer, so they must be serious.
3) I sure hate software patents.
4) Oracle would like all copies of Android destroyed, but this isn't likely.
5) Sun might settle out of court.
6) Did I mention I hate software patents?
7) You should try to make life harder for Oracle, since I hate software patents.

With all due respect to the author, half the posts on this Slashdot thread will probably have as much to say and contain as much useful information -- but really, maybe whoever wrote/published the article summary is more to blame for claims the article just doesn't live up to.

Re:This is in depth analysis? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311120)

8) I don't understand the difference between Sun and Google

Re:This is in depth analysis? (4, Interesting)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311124)

1) Oracle is suing Java over Android.

Doesn't Oracle own Java, at least to the extent that anyone owns Java?

Re:This is in depth analysis? (2, Insightful)

game kid (805301) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311632)

Probably meant "Google". I wouldn't put it past Ellison et al. to sue their own subsidiaries or products if they were somehow disloyal, though.

Re:This is in depth analysis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311824)

I believe it's the (partial!) Java implementation in android.

Re:This is in depth analysis? (1)

5pp000 (873881) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311136)

Mod parent up! This was indeed a remarkably uninformative article.

Re:This is in depth analysis? (1)

mike260 (224212) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311216)

Second.

I particularly liked his "The patent titles don't sound novel to me, therefore they must be invalid" argument.
If you're going to pretend to 'legal analysis', you have to at least skim the patents themselves, not just the titles.

Re:This is in depth analysis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311466)

> Sun might settle out of court.

You mean Google?

Re:This is in depth analysis? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311808)

1) Oracle is suing Java over Android.

- I am suing my knees, they fucking hurt.

Re:This is in depth analysis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311866)

Yep - the article is about as deep as a parking-lot puddle.

You really believed a /. summary? And then read the article? And then were surprised that it didn't match the summary?

Groklaw (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33310928)

Groklaw has already started covering this, with more information than InfoWorld...

Two short pages are "in-depth analysis" ? (4, Insightful)

kclittle (625128) | more than 4 years ago | (#33310936)

The only thing "in-depth" about this article is the fact the author seems in over his head.

Re:Two short pages are "in-depth analysis" ? (1)

eldiabloencarne (1882562) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311050)

Slshdot "partners" aren't known for in-depth anything, except advertising. I got modded down for pointing that out. But I got first post :-) See groklaw for actual analysis. The AC's response graciously provided the link. Very good writeup.

Re:Two short pages are "in-depth analysis" ? (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311262)

The only thing "in-depth" about this article is the fact the author seems in over his head.

Zing!

Re:Two short pages are "in-depth analysis" ? (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311552)

It's InfoWorld. There's a reason that my user CSS adds [IDIOT WARNING] in red after any links to their site...

Re:Two short pages are "in-depth analysis" ? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311702)

Yup, I'll take legal advice from a journalist the day I start taking advice on spleen surgery from a meter maid.

Did they buy Sun for this? (5, Insightful)

fvandrog (899507) | more than 4 years ago | (#33310946)

I'd almost suspect they just bought Sun to use the cited patents in court. The patents are so broad and ill defined that if they uphold there are not many processes that do not violate them. (Heck -- my coffee-maker probably violates them!)

Re:Did they buy Sun for this? (1)

OSDever (792851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33310962)

My coffee maker runs Linux. Java can run on Linux. Therefore your coffee maker violates Oracle's patent. QED (Oracle style).

Coffee maker patent (4, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311144)

(Heck -- my coffee-maker probably violates them!)

Foiled by the old Java patent

Re:Coffee maker patent (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311190)

Once there was a sand nigger faggot named syousef.
Who fucked his mother in Bombay for a shit bet.
He fucked her so hard
Though he wasn't very large
That the bitch said, damn, syousef, I think I had a shit shet.

Oh, syousef, a mother fucker if ever there were one. Eat shit and die, oh, syousef, eat a shit and choke on the peanut and die.

Re:Coffee maker patent (1)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311772)

Don't care for the patent, it's my coffee right that's infringed!

Re:Did they buy Sun for this? (4, Informative)

mike260 (224212) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311354)

The patents are so broad and ill defined that if they uphold there are not many processes that do not violate them.

I read one at random and it was about memory-requirement analysis of bytecode class-files. So no, not really.

Perhaps you meant to say "software patents are evil"?

Re:Did they buy Sun for this? (0, Offtopic)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311676)

Stay tuned as we reveal the level of involvement on the part of Apple? ;)

This is what is happening, now let's speculate (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#33310958)

Wow... waste of time article there. I could read most of this in slashdot comments. I think that article lost its informative nature after the first four paragraphs. The speculation got deep and fast and ended with "if I were younger, I would..." and then completely forgot that he wasn't endorsing an Oracle boycott and said "are you ready to vote with your wallet?"

I think the editor fell asleep at the wheel on this one.

Damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33310986)

Damn, first time I read the article and results to be a waste of time.

Mods ... (5, Insightful)

udippel (562132) | more than 4 years ago | (#33310998)

Please, mod up the submitter. Submitting is his good right, and we should reward his efforts.

Please, mod timothy down for accepting a boring, not-even-a-story.

Please, mod the original author 'overrated', since his story should never have made it into infoworld in the first place.

Re:Mods ... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311014)

On Slashdot moderation is limited to posts. Have a nice day.

Groklaw was WAY more informative (5, Informative)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311026)

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20100815110101756 [groklaw.net]

Just read the first few paragraphs of this and it's 2:30 here... time for bed. But I got as far as what eerily described Sun's suit against Microsoft so long ago.

Sun sued Microsoft successfully for their embrace and extend of Java. They claimed it damaged the Java dream of single binaries that run everywhere. Most of us on slashdot agree with that notion as a Microsoft version of Java would make Sun's Java appear broken due to their huge distribution model.

Now we have Sun (Oracle America) making claims against Google. Not that they are violating a license or agreement, but in spirit may contain the same basic drives as described in the Groklaw article. "New-Sun" is, perhaps, trying to do what "Sun" did before -- successfully take down a giant a step or two. After all, what were the end results of Sun v. Microsoft?

Re:Groklaw was WAY more informative (3, Informative)

Ciggy (692030) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311296)

Subtle difference to the analogy:

MS embraced and extended Java and called it Java, thus breaking the Java standard that is supposed to run everywhere - MS Java can only be expected to run [properly] on a MS JRE, NOT ANY JRE.;

whereas Google took Java, possibly embraced and extended, BUT did NOT call it Java - there can be no confusion over the resultant code being able to run everywhere there is a JRE - but also created a cross-compiler which took Java [source] and converted it to their version.

The problem comes in that Oracle are claiming that Software Patents cover Java and thus are being violated as only licensed for use in Java [and JRE] and NOT for use in a different product [I think - I seem to remember on a casual reading about this case that Java licensing for Mobile devices being more expensive than for a "desktop" computer and Google not willing to pay for the obvious market inflation, hence "developing" their own Runtime Environment which also had the benefit of being able to be optimised better].

Re:Groklaw was WAY more informative (2, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311340)

``"New-Sun" is, perhaps, trying to do what "Sun" did before -- successfully take down a giant a step or two. After all, what were the end results of Sun v. Microsoft?''

Instead of Microsoft making an incompatible Java-like platform and calling it Java, we got Microsoft making an incompatible Java-done-better platform and calling it .NET. I regard this as a Good Thing: first of all, because it prevented Microsoft from taking over Java and kept the competition from Sun alive, and, secondly, because I feel that .NET has brought a lot of good things to many people, including forcing Java to improve.

Now we get Oracle suing Google for ... I don't really know what. Maybe this will cause Google to stop pushing Java as the sole language for development for Android, and focus more on native code and whatever other language people want to bring to it. If so, I would very much like that.

Re:Groklaw was WAY more informative (3, Informative)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311372)

Big difference is that Microsoft signed a contract saying they wouldn't do what they did. Google did a clean-room implementation. MS case was about contracts; this case is about patents. Also, Java wasn't under the GPL at the time of MS's shenanigans, but it is now. Further, from my point of view, MS tried to extend Java, so software developed for MS's systems wouldn't run elsewhere, which potentially hurts everyone but MS; Google, AFAIK, implemented a subset of Java, so software developed on other systems might not run on Google's, which really only hurts Google. The cases really aren't parallel at all, but you are correct that Oracle America's motivations may be similar.

Re:Groklaw was WAY more informative (4, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311406)

Sun sued Microsoft successfully for their embrace and extend of Java. They claimed it damaged the Java dream of single binaries that run everywhere. Most of us on slashdot agree with that notion as a Microsoft version of Java would make Sun's Java appear broken due to their huge distribution model.

Not the same at all. Google has never claimed they have implemented Java, hasn't licenced the tech from Sun, hasn't used the Java trademark or logo. Microsoft did and proceeded to make their version incompatible. Android uses Java as the programming API but the actual bytecode and VM it runs under is completely different.

Partly this is to skirt around this issue, but also I suspect because it is genuinely more efficient. Dalvik is an incredibly lightweight VM, perfectly suited for its use.

IMO Oracle is just angling for a piece of the pie. Their own efforts with Java ME failed because the tech was allowed to stagnate so it was a no brainer that people moved over to Android. ME is okay, but it's just not up to the task of powering a smart phone. It's too bad for Oracle, but really they only have themselves to blame. The odd thing is they could probably still carve out a niche on Android if they ported JavaFX across - it would probably be quite a nice fit.

Re:Groklaw was WAY more informative (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311514)

After all, what were the end results of Sun v. Microsoft?

Windows XP Service Pack 1a

Re:Groklaw was WAY more informative (1)

micheas (231635) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311934)

After all, what were the end results of Sun v. Microsoft?

MSFT Market cap two hundred billion, SUNW rescued before bankruptcy was forced on them?

An analysis of the claim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311028)

I expected an analysis too and found nothing, even if I agree with the author. Here is a real analysis of the claim: http://blog.headius.com/2010/08/my-thoughts-on-oracle-v-google.html

Fight Oracle by Excluding them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311056)

There's only one way to fight Oracle here - refuse all contributions to the open source project space that come from people that receive a paycheck from Oracle. I'd even go so far as to back out any such changes that have come from such people.

The open source community needs to make it clear to Oracle that if it wants to use our stuff then it can't pull this kind of stunt and that if it does, the cost (to Oracle) of using open source software will go up because Oracle will need to maintain all of its own patches.

And when it comes to BTRFS, I think the Linux community needs to pull it out and reject it. After this, who wants Oracle copyright'd source code in their tree? Anyone? How do you know Oracle won't pull some nasty stunt further down the road when you've built an appliance based on BTRFS? I haven't looked at BTRFS source code to see what the license/copyright is, but I do know one thing: all employment contracts at Oracle give Oracle ownership of all intellectual property (copyright, patents, etc) that you develop related to their business activities.

Oracle needs to be excluded from open source until it plays nice with the community.

The open source community needs to make Oracle into the rich kid at school that nobody wants to play with because that rich kid always wants to be #1.

Get Oracle out of open source and do not let them in.

Re:Fight Oracle by Excluding them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311230)

You, sir, really sound like one of those zealots that fight a vendor lock-in by suggesting (actually, somehow, imposing) another, opensource, lock-in.

> The open source community needs to make it clear to Oracle that if it wants to use our stuff then it can't pull this kind of stunt

The open source community has its set of laws, thank you very much. As a programmer I use licenses. I -release- my code under licenses, that protect or not protect what I do. Oracle is not playing against rules in this situation (please, remember, Sun would have probably sued Google, if only they would have had enough money-power to not get bullied away by Google in the first place in 2007): they own Java, they see another company behave incorrectly and they decide to go to court. Court will decide if they have firm ground or not.

Also, opensource licenses limit what a company can or cannot do with the -- well -- *open* source. Again, Oracle has a large number of very well payed legals to check if the code they decide to 'import' in whichever of their codebases can or cannot be imported given the specific license. And that's not just Oracle. That's Microsoft, that's Apple, that's Cisco. None of them is more or less "evil" than Google (they are there to make their shareholders happy).

> Oracle needs to be excluded from open source until it plays nice with the community.

This is not "opensource=good" and "closed source=bad". Not even by far. That's a sort of misconception as bad as "opensource=free", "closed source=money".
I see a lot of people riding the 'opensource dogma' when what they really care more is for their software to be 'free' rather than 'open'.
With this, I'm not taking the part of Oracle -in general- or -per se'-, I'm just sorta asking to not make it a 'religious cause' -- this really hurts more the open source ecosystem than any legal action by any big corporate out there.

Re:Fight Oracle by Excluding them (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311392)

``And when it comes to BTRFS, I think the Linux community needs to pull it out and reject it. After this, who wants Oracle copyright'd source code in their tree? Anyone? How do you know Oracle won't pull some nasty stunt further down the road when you've built an appliance based on BTRFS?''

Like MeeGo, the other Linux-based-mobile-platform-pushed-by-a-large-vendor besides Android. Based on BTRFS.

But really, I don't think Oracle is out to kill Linux. I think they're out to get money from Google, and using this lawsuit to grant them more leverage in their negotiations.

A jury Trial (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311076)

"Also demands a jury trial"

So you're going to grab a bunch of people 'off the street' and try to get them to understand what patents are, what software is and how this software infringes this patent. This will defentally give an honest and fair trial.

Re:A jury Trial (3, Interesting)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311222)

It would actually seem a wiser move, for a Civil case; the burden of proof is much lower, all Oracle must make them see is that 'The company we bought made this, and those guys stole it, based on X, Y, Z (without getting exceedingly technical), where everyone else has had to pay to use it.' Google are the ones who have to get technical, and will likely lose the jury in trying to split hairs to make it seem like they really didn't 'steal' their implementation. It basically comes down to good guy vs bad guy, and Oracle are pretty confident that, should this reach trial, they can play a pretty decent good guy.

Re:A jury Trial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311338)

Will the Jury Selection Questionnaire contain a question about the cell phone they use and if it's an Android based one?

Surely a conflict of interest if their phone's going to be bricked as a result of the outcome?

Re:A jury Trial (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311346)

No -- getting the jury to understand patents would be far too risky. You want to bring in a jury off the street and convince them that teh Google is stealing your life's work, but leave all the details obviously too technical and lawyery to bother understanding.

Re:A jury Trial (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311434)

"Also demands a jury trial"

So you're going to grab a bunch of people 'off the street' and try to get them to understand what patents are, what software is and how this software infringes this patent. This will defentally give an honest and fair trial.

Well, based on "destruction of all copies that violate copyright (thus, wiping all Android devices)" I'd say that Oracle isn't aiming for a trial. Bringing a lawsuit like this looks very much like corporate extortion to me.

But then, I'm neither a lawyer nor an American.

i hope they (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311082)

i hope oracle wins. if people would be told to destroy their android device they paid for, they might finally notice how patents ruin a lot of stuff

destruction of all copies that violate copyright (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311084)

How does this work? would google have to hunt down every single android phone and destroy/wipe its software?

If so, they will have to extract my android device from Lary ellison's bum.

Re:destruction of all copies that violate copyrigh (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311126)

Well apple have 'remote detonation' abilities - so maybe Google have the same. Probably would offer a 'refund' then after X weeks disable it remotely.

But since this is taking place in America, what will happen is:

Party X will win. Party Y will file an appeal
Party Y will win. Party X will file an appeal.

And eventually one of them will either give up - or google replaces all its software to conform to standards.

Re:destruction of all copies that violate copyrigh (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311148)

Someone plz call Rick Deckard...

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Help me Slashdot (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311096)

Sun sues Microsoft over Java = GOOD? Oracle sues Google over Java = BAD?

Re:Help me Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311128)

Sun = good Microsoft = bad Oracle = bad Google = good Sun = Oracle = (good+bad) null ... null vs Google = Google Wins

Re:Help me Slashdot (1)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311240)

You forgot the QED.

Re:Help me Slashdot (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311534)

Microsoft were shipping their own, crippled JVM with Windows in an attempt to screw Sun over, I'm not really sure you can put Google in the same category here.

Technical Analysis much simpler (3, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311146)

Ahhhh shit! Time to learn another fucking language and 10 more over-engineered libraries! So much for time with the family.

Re:Technical Analysis much simpler (2, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311368)

``Time to learn another fucking language and 10 more over-engineered libraries!''

Not if Google does the Right Thing and just goes with an already existing language and existing libraries. It's not like that wouldn't work on today's mobile devices. They already have Linux running on them; now give us a libc and a widget library and we're off to a great start.

Making your mobile platform incompatible with anything already out there is a choice, and not a choice I agree with.

Re:Technical Analysis much simpler (1)

Tapewolf (1639955) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311448)

They already have Linux running on them; now give us a libc and a widget library and we're off to a great start.

They already have a libc, you can get at it via the NDK.
The snag is that you can't - afaik - run a native application directly, it has to be done via Java/Dalvik and calling the native code via JNI. And also the NDK has no libraries to access the user interface.
If they could just solve those two little problems, you could do fully native GUI application development in C++.

Re:Technical Analysis much simpler (2, Interesting)

debatem1 (1087307) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311860)

You can call back up into Java from the JNI, so technically the NDK exposes everything that the Java side does. I used this to allow Python access to the android libraries via javalin2 last year.

It's not evil for Oracle to demand such remedies (5, Informative)

FlorianMueller (801981) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311156)

There's a fundamental error in the InfoWorld analysis referenced above:

Oracle simply asks for absolutely standard remedies in this situation. There's nothing evil about it, and it cannot be reasonably interpreted as a strategy to destroy open source as a whole or anything like that.

I'm saying this even though I opposed Oracle's acquisition of Sun [blogspot.com] . I just want to point out that if a case like this goes to court, the plaintiff will always ask for those kinds of remedies. There's nothing unusual about it. In fact, asking for less would be unusual and would probably confuse the judges as to what Oracle actually wants.

Intellectual property rights are exclusive rights. That's the way the law has designed them -- it's not a matter of Oracle being evil. Those IPRs entitle a right holder to enforce exclusivity. That necessarily means to ask for an injunction, and under such circumstances as the ones of this case (with copyright in play), also the destruction of infringing material.

The way to prevent that scenario from materializing is a license agreement between Oracle and Google. So it's up to the two parties to sit down and negotiate, and I believe we as a community should now expect both of them to be constructive. The court can't impose a license agreement on the two of them. If the court has to rule, it will -- if Oracle is right -- have to enforce exclusivity. That's sort of binary, whereas a license agreement would offer much more flexibility.

It's regrettable that they couldn't work this out before the matter was taken to court. But it's not too late until there is a final court ruling.

Re:It's not evil for Oracle to demand such remedie (-1, Offtopic)

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Re:It's not evil for Oracle to demand such remedie (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311450)

Can Google buy Oracle extract the IP they want and later spin Oracle of again minus the bits its becoming apparent it would have been better Oracle hadn't got hold of in the first place?

Google is bigger and richer and they wouldn't be losing money taking over a profitable company, would they?

 

Re:It's not evil for Oracle to demand such remedie (2, Informative)

FlorianMueller (801981) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311482)

Google's market capitalization as of now is around 150 billion dollars, Oracle's around 115 billion dollars. So it wouldn't be easy for Google to just gobble up Oracle. Theoretically, if Google bought Oracle, it could solve the IP problem. But these two companies are more or less on an equal footing in financial terms (although the $35 billion difference in market cap is nothing to sneeze at in absolute terms ;-)).

Re:It's not evil for Oracle to demand such remedie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311782)

In hindsight, $7.4 billion for Sun would have been a bargain for Google.

Re:It's not evil for Oracle to demand such remedie (2, Informative)

hackerjoe (159094) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311528)

Google is big, but Google is not big enough to just buy Oracle. Their market caps are pretty close: Google at ~$150bn, Oracle at ~$115bn.

Remember J++ anyone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311260)

What if we say that our Android devices are running JAndroid, that happens to be very compatible with Java...
but of course is not Java...

----
You say tomatO, I say fsck you

Re:Remember J++ anyone... (3, Informative)

Tapewolf (1639955) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311282)

What if we say that our Android devices are running JAndroid, that happens to be very compatible with Java... but of course is not Java...

That's what they did - Android devices run Dalvik, which is actually not compatible with Java at all. However, you can recompile a Java class into a Dalvik class, which is what the SDK does.

Get rid of it (2, Funny)

Artem Tashkinov (764309) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311308)

How can I vote this article down? It's so insipid and lacks anything new I wonder why it was approved in the first place.

Groklaw did publish something useful and interesting, this piece of opinion is nothing new.

Re:Get rid of it (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311402)

You press the - button to the left edge of the title.

But its probably too late for that. Its red.

Yet again (1)

cheezegeezer (1765936) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311344)

There seems to be a common policy on slashdot these days of getting way off skew and calling it discussion of the topic

There is one overbearing point in this article that not one of you have even had the slightest thought on that is Why is Oracle being allowed to get away with this
a large portion of you on here claim to be involved in IT as Sysadmins ect well it is people like you that have the squeeze to make oracle tow the line and stop being stupid OR of course there is the other way of looking at it you are one and all apple fanboys and welcome anyone that is willing to help that wanker Jobs tighten his strangle hold on the market ..

Which one is it you decide you have the ability to solve this very quickly or you can let it rumble on and become another SCO that is the eventual destination for this and it will be Oracle that replace SCO , The one major failing was even allowing Oracle to get Sun in the first place .

Maybe as a tit for tat move Google could find a few Important bits in the Oracle system and require via the courts that they be removed and disabled therefore crippling Oracle and some bits from slowarris and force the removal of them

biznat3H (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311388)

WELL-KNoWN windows, SUN or The project

Whoracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33311460)

I for one do not welcome our new java overlords

Secret deal (1)

javilon (99157) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311642)

Maybe Oracle and Google have secretly agreed to create this circus in order to show the world how stupid software patents are?

If this ever makes it to the supreme court, the most likely result is the invalidation of the whole software patents idea. Specially after the media has gone over it again and again and people is educated about how stupid software patents are, judges included.

patents (1)

nomad-9 (1423689) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311706)

To be defend-able, doesn't a patent need to be somehow novel and its invention non obvious?
Just because a patent is filed doesn’t mean it is defendable in a court of law. Looking in the details of some of these patents listed in the article, they don't strike me as particularly novel nor non-obvious:
http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=6,910,205.PN.&OS=PN/6,910,205&RS=PN/6,910,205 [uspto.gov]
http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=RE38,104.PN.&OS=PN/RE38,104&RS=PN/RE38,104 [uspto.gov]
http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=7,426,720.PN.&OS=PN/7,426,720&RS=PN/7,426,720 [uspto.gov]
etc...
That reminds me:
"IBM sued [us] over a RISC patent that asserted that 'if you make something simpler, it'll go faster.'...and we lost." -James Gosling

Kinda makes me wonder (0, Flamebait)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311848)

"but destruction of all copies that violate copyright (thus, wiping all Android devices)"

That has to make you wonder what role Apple might be playing in this... perhaps putting Oracle up to it in some way...

New slashdot logo for Oracle (2, Insightful)

GravityStar (1209738) | more than 4 years ago | (#33311888)

I propose a new logo for Oracle stories on Slashdot. As Oracle is obviously The Evil Empire, it should get a Death Star as its logo.

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