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Oracle-Google Trial Won't Start Until Next Year

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the wheels-of-justice-turn-slowly dept.

Android 60

angry tapir writes "The intellectual property lawsuit between Oracle and Google over the Android mobile OS won't go to trial until next year, according to a ruling made in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by the judge overseeing the case. The trial was initially set to begin Oct. 31 but was postponed last week by Judge William Alsup due to scheduling conflicts with a major criminal trial. The trial will be split into three stages heard by the same jury. In step one, 'liability on the copyright claims, including all defenses thereto, will be tried and determined by special verdict before going to Phase Two,' he wrote. The second phase will cover liability on the case's patent claims, he added. 'The jury will decide these issues before going to Phase Three.' In the final stage, 'all remaining issues will be tried, including damages and willfulness.'"

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60 comments

fuck (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37854158)

shit piss cunt. android is dreaming of first posting sheep.

Pre-judged? (1)

Trevelyan (535381) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854188)

"In the final stage, 'all remaining issues will be tried, including damages and willfulness.'"

Wouldn't using the word 'wilfulness' suggest he already thinks Google did something wrong?
You or I may or may not think that, but a judge should try to remain neutral. Maybe a 'if needed be' or some such context was cut out of the quote.

Re:Pre-judged? (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854280)

No, just like with murder charges wilfulness is important.

When you put someone on trial for first degree murder you're saying "we think they commited murder, but specifically we think they did it entirely wilfully and planned ahead" (give or take)

They're saying that in the event that the basic charges are found to be true, they'll assess whether it was a simple fuckup on Google's part or whether they knew what they were doing and did it anyways.

not a lawyer, all that jazz.

Re:Pre-judged? (0)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854588)

No, just like with murder charges wilfulness is important.

When you put someone on trial for first degree murder you're saying "we think they commited murder, but specifically we think they did it entirely wilfully and planned ahead" (give or take)

They're saying that in the event that the basic charges are found to be true, they'll assess whether it was a simple fuckup on Google's part or whether they knew what they were doing and did it anyways.

not a lawyer, all that jazz.

Which has always struck me as odd. How can we (United States) claim that our justice system is blind when we turn around and categorize levels of a crime based on intent (willfulness)? I'm not saying I disagree with the practice just that our system isn't nearly as blind as it is portrayed.

Re:Pre-judged? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854610)

You do it all the time - manslaughter, third degree murder, second degree murder, first degree murder etc.

Re:Pre-judged? (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854836)

Well frankly if we're talking about innocence until proven guilty, the far bigger issue is that we put people in jail before they've even been put on trial.

But I don't disagree with you, a proper legal system would establish that the act was committed by the person in question, put them in jail if appropriate (up to the minimum sentence period) and use that time to figure out the specifics that effect the sentence.

However I have no idea how one goes about building such a system without *massive* resources available.

Re:Pre-judged? (2)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854896)

Perhaps you've misunderstood what "blind justice" means. It basically means that all those before the courts are treated equally, regardless of race, religion, gender, etc. Wilfulness is just a part of the element of the intent of the offender. Justice remains blind as long as, when charged with murder, each accused is assessed in the same way. If wilfulness is an element of the offence of murder, then each accused has the right to make the State prove wilfulness, and "blind justice" is preserved. Of course, in practice it doesn't always work that way.

Re:Pre-judged? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855388)

Perhaps you've misunderstood what "blind justice" means. It basically means that all those before the courts are treated equally, regardless of race, religion, gender, etc. Wilfulness is just a part of the element of the intent of the offender. Justice remains blind as long as, when charged with murder, each accused is assessed in the same way. If wilfulness is an element of the offence of murder, then each accused has the right to make the State prove wilfulness, and "blind justice" is preserved. Of course, in practice it doesn't always work that way.

Not quite...

You could treat everyone equally poorly and still maintain equality.

The blind justice refers not to equality but to neutrality...

While the defense attorney is on the defendant's side and the prosecutor is against him, the court is neither for nor against.

Well frankly if we're talking about innocence until proven guilty, the far bigger issue is that we put people in jail before they've even been put on trial.

As to the statement "Well frankly if we're talking about innocence until proven guilty, the far bigger issue is that we put people in jail before they've even been put on trial."

This does not have anything to do with jail or willfulness or any other element of the crime. The only point of "presumption of innocence" is to identify the type of justice system we have. Since you are "presumed innocent" the burden of proof falls to the prosecutor, instead of the defendant having to prove their innocence.

The problem with sitting in jail for a long time before and during the trial is not an issue of "presumption of innocence" but rather an issue concerning the right to a speedy trial.

Re:Pre-judged? (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#37893024)

You couldn't be more wrong, actually.

You honestly don't think that someone who is arrested and sent to jail (to await trial) has a stigma attached to them when they get out 12 months later, as is the case in some murder trials.

You don't think it changes the conditions at work assuming they still have/can get a job after?

You're arguing the strictly *current* legal interpretation of "innocent until proven guilty". I'll put it as politely as possible by saying that is incredibly naive. The only way you can legitimately believe and argue that law is separate from the morals by which it is begotten is to believe that law should not seek to be moral.

Again I am not suggesting that a proper system that avoids these problems is feasible under the current socio-economic climate, but it doesn't make not having it any less wrong.

Re:Pre-judged? (1)

slack_justyb (862874) | more than 2 years ago | (#37857232)

Crime is an element of action and will as defined by our and most legal systems. The action and willfulness determine the crime, the action alone is not enough to convict a person. This is why motive and what not must be established during a trail where the crime accused is one of passion or intent.

If I violate someone's patent and didn't know it was patented. They can haul me off to court, however, if they cannot establish that they have tried to make contact with me to inform me of their patent, it's a pretty hard case to show willful violation. Thus, the biggest thing they could hit me with is lack of due diligence, a lessor to willful patent violation.

Likewise, if I'm in some building and fall down an elevator shaft, then my surviving family can sue the pants off the building owner. The building owner must show that he did not intend for me to fall down the shaft. If my family proves that he negligent to take care of the elevator car, they can show willful negligent. Which would hurt more in a tort case.

Intent is an element of the crime at hand, not a measure of the accused charges. One could charge someone with assault with intent to harm, but the burden of proof is much higher than say domestic assault. The former needs to not only prove that the accused assaulted the defendant, but also intended to cause bodily harm. The later, one just needs to prove that the accused assaulted the defendant, the ultimate goal of that assault is unknown or not disclosed.

So when a judge says that they will try damages and willfulness, what they are saying is that Google will stand before the court to be tried on the amount of damage that may/may not have been done; and how evil Google was in implementing those plans. If could very well be that Google cause billions of damages but was totally blindsided by this whole Oracle thing (they could show that Sun was very warm and cozy with the idea of Google's Dalvik and that this legal challenge is a total surprise to them which is most likely due to the cold heart bastards at Oracle.) Or Google only cause a couple of hundred million of damages but totally knew what was going on and did it anyway (Oracle could show the court that Google saw Sun as evil and near rock bottom, thinking that Sun's demise was just around the corner, Google began to create their own solution to Java to deliver the final crushing blow to Sun. Google took the keep my friends close and my enemies closer approach with Sun, until Oracle the bastion of light and hope came to save Sun from their untimely demise brought on by the evil hoard that is Google.)

The difference is the first one carries less penalties than the latter. The first one may be damages + cost + interest + licence fees, the latter could be injunction + cease operations + jail time + DoJ inspections + everything from the first one. Hence why all of this is in the third phase. IF the trail makes it to the third phase, then the only thing left is to determine what damages and intent Google had for violation. The first phase is to determine if the copyright claims hold water, the second phase will be did Google violate those terms, the third and final phase will be to see how evil Google was while violating those terms (to kinda simplify that all up.)

Re:Pre-judged? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37854288)

in phase 3, the judge will judge whether any issue where Google was found responsible in previous phases, was due to willful infrigement or not.

If there is nothing left standing then, then obviously this point becomes moot.

If in previous phases, Google is found to have done something it shouldn't have, THEN the judge will evaluate whether that was a mistake or willful, and THEN decide on how much, if any, Google owes Oracle.

Seems fairly straightforward.

Re:Pre-judged? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854310)

No, the jury get to decide if the infringements were wilfull or not - that sentence doesn't read any other way.

Re:Pre-judged? (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854678)

There won't be a third phase at all if Google is not found in violation. There's always a penalty phase planned, just in case it's needed the schedule has to account for it. It's always easier to fill unexpected free space in a schedule than to try to carve out space for something unexpected.

Re:Pre-judged? (0)

SadButTrue (848439) | more than 2 years ago | (#37856346)

There is almost no chance they won't be found in violation though. There is also almost no chance that it won't be found to be willful. The big question is how much it is worth. The patent claim is for a very small piece of code in a very large code base. Oracle proposes that means they should get royalties from all of android, Google argues that it shouldn't. If the jury sides with Oracle the numbers could get big, really big.

Re:Pre-judged? (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37856572)

Oh, I agree, but the OP's question is "Why are they setting a penalty phase before determining guilt? Isn't that prejudging?" the answer is "No, they always plan for a penalty phase because it's easier to schedule that way."

Re:Pre-judged? (1)

WorBlux (1751716) | more than 2 years ago | (#37857872)

"Wouldn't using the word 'wilfulness' suggest he already thinks Google did something wrong?"

If the trial gets to stage 3 it means the jury found some liability in stage 1 or 2. If they didn't you could just skip stage three and go home.

Without patents... (1)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854254)

Without patents this would be so much simpler.

JUDGE: Did your client write this software?
LAWYER 1: No, your honour.
JUDGE: Did _your_ client write this software?
LAWYER 2: Yes, your honour.
JUDGE: Alright, then it's theirs and they can do what they want with it. Case closed. *bangs gavel*

Does anyone really think that would be any less fair than the current system?

Re:Without patents... (0)

VirginMary (123020) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854312)

Does anyone really think that would be any less fair than the current system?

The answer to that is obviously and unfortunately "Yes!".

Re:Without patents... (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#37859678)

Please, refrain from elaborating. That makes everyone understand what you're talking about.

Re:Without patents... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854388)

No it wouldn't. Both lawyers would respond 'yes'. Part of Oracle's claim is that Google took some classes from Oracle's GPL'd Java implementation, stripped off the GPL and comments, added an APSL, tweaked a few variable names, and called it original code. The examples that I've seen are pretty ambiguous - there aren't many different ways of implementing some parts of Java, and even two completely independent implementations working from the same spec would be pretty similar and determining if one was a derived work would still be difficult.

Re:Without patents... (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855358)

even two completely independent implementations working from the same spec would be pretty similar and determining if one was a derived work would still be difficult.

I have a hard time buying that. Without actually looking at the original version, its insanely hard to achieve code that looks even similar twice. Indentation and comments alone will change every time and for every coder and unless a spec litterally tell you "write this line of code and then this other line of code" then it's very likely even order, variables and behind the scenes data structures would be very different.

One thing I got very used to in my college years was to see similar claims from my classmates all turning in code with minimal difference from eachother's, all trying to convince the profesor they all did it on their own. I was sure none did, because I was the one that wrote their code for them. Always wrote it twice. No much effort ever went into making it look like a different implementation the second time, all I had to do was start from scratch without referening the original. It's actually hard to get exactly the same code back on screen without referencing to the original, even if you yourself wrote it. Only thing I always had to conciously avoid was comment style, as I always stylized my comment blocks.

So I highly doubt at least some lazy engenier at Google did copy code and played a bit with spacing and variable names. That lazy engenier is going to cost Google a few million dollars.

Re:Without patents... (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855372)

**i highly doubt he didnt**

Re:Without patents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37859076)

You're forgetting that we're talking about very fundamental algorithms and data structures in the Java standard library, not gigantic apps. It's definitely possible, even probable, that two people both writing quicksort will write code with only minor variable name and whitespace differences. Especially if they have similar education (they might both have written the implementation based on a common textbook, there's only like 3 widely used undergrad algorithms texts).

Re:Without patents... (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#37859906)

So I highly doubt at least some lazy engenier at Google did copy code and played a bit with spacing and variable names.

This is what a header file looks like:
// Sort array "array[]" and put result in "sortedArray[]", each of size "size"
void ArraySort(int array[], int sortedArray[], int size);

// Sort array "array[]" of size "size" in place
void ArraySortInPlace(int array[], int size);

// Sort linked list in place whose first element is "head"
void ListSortInPlace(ListElement* head);

(etc.)

I defy anyone to rewrite such a thing so that you implement each of the original functions in a way that they can be used as a replacement library for the original (i.e. with the same function signature) and do more than change the variable names, comments and whitespace.

Re:Without patents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37854880)

If Google ever looses that case, they should pay damages and then switch to the GPLv2 only for the Android core, sharing the copyright with Oracle. Bonus it they also get a free patent license for all OpenJDK patents.

Re:Without patents... (1)

nharmon (97591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855144)

If only it were that simple... it is often more like:

LAWYER 1: We wrote a significant portion of the software, your honor. Half of our product was licensed to XYZ Corp. with a specific non-compete clause. A quarter of it was licensed to ZZ Corp. without a non-compete clause. Since ZZ Corp was later acquired by XYZ Corp., we do not feel the license we granted to ZZ Corp. overrides the conditions under the license we granted XYZ. And even if it does, it does not cover all of the software we licensed to XYZ.

JUDGE: *puzzled look* Uh, did _your_ client write this software?

LAWYER 2: Yes, your honor.

Re:Without patents... (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860034)

You're ignoring the original point, which is that software patents create a whole new degree of wasteful litigation on top of what you already get with copyright and contracts.

On top of that, judges are pretty good at interpreting contracts. They do it all the time and it doesn't really require them to be software developers. Whereas trying to determine whether a software patent is "obvious to someone having ordinary skill in the art at the time of the invention" or whether a linked list and an array are "equivalent" in a particular context for purposes of the doctrine of equivalents, kind of does. Which leads to results that are wildly unpredictable and subjective, and that is the primary ingredient in the recipe for wasteful litigation.

Re:Without patents... (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855226)

My understanding is Oracle's point is precisely about Google copying code Sun wrote, not over patents (although they may be used to strengthen their stance.)

So that conversation woudl have both lawyers saying "yes" followed by the whole same trial we seen this far.

Re:Without patents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37859322)

There are really three parts to the case. 1) There is a copyright claim over 10 test files that Google admits to have taken from Oracle illegally. 2) There is a copyright claim over the Java API. Google admits that it uses the API but claims the API isn't covered by copyright. 3) Oracle claims Android infinges some patents they own. Google claims these patents have prior art and are obvious.

Re:Without patents... (1)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855892)

LAWYER 2: Yes, your honor. My client took a copy of the plaintiff's code, and simply typed it all out again. Technically, my client did really write it.

Sometimes simple isn't enough.

SCO (4, Informative)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854298)

It took the SCO case 7 years to resolve and they had nothing on their side.

Google isn't going down without a fight. We'll still be reading about this in 2025.

--
BMO

Re:SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37854366)

(Posting AC from work)

There are MASSIVE differences between this and the SCO case. First and foremost, the top brass at Google aren't trying to syphon off as much money as possible before everything implodes. Second, Google is in the business of staying in business. Third (but certainly not last - just the last point I'm going to raise), Google knows they're in the wrong. If they see things going poorly for their case and starting to drag out, they'll almost certainly cut their losses and make a deal. Their hope (I would imagine, from the outside) is that they will be able to formulate a defense that allows them to dodge the bullet (because I think most people would agree that they are, in fact, in the wrong). If it becomes clear they won't succeed, they'll settle and move on and chalk it up to the cost of doing business. Dragging out a legal conflict like this for an extensive length of time does not benefit them in any way.

SCO had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Google has little to gain and a LOT to lose.

Re:SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37854458)

Why is Google in the wrong? It has yet to be proved they violate these patents. Furthermore these patents have yet to be tested in court if they should ever be issued. So I do not get why you presume guilt beforehand.

Re:SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37854518)

Oracle sued Google and the court accepted the case, so Google must have done something wrong.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just-world_fallacy

Re:SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855242)

Um, I presume guilt beforehand because I'm not stupid.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/238879/google_denied_in_latest_attempt_to_bar_controversial_email.html

Re:SCO (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855456)

You've linked me a piece with an expert view by Florian Mueller. You say you are not stupid, but boy do I have news for you...

Re:SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855216)

Most people? What in the world has google done wrong? Reverse engineered something?

Re:SCO (1, Informative)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854436)

I doubt that. The judge prevented Google from redacting the "smoking gun" email where the founder of Android (which Google bought) is quoted saying, that, yes, in fact, Android does infringe on Java, and no amount of obfuscation via tech named after frosty European fishing villages (Dalvik) will get around that.

Don't have the link handy, but you could check my posting history.

Not that the judge is an Oracle fanboi, either. He wants neither $0 damages nor $1 billion. About $100 mil.

Re:SCO (1)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854982)

I'm not familiar with this case, but unless the "smoking gun" specifically said that they stole the code from Oracle, it probably won't be given much weight in court. Judges are very protective of their turf, and don't think much of legal opinions coming from laypeople, or really even from lawyers. As far as a judge is concerned, it ain't patent infringement unless a judge says it's patent infringement.

Also, I rather suspect that if the e-mail were really that damning, Google would have settled the suit by now.

Re:SCO (0)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855280)

I doubt that. The judge prevented Google from redacting the "smoking gun" email where the founder of Android (which Google bought) is quoted saying, that, yes, in fact, Android does infringe on Java, and no amount of obfuscation via tech named after frosty European fishing villages (Dalvik) will get around that.

.

Nope. The letter implies that they knew that they needed to negotiate a license.

Re:SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37855486)

Not quite. The letter implies that someone (who was not a lawyer, IIRC) thought they should negotiate a license, nothing more.

Re:SCO (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855458)

Pardon my technical ignorance, but why would Google with the all the unlimited resources in the world opt to rip-off Linux and Java? Some non-techie judge like me could have a similar view, in my book it is the same as if Harley-Davidson bikes equipped unlicensed motors from Kawasaki in their motorbikes, weird, non-sensical and wrong at the same time.

Re:SCO (1)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855782)

why would Google with the all the unlimited resources in the world opt to rip-off Linux and Java?

Just like asking why the rich people would rip off the poor...

I mean, Google isn't as evil as the rich bastards over there at Wall Street, but the question itself isn't really so non-sensical as you'd think.

Besides, writing a mature software platform is *hard* (multibilliondollar-hard). The two major platforms for smartphones are from Apple and Microsoft, and both companies had decades of experience, code and developer base from the desktop OS platforms to build upon. Google had none of that, and so they chose an existing one (Java).

Re:SCO (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860118)

Well, for one thing, Android was a separate company before Google bought it, and continued its decisions.

Sun kinda sorta hinted that Google should license stuff (Java) from Sun, but Google didn't, since Sun was a bunch of pushovers.

Re:SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37886206)

Maybe it wasn't because Sun were a bunch of pushovers. They just may have not had the resources to pursue a prolonged legal battle over this.

Re:SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37856148)

The email was written *after* Oracle sued Google.

Re:SCO (2)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 2 years ago | (#37856738)

The judge prevented Google from redacting the "smoking gun" email where the founder of Android (which Google bought) is quoted saying, that, yes, in fact, Android does infringe on Java....

It says nothing of the sort. It says that all the alternatives to Java that they considered sucked, and it would be better to license Java than to consider the alternatives.

That statement says absolutely nothing about the quality of what constitutes a Java license, and can be interpreted in a number of ways. Since at least one of those possible interpretations is damaging to Google (while most are benign), it made sense to try eliminating it from evidence. It makes sense to eliminate as much as possible of your opponent's evidence before going to court. However, it should be easy to neuter its usefulness to Oracle by focusing on the benign interpretations of that letter.

I expect this to have almost no impact, if Google's attorneys are not asleep at the wheel.

Re:SCO (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37860218)

Well people can make their own determinations:

One [allthingsd.com]

Two [allthingsd.com]

Three [thomsonreuters.com]

Four [paidcontent.org]

"What we've actually been asked to do by Larry [Page] and Sergey [Brin] is to investigate what technical alternatives exist to Java for Android and Chrome. We've been over a bunch of these and think they all suck. We conclude that we need to negotiate a license for Java under the terms we need."

Re:SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37858766)

The comparison to SCO is interesting for another reason. It was posted on Slashdot recently that Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison were best friends, so Oracle going after Google is a round about way of Apple targeting Android, similar to SCO having some possible purported connections with Microsoft.

It would not surprise me if Oracle purchased Sun with the sole intention of recouping the cost via attacking Google / Android / Java on mobile (which seems to also be the case with the licensing changes in 1.7 and 1.8 preventing mobile certification of Apache Harmony etc).

Why keep key trial factiods secret? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854346)

The trial was initially set to begin Oct. 31 but was postponed last week by Judge William Alsup due to scheduling conflicts with a major criminal trial.

I have read about this postponement on many fora elsewhere. My question though is why nobody will tell us which parties are involved in this 'major' criminal trial. Aren't trials and their associated parties supposed to be known to the public?

Re:Why keep key trial factiods secret? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854488)

Pretty easy to find his schedule, including the case numbers and names...

http://www.cand.uscourts.gov/CEO/cfd.aspx?7137 [uscourts.gov]

Re:Why keep key trial factiods secret? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854652)

I am impressed by your efforts though this does not tell me what the big case is about. Do you know? What are the issues in the case?

I thought Java was F/OSS? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854574)

How is google being sued for using free software?

Re:I thought Java was F/OSS? (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37854688)

How is google being sued for using free software?

They're not using the GPL'd software, so any patent grants they would have gotten from that doesn't apply.

Re:I thought Java was F/OSS? (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 2 years ago | (#37857130)

Free doesn't mean its not licensed.

Is anyone else getting tired? (1)

tom229 (1640685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37855934)

Is anyone else getting tired of these lawsuits between tech companies? It seems like every day on slashdot there's a 'google v. apple trial', 'google v. java trial', 'microsoft v. apple trial', ' trial'. It's getting ridiculous.

Re:Is anyone else getting tired? (1)

ArmchairGeneral (1244800) | more than 2 years ago | (#37856344)

Oh yes, they're becoming so commonplace it's ridiculous. The only people who like these are the lawyers, it's keeping them employed, but it means everyone else is suffering, like the buyers and the shareholders. Money that could have been spent on R&D or expansion is now going to legal costs, on top of that many of these tech companies are hoarding their ridiculous IP ideas hostage so that if someone else wants to create a new product they have to pay licensing fees in order to do it legally. And I'm sure there have been some great ideas that have been scrapped because of licensing issues. People can complain all they want about this patent problem, but the root of the problem is people being greedy. I swear if there's one attribute that humans have that we really don't need, it's that!

Tort Reform (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#37862560)

If developers are not careful software development will turn out like Medicine. Lawyers will take a great profession that makes decent money and siphon off all the money and joy. We will wind up purchasing patent infringement insurance from banks. There will be two lawyers per every developer. One lawyer for researching patents that make the code illegal. Another for creating patents on every little thing in the code. This will occur till all the jobs are chased out of the country.

Jury Duty (1)

WorBlux (1751716) | more than 2 years ago | (#37857660)

Damn, I already feel sorry for that jury. You have to come back in three separate chunks, any of which may last a week, and to top it all off listen to some inane technical and legal mumbo jumbo (either of which is bad enough on it's own). In fact I'm sure there are some liberals who would classify it as torture, and I'm not prone to disagree.
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