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Does Google Pin Copyright Violations On the ASF?

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the plot-thickens dept.

Google 136

An anonymous reader writes "Florian Mueller claims to have produced new evidence that he believes supports Oracle's case against Google on the copyright side of the lawsuit. Oracle originally presented one example to the court, and that file was found to have been part of older Android distributions, with an Apache license header. Mueller has just published six more files of that kind and believes the Apache Software Foundation will disown those just like the first one because those were never part of the Apache Harmony code base. Furthermore, various source files from the Sun Java Wireless Toolkit were found in the Android codebase, containing a total of 38 copyright notices that mark them as proprietary and confidential, but Google apparently published their source code regardless."

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136 comments

#lol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34954688)

@google #fail

This post proprietary and confidential (4, Funny)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#34954710)

This post is proprietary and confidential. By accepting it, Slashdot agrees to not publish it to any third parties without my explicit permission. Violations of this contract will result in Commander Taco being legally bound to turn into a tunicate [wikipedia.org] for not less than 36 hour greater than the duration at which this post is made available to any unauthorized third parties.

You forgot the secret clause to make it binding: (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957828)

[This post has been removed.]

Last edited by cdrtaco [slashdot.org] Friday January 21.

Grammar? (-1, Offtopic)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | more than 3 years ago | (#34954714)

>Does Google Pin Copyright Violations On the ASF?

Does the Slashdots mess the grammarings over the interwebs?

Re:Grammar? (1)

xorsyst (1279232) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955038)

>Does Google Pin Copyright Violations On the ASF?

Does the Slashdots mess the grammarings over the interwebs?

I think this might be a US/British English thing, the grammar looks fine to me.

Re:Grammar? (2)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955110)

What's wrong with the grammar? I mean, it doesn't scan well (mostly because of the title caps) but it's correct: Does Google pin copyright violations on the ASF?

Re:Grammar? (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955428)

The grammar's fine. What it actually *means* is something else entirely.

Re:Grammar? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34956254)

Oh, I wasn't going to try to attribute logical meaning to that technically correct sentence.

Really? (3, Insightful)

Spykk (823586) | more than 3 years ago | (#34954750)

Another "anonymous" submission linking to this troll's blog? You know better than to feed the trolls slashdot...

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34954874)

[...] You know better than to feed the trolls slashdot...

Do you have ANY evidence to substantiate this?

Re:Really? (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34954928)

AC sticks up for another AC. I wonder if they are the same AC.

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34955404)

AC sticks up for another AC. I wonder if they are the same AC.

Actually, all ACs are me. However I am also 93.2% of all logged in accounts too, so that doesn't help much. You may be one of the few exceptions but 'Cwix' does sound familiar, I'll have to check my list.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34955424)

AC sticks up for another AC. I wonder if they are the same AC.

Guy sticks up for another guy, I wonder if he's ... ;)

Re:Really? (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#34956276)

Who was s/he sticking up for? Looks like the GP was suggesting that there is no evidence that Slashdot knows better than to feed the trolls.

Re:Really? (2)

fishexe (168879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957268)

[...] You know better than to feed the trolls slashdot...

Do you have ANY evidence to substantiate this?

I would say there's quite a bit of counter-evidence, given how often trolls are fed around here...

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34954938)

Just out of curiosity, would you like to actually address the contents of the linked article? Or would that turn a "troll" into something Slashdot readers might possibly find interesting?

Re:Really? (2)

DMiax (915735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955062)

This is a troll because there is no evidence that Google tried to pin anyone.

Google used the Apache Software License, which is not the same as attributing the code to the Apache Foundation. Then the apache foundation felt necessary to clarify the difference and did not "disown" the code, because no one said they owned it at all. They also clarified that using the ASL is encouraged and perfectly normal.

It is a lot like finding that Windows 2k was partially built with GNU make. No wrongdoing at all. Only a troll would imply what is written in the summary.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34955214)

Someone [itworld.com] took the time to go through that article and derive a conclusion from it. Sounds like you probably didn't even RTFA.

But hey, on Slashdot it's just easier to call people trolls. And get modded up for it too!

Re:Really? (0)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957352)

Just because you disagree with something or have counterarguments that you believe refute its claims doesn't make it a troll.

Like many Slashdotters, you're just calling it a troll because it's a negative Google story, and around here, Google is God.

Re:Really? (3, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957736)

Google used the Apache Software License, which is not the same as attributing the code to the Apache Foundation.

Google had originally said that the code came from Apache Harmony (which Android Java libraries are derived from), which is attributing the code to ASF.

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34955628)

Just out of curiosity, would you like to actually address the contents of the linked article?

OK: OH NOES, Oracle wants to defend their implementation of Java setters and getters! I mean, what else could possibly explain code like this appearing in two places:

public int getDepth() {
    return mDepth;
}

Clearly this is HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL code, especially since it implements a publicly documented interface in a transparently obvious way based on the specifications!

But seriously, the first file linked to in TFS is a bog-standard Java datastructure; you could give the specs to any reasonably competent dev and probably get code that was "infringing".

Re:Really? (2)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34956398)

But seriously, the first file linked to in TFS is a bog-standard Java datastructure; you could give the specs to any reasonably competent dev and probably get code that was "infringing".

Yep.

Much of the code in question was also released by Oracle itself in the OpenJDK under the GPL V2. So, at worst Google is guilty of applying an ASF license to GPL licensed code.

Re:Really? (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957362)

Okay, I guess I'll trust the anonymous coward on Slashdot who singled out a single getter instead of the award-winning intellectual property lawyer and his article full of evidence.

Re:Really? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955050)

You say that as if you expect someone to actually RTFA. I'd say you must be new here, but it won't be long until there are as many accounts that were created after you joined as before...

Re:Really? (1)

masdog (794316) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955072)

What is so trollish about it? It seemed well reasoned, and it appears to link to evidence to support his claims. I have not, examined the evidence, though.

Re:Really? (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957376)

It's "trollish" because this is Slashdot. On Slashdot, Google is automatically given the benefit of the doubt because they use Linux. Seriously, that's why.

Re:Really? (3, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955900)

You know better than to feed the trolls slashdot...

o_O Please don't feed Slashdot to the trolls!

Re:Really? (2)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957332)

Rather than refute his arguments, you call him a troll and cite the anonymity of the submitter (as if anonymous submitters don't submit pro-Google stories), which got you an instant +5 Insightful.

Can you actually refute his arguments rather than calling him names?

That's NOTHING but ad hominem crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957660)

Does the Sun/Oracle code exist in the Google code base or not?

And no, I didn't look. Because that doesn't change the fact that your attack is trying to pose as an argument.

Re:Really? (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34958214)

Got any evidence to back your claim that he's a troll?

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34958996)

Why is this comment marked insightful when clearly he didn't read the blog post???
The submitter gave the ASF related title which bares no relevance to the blog post which only discusses Google coding by copy & pasting Sun's source code.

I am confused. (3, Interesting)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#34954760)

If I publish a book that has a section with someone else's copyright notice printed in it, can I blame the person who holds that copyright for any issues it causes? And if not, why can Google do it?

Re:I am confused. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34954854)

For the same reason that Google thinks it can violate other people's copyrighted books without permission: Google thinks it's above the law.

The law isn't supposed to cover that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34955098)

The law isn't supposed to cover what Google was doing. After all, what benefit to the useful arts is there for a copyright to be extended beyond the authors life that justifies the cost of infringing on the creator-given right to speech of the rest of humanity?

Re:The law isn't supposed to cover that (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34955700)

Who was talking about copyrights extended beyond an author's life? They were republishing books from authors WHO WERE alive.

Re:I am confused. (1)

DMiax (915735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955122)

As far as the Apache blog post explaiins, they just used the Apache Software License. They did not attribute the code to Apache.

Re:I am confused. (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955158)

I'm not sure blame is the right word, however it's entirely possible that Google has a copyright assignment agreement with the ASF. If this is the case, they may simply be putting an ASF copyright header at the top of Android source files, with the assumption that people at the ASF will pick up any that are actually useful and incorporate them into their codebases. This would mean that the ASF actually does own the subset of this code that Google has the right to assign (i.e. the stuff that isn't owned by Oracle or other third parties).

It's much more likely that this is laziness or incorrect application of a coding guideline than that it's an intentional attempt to blame the ASF.

"Licensed" not "Assigned Ownership" (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955432)

... however it's entirely possible that Google has a copyright assignment agreement with the ASF. If this is the case, they may simply be putting an ASF copyright header at the top of Android source files, with the assumption that people at the ASF will pick up any that are actually useful and incorporate them into their codebases. This would mean that the ASF actually does own the subset of this code that Google has the right to assign ...

An AC posted a header. If accurate it seems to license not assign ownership:
"Licensed to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) under one or more contributor license agreements."

Re:I am confused. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34955170)

When Google does it, that means it's not evil.

Re:I am confused. (5, Interesting)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955224)

Except that as far as I've seen (troll blog post notwithstanding) Google didn't try to blame anything on anyone -- they used the Apache license. ASF independently clarified saying that the choice of Apache license does not mean that it was a part of the ASF-owned Harmony project.

From the referenced ASF blog:

Recent reports on various blogs have attributed to the ASF a number of the source files identified by Oracle as ones that they believe infringe on their copyrights. The code in question has an header that mentions Apache, and perhaps that is the source of the confusion. The code itself is using a license that is named after our foundation, is in fact the license that we ourselves use. Many others use it too, as the license was explicitly designed to allow such uses. Even though the code in question has an Apache license, it is not part of Harmony. PolicyNodeImpl.java is simply not a Harmony class.

That's all. No "blaming" involved on Google's part. No "disowning" on ASF's part. Just one annoying blogger trying for ad impressions.

Re:I am confused. (5, Informative)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957520)

Just one annoying blogger trying for ad impressions.

Since Slashdotters have more than once tried to dismiss this guy as some troll or just some blogger, perhaps you should do a little research. Florian Muller [wikipedia.org] is the founder of the NoSoftwarePatents [nosoftwarepatents.com] campaign, fighting the EU's directive on the patentability of computer-related inventions, which they eventually rejected. He's received several awards for his intellectual property activism and is considered one of the most influential in the field.

But yeah, because this is a potentially negative Google submission, people around here are going to attack the messenger and try to dismiss him outright, because they're biased toward pro-Linux companies like Google. This site's comment section is becoming a real trash heap.

Re:I am confused. (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957966)

Good for him! Seriously, I think that what he's done is great. However, it doesn't change the problems that exist with this and a couple of his other blog posts.

Neither his stance on Google nor the tone of the article have anything to do with my comment. Instead, it's based on a portion of his post being factually incorrect. So blatantly incorrect I don't see how he could have missed it -- which leads me to thinking that it was intentional.

But yeah, because this is a potentially negative Google submission, people around here are going to attack the messenger and try to dismiss him outright, because they're biased toward pro-Linux companies like Google. This site's comment section is becoming a real trash heap.

For the record, I'm not a huge fan of google, and I gave up on using Linux on my daily desktop a while back, -- after realizing that it would never be developed for people who didn't want messing with various settings to be a requisite portion of accomplishing everyday tasks.

I will also add that a closer read of the blog post shows that I missed a couple of other places in which he's spot on. Not sure that it makes up for the whole "disowned" thing, but it's better than I first assumed ;)

Re:I am confused. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34958306)

The source code he mentions includes the header stating

Licensed to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) under one or more contributer license agreements.

not

Licensed under the Apache License

The files aren't part of project harmony so this is why Muller things apache will "disown" the files.

Re:I am confused. (3, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34956174)

If you look at the second link, it gives an example of some code that is in the Android git repository. It does have a basic copyright notice on it, along with the words "SUN CONFIDENTIAL - DO NOT DISTRIBUTE." So Google could be in some kind of legal trouble here. They distributed code that is owned by someone else, against their wishes. HOWEVER - the damages are not likely to be very big, because Oracle is still distributing the same code for free. As far as I can tell, it's not a part of the Java source code.

Google does have serious problems with Android, mainly because Oracle owns a lot of patents relating to virtual machines. Microsoft ended up paying $700million or so because of that, for C#. It will not be easy for the Android creators to get out of it.

(Note: if you're going to reply telling me that Microsoft had to pay because they were copying Java, you are right, but please go find some links talking about Sun's other lawsuit over C# and inform yourself before replying).

Re:I am confused. (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957924)

please go find some links talking about Sun's other lawsuit over C#

Was there an actual lawsuit over this? IIRC, all that is known is that Microsoft pays a certain undisclosed amount to Sun/Oracle over some Java patents, which, supposedly, pertain to CLR - without any lawsuit (which would actually be a good hint that Sun's JVM patents are solid).

Re:I am confused. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957932)

They distributed code that is owned by someone else, against their wishes.

In other words, Sun licensed it out, then sold ownership to Oracle, and Oracle wishes the terms of the license had been different.

It isn't eveil if it benefits Google (3, Funny)

pcause (209643) | more than 3 years ago | (#34954844)

Another example of what "do no evil" really means: if Google benefits it isn't evil, right? Pretty amazing and inept theft of IP on Google's part and for being this inept and stealing so blatantly, Oracle will get billions. Shame that we Android users will have to pay for Google's theft.

Re:It isn't eveil if it benefits Google (2)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955328)

Why should Android users have to pay for Google's mistakes? I'm thinking more along the lines of:

1. Google releases code that's not theirs
2. Google profits massively from Android, users profit massively from Android
3. Google gets caught, pays bunch of fines and whatever it needs to to be allowed to continue use of the code
4. Users continue to profit, Google's profits from Android are diminished just a little bit
5. The whole issue is forgotten and life goes on as Android users continue to profit

I'm gonna go hug my CyanogenMod7 powered Desire now... :)

Re:It isn't eveil if it benefits Google (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955502)

I'm gonna go hug my CyanogenMod7 powered Desire now... :)

I'm gonna throw my Droid in the toilet [slashdot.org] . Wait, I don't own a Droid =P

Re:It isn't eveil if it benefits Google (2)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955792)

Be happy. I went through that same crap with the Motorola Milestone before getting my Desire. Six months of misery... makes freedom taste all the sweeter ;)

Re:It isn't eveil if it benefits Google (2)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957764)

I'm gonna throw my Droid in the toilet. Wait, I don't own a Droid =P

That's too bad because the Droid isn't locked. The Droid was actually pushed out by Google to Android developers. So if you were to throw a Droid down the toilet you wasted a perfectly good, unlocked, fully rootable, Android device.

Re:It isn't eveil if it benefits Google (1)

meloneg (101248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955606)

But, the actual owner of the IP is under no obligation to grant a license at any cost. That's the catch. Huggin' my CM7 Vision. :)

Re:It isn't eveil if it benefits Google (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955740)

True, but let's just hope Google throws money at them until they say yes :p

Re:It isn't eveil if it benefits Google (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 3 years ago | (#34958962)

Or, you know, the allegedly infringing sections could be rewritten cleanly...

Re:It isn't eveil if it benefits Google (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955798)

Google profits massively from Android

And you have proof of this from where? Because according to their own financial statements they say otherwise. 96.5% of their revenue comes from adsense programs and from Google-owned websites. The other 3.5% comes from "other sources" which are primarily interest off of investments.

Re:It isn't eveil if it benefits Google (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955914)

Someone from Google stated that Android was profitable a few months ago. At Google, I'm guessing profitable doesn't mean pennies... :)

Re:It isn't eveil if it benefits Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34955392)

If this alleged IP theft really is worth billions, it will be sad to see it going to an outfit like Oracle instead of Sun Microsystems. Like DEC before it, Sun combined industry leading technology with utterly inept management. Oracle combines ruthless management with very little else.

I'm left wondering if IP theft of the kind alleged here played a role in Sun's demise and acquisition by Oracle. It's pretty clear that open source, especially Linux, is what killed Sun, even though, to the very end, Sun's bumbling management imagined they were fighting Microsoft.

Re:It isn't eveil if it benefits Google (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955720)

How is open source to blame for the demise of sun? Sun just failed to utilize open source profitably. If they had tried to sell java in every market, it would have never become the standard it is today. Different management could have made a world of difference with profits from support, consultation etc.

Re:It isn't eveil if it benefits Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957248)

If open source software becomes dominant in a market, it eliminates the possibility of differentiation through software. This destroys a key mechanism by which smaller firms are able to compete against larger firms with scale advantages. That's why IBM love open source in general, and Linux in particular.

In economic terms, it isn't clear whether open source is positive or negative in the long run. There's an initial boost, as the current level of technology becomes cheaper (e.g. Linux versus Unix). At the same time, by removing the financial incentive for software innovation, open source may drive investment in software development to sub-optimal levels. (This assumes a belief that market mechanisms and financial incentives drive investment, of course, which is something some free software supporters might not agree with.)

Re:It isn't eveil if it benefits Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34955454)

Pretty amazing and inept theft of IP on Google's part

This is a downside to hiring only really smart overachiever type employees.

They don't believe the rules apply to them since they've always been smart enough to get away with it. And they don't finish the mundane details like actually having a human check each and every file for copyright instead of using some clever regular expression.

Re:It isn't eveil if it benefits Google (1)

SaroDarksbane (1784314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34956818)

This is a downside to hiring only really smart overachiever type employees.

Yeah, they get so caught up in creating something new, useful, or revolutionary that they often forget to pay their bribes, purchase a thought license, or even beg for permission from their masters. For shame.

How will our society ever continue on if people are allowed to just create things willy-nilly? There have to be strict legal limits, dammit! Creating new products should be like navigating a booby trapped maze blind-folded, where the slightest slip up means an excruciatingly painful death, and where the only guidance you are allowed to accept is the guidance of your already-established competitors.

We have to "promote the progress", after all.

Re:It isn't eveil if it benefits Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34958224)

Yeah, they get so caught up in creating something new, useful, or revolutionary ... How will our society ever continue on if people are allowed to just create things willy-nilly?

It's turtles all the way down, not hares.

Re:It isn't eveil if it benefits Google (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34956488)

But their motto wasn't "do no evil", it was "don't be evil". Big difference.

Re:It isn't eveil if it benefits Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34958018)

There is no such thing as _theft_ of IP.
-
I post as anonymous coward because I am afraid of America (but only few Americans - Palin for example).

No they do not (5, Informative)

DMiax (915735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34954872)

Using the apache software license is not the same as attributing code to the apache software foundation, you know just like people is not giving their copiright to Berkeley or MIT or the GNU project... Seriously, this is the second story from this troll in a couple of days... This is not even flamebait, if so at least I could enjoy the show, instead: why post it?

Header talks about attribution, so does path (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34955096)

This is the header:
  * Licensed to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) under one or more
  * contributor license agreements. See the NOTICE file distributed with
  * this work for additional information regarding copyright ownership.
  * The ASF licenses this file to You under the Apache License, Version 2.0

Also, look at the path:
package org.apache.harmony.security.tests.support.acl

Re:No they do not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34955156)

Not sure who you are calling a troll. The title sure is trollish, but in the article there is only one sentence claiming Google is suggesting that someone else is responsible (no citation, just a link to an Apache Foundation blog post which talks about un-cited blogs making the claim the file came from them). In any case, the main thrust of the article is about investigating the Android code base.

Re:No they do not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34955184)

That's not what happened. Google took copyrighted Sun (now Oracle) code and put the Apache license header on it. Not just relicensing it under the apache license, but the apache boilerplate that claimed ASF had the copyright. Maybe they pasted the wrong text (seems like the most obvious reason), maybe they were trying to cover their tracks, but either way, they relicensed code they didn't have rights to.

I think Oracle's case is weak, but shit like this is goign to fuck google like Eric Schmidt fucking your privacy.

Re:No they do not (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955228)

Read more carefully. The license files in the headers explicitly state the ASF as the copyright holder, not just that they are licensed under the ASL 2.0. Of course, the reason for this is probably to make it easier for Google-contributed Android code to be used by the ASF, rather than to blame them for copyright violation.

Re:No they do not (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34957880)

The troll is paid by MSFT to create fud around patents, and more recently, Android. He is a whore and a pox.

Re:No they do not (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34958282)

The files say that they are from the ASF. Did you bother to even read the article and look at the files before you posted?

Post title (0)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955020)

I have no idea what the hell the post title here has to do with the story. There's no indication that Google's blaming the ASF for anything, in any of the primary reporting on the story.

STUPID (2)

omb (759389) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955034)

This is all getting SO stupid, copying a bit of text is NOT infringment so long as fair use is not exceeded, and if the text or the idea was already written that way, shoot or throw all the STUPID corporate f**kers and lawers and throw the bodies in the Charles River, along with the Tea chests.

Re:STUPID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34955784)

Copying text you say? Looks like source code.

Re:STUPID (1)

fidget42 (538823) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955944)

If you use someone else's code in your program, that is not fair use. If you copy someone else's text into your book, that is not fair use.

Re:STUPID (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 3 years ago | (#34956934)

It's stupid, but not for the reason you suggest. Oracle's attack on Google's use of Java is based on patents. Copyright issues are peripheral and cannot prevent use of Java, they will at most further line the pockets of lawyers and require some clean room rewrites. To put it another way, copyright does not protect ideas, only the expression of them. Either Sun's expression of Java ideas is not the only one in which case a rewrite is possible, or it is the only possible expression in which case the expression is not a creative work and thus not protected by copyright. IANAL

That said, the stupidest thing of all would be for Google to continue to rely solely on Java for Android while C++ is significantly more efficient and significantly less of a patent minefield. Of course there are stupid people at Google, or more accurately, people who consistently do stupid things for whatever reason (as far as I'm concerned, a stupid person) and it comes down to, who calls the shots and how stupid is he?

Re:STUPID (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957522)

That said, the stupidest thing of all would be for Google to continue to rely solely on Java for Android while C++ is significantly more efficient and significantly less of a patent minefield. Of course there are stupid people at Google, or more accurately, people who consistently do stupid things for whatever reason (as far as I'm concerned, a stupid person) and it comes down to, who calls the shots and how stupid is he?

IMO, using Java and Linux was a brilliant strategy to get Android off the ground quickly and to have a critical mass of experienced developers from the start. However, now that it's established, Google can begin damping down the significance of Java and allow it to be more language neutral.

Movement away from total reliance on Java (or the Dalvik JVM) is already underway. It is (as of 2.3 - Gingerbread) possible to implement apps completely in C/C++ without writing any Java. http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2011/01/gingerbread-ndk-awesomeness.html [blogspot.com]

We are also beginning to see ports of Python, Ruby and other languages to the Android platform. Since Android is open, all of this is possible which is a major distinguishing factor from iOS.

Google vs. Oracle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34955042)

THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE

Lawsuit? Is there a lawsuit of some kind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34955154)

>on the copyright side of the lawsuit

What lawsuit? How about a complete summary? Maybe tell me what lawsuit we're talking about?

Assholes ...

Amateur mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34955180)

Does Google not have someone double checking their code? They could have avoided this potentially damning evidence by simply having one developer review the source code( a good idea no matter how small your project is ). All you need are a couple of automated scripts to flag files with foreign copyright. After you find these rogue files, write around them.

Re:Amateur mistake (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 3 years ago | (#34956984)

They could have avoided this potentially damning evidence by simply having one developer review the source code

It's not damning evidence because it has nothing to do with the patents at the center of the case. However it is worth remembering that this is SCO's lawyer we're dealing with here and he will no doubt attempt to spin it into something it isn't. SCOracle.

Licenses seem incorrect... (5, Insightful)

Jahava (946858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955296)

In Florian's paper, he points these out as Sun PROPRIETARY / CONFIDENTIAL. However, it looks like several of the sources come from Sun's mmademo, linked here [java2s.com] . In this rendition of the document, each source file's license is a permissive one by Sun (i.e., not proprietary / confidential).

The ones from microedition seem to be mentioned elsewhere under GPL [mobile-utopia.com] .

Some sources seem to come from here [mobile-utopia.com] , where some of the files (e.g., Control.java) have the proprietary markings, but these are interfaces. Control, for example, is an empty interface. Not sure if that affects anything.

I'm not qualified to make any sense out of this, but it seems like several of the sources Florian mentions are actually GPL'd sources with incorrect headers. There are a few trivial ones that (in the source I found) seem to be correctly marked proprietary. As much as I admire Florian's ability to grep, I think he's just found an error in some headers, not actual violations.

Re:Licenses seem incorrect... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34955912)

I'm not an expert either, but he points out that J2SE 5.0 has the "proprietary" copyright notices while 6 has GPL notices, but that 5.0 is relevant for the time. I didn't see a specific date mentioned for when the alleged violations occurred, but Google announced Android on Nov 5, 2007 (while the first handset to use it, the T-Mobile G1 aka HTC Dream, was released on Sep 23, 2008). J2SE 6 (which apparently has GPL notices) was released Dec 11, 2006 (nearly a year before Google released the first SDK for Android on Nov 12, 2007).

It would not be a big stretch that someone at Sun informed Google of the upcoming licensing changes while the beginnings of Android was being developed.

Re:Licenses seem incorrect... (2)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957536)

Note that Apache is NOT GPLv2 compatible.

Re:Licenses seem incorrect... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34958924)

The headers of the files from the link above don't say anything about GPL or GNU - it just lists 3 conditions for redistribution... (that it seems Google complied with?)

Re:Licenses seem incorrect... (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34958250)

However, it looks like several of the sources come from Sun's mmademo, linked here [java2s.com]. In this rendition of the document, each source file's license is a permissive one by Sun (i.e., not proprietary / confidential).

Indeed, I just compared two files from the /test/mmademo/src/example/mmademo/ directory inside the MMAPI.zip file with the linked source code and indeed it seems like they are the exact same files with a different license header.

Re:Licenses seem incorrect... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34958370)

I think I agree somewhat, but what gives with the decompilation claims?

Re:Licenses seem incorrect... (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34958826)

Well, keep in mind that not only that Apache is not GPLv2 compatible, but the decompilation was from an old pre-OpenJDK version of Java.

Headline is terribly misleading (1)

Just Brew It! (636086) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955584)

Just because the code was allegedly re-licensed under the Apache license doesn't mean Apache had anything to do with it. That would be like claiming the FSF is responsible for all code released under the GPL. As already noted, the files in question were not part of the Harmony code base, so I don't understand how anyone could see this as Google "pinning copyright violations on ASF".

Sounds like someone definitely f**ked up though.

I hope their "Unladen Swallow" project succeeds, so they can port everything to Python and give Oracle the finger.

So... he greped? (1)

tilted0 (1619135) | more than 3 years ago | (#34955646)

I don't get it. Searching the source code for words like "proprietary", "distribute", "licence", "sun" must have been the first step taken by anyone intrested in finding out more of the Oracle lawsuit. Not to mention Oracle's investigation, hundreds of tech-savvy people must have done it the same day as the story broke. How can this be a new finding? I mean.. he is the first person savvy enough to wield the arcane power of The Grep on ze code and post about it? Not probable. I dont get it.

Re:So... he greped? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34956852)

Yes, I was thinking that too.

It seems terrible simple to search for such keywords in the source. How can it not have been done before?

Can anyone shed some light?

Dalvik - OIN Linux system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34955968)

I haven't seen any explanation of whether Google has attempted to get Dalvik included in the OIN Linux system, which would get them patent protection from Oracle, who are licensees.

Just reject it from the AppStore then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34956582)

Why don't Google just remove the GPL or ApacheL infringing app from their MarketPlace/AppStore and be done with it then?

Schmidt happens. How about spending some time on removing endless spam in search results instead of wasting time on this "hobby"?

Do no evil, right. More like se no evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34956822)

How much longer is Google going to have an angelic reputation?

Do no evil my ass.

Why are they praised despite stuff like this and stuff like their net neutrality bullshit?

How can this be proven anyway? (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#34956982)

Suppose I grab a copy of some of Oracle's propriety licensed source code, and change the header to attribute the copyright to me and change the date to a prior date. How can Oracle conclusively prove that they didn't steal the code from me?

For that matter, who's to say that some of Oracle's source code wasn't lifted from some other OSS project with the headers changed?

The idea that simply placing "Copyright (c) 1995, mswhippingboy" in the header of a file seems like pretty flimsy evidence either way to me.

Re:How can this be proven anyway? (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34958412)

If you can convince 12 people off the street (a jury) that copying took place, then you can win googlebucks in a lawsuit.

Juries are strange and unpredictable.

Engineer binary thinking gets its ass kicked in court all the time by word-painting artists (lawyers and their experts).

It's a high stakes crapshoot.

The big deal is not "pinning on ASF" (0)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957876)

The big deal is this:

From the beginning, some others believed that the Android developers had utilized a decompiler. I read about that theory on a couple of different websites, especially reddit.com. When I looked into this case again, I downloaded a Java decompiler named JAD. And when I decompiled PolicyNodeImpl.class from J2SE 5.0, the result was pretty much the same source code as Android's PolicyNodeImpl.java code (which Oracle presented in its Exhibit J). My "PolicyNodeImpl synopsis" document shows the similarities.

I then performed the same comparison for six other files in the adjacent "acl" subdirectory. The Android versions of those files are available on the Web (Android version 2.2 aka "Froyo", Android version 3.0 aka "Gingerbread"). My synopsis PDF files document the same problem: Android contains, under the Apache license, code that is essentially just decompiled code of Oracle/Sun software that was never licensed to Apache.

Interestingly, PolicyNodeImpl.java (the file used by Oracle in its Exhibit J) appears not to have been part of the most recent Android distributions, while the six other files I identified are part of the two most recent and presently most relevant distributions: Froyo (Android 2.2) and Gingerbread (Android 2.3). That makes those files even more important than the one Oracle presented.

The old story about one decompiled class was made not quite relevant by the fact that it was not part of the OS itself, but some supporting code that is easily removed. Now, though, it turns out that vendors have shipped decompiled proprietary Sun/Oracle code on numerous Android-based devices, courtesy of Google. That will not look good in the court at all.

Re:The big deal is not "pinning on ASF" (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34958356)

Thanks for the helpful post.

Google copycatting will cost them Googlebucks.

Do no evil (1)

Altesse (698587) | more than 3 years ago | (#34957978)

Do no evil my @$$. Steve Jobs was right about them.

But that aside, while I think all of us know that Google is just a greedy corporate entity like all the others, what amazes is me is that they made a mistake so titanic, something that even a student wouldn't do.
Aren't they supposed to be the brightest and the smartest people of the world ? How could they think nobody would spot stolen code in open sources, free for everybody to read them ?

Open letter to Oracle (1)

mmmmbeer (107215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34958012)

Dear Oracle,

As a long-time customer of both Oracle and Sun, as well as a professional Java developer and an Android user, I have a request to make of you.

Please stop being douchebags.

Sincerely,

Me

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