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Schmidt Testifies Android Did Not Use Sun's IP

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the everything's-ship-shape-your-honor dept.

Android 239

CWmike writes "Google built a 'clean room' version of Java and did not use Sun's intellectual property, Google's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, testified in court Tuesday. Schmidt said its use of Java in Android was 'legally correct.' On this day seven of the trial, Schmidt gave the jury a brief history of Java, describing its release as 'an almost religious moment.' He told the jury that Google had once hoped to partner with Sun to develop Android using Java, but that negotiations broke off because Google wanted Android to be open source, and Sun was unwilling to give up that much control over Java. Instead, Schmidt said, Google created the 'clean room' version of Java that didn't use Sun's protected code. Its engineers invented 'a completely different approach' to the way Java worked internally, Schmidt testified."

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FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Salina (529370) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790629)

FP!

Re:FP! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39790637)

FP? Functional Programming? Farking Pinhead? Fully Pacified?... :rolleyes:

Re:FP! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39790741)

Pretty sure it's "fucking prat"

Re:FP! (1, Informative)

crutchy (1949900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790749)

nope. his nick isn't brick top

Google did not develop Android to be open source (-1, Troll)

TechSA (2625307) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790645)

It was never their purpose. In fact, they never developed it at all - they just bought it. Google does not care about opening up their code. They only do so when it's necessary. They have never opened up their search engine, advertising platform or anything else when the license allows it.

In fact, despite the fact that kernel and userland programs in Android require it to be open source, Google is making it as hard as possible for it to be any use for others. You need to be registered partner and pay hefty sums just to officially use Android. In fact, they have basically used the work of countless amount of volunteer programmers without giving much back. They do this to use their position as the largest ad broker on planet and to leverage it against competitors who actually spend time, money and workforce to create their own software. Google largely piggybacks on everyone else's work, from search results to Android to YouTube. It's no surprise they do this with Java too. Which, in my opinion is crappy choice anyway, but one they had to make because they didn't want to create something original. .net and C# are much better than Java. Guess why Google doesn't use it or create their own? Because that would be much more work to do.

Re:Google did not develop Android to be open sourc (4, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790663)

Where do you get the shit that you smoke?

Re:Google did not develop Android to be open sourc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39790739)

From Bonch, AKA Burson Marsteller.

Re:Google did not develop Android to be open sourc (1)

crutchy (1949900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790759)

or apk

Re:Google did not develop Android to be open sourc (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39792077)

... and where can I get some?

Re:Google did not develop Android to be open sourc (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790803)

Guess why Google doesn't use it or create their own? Because that would be much more work to do.

1) What's wrong with saving yourself work?
2) Isn't that the whole point of OSS?

Re:Google did not develop Android to be open sourc (2)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790837)

And so the myth that Steve jobs is still alive begins!...is that you Steve? Knock once for "yes" and twice for "God wants an iPad!".

Re:Google did not develop Android to be open sourc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791057)

Why would God want a nearly worthless, over priced and over hyped piece of tech? Disclaimer: this was typed on an iPad.

Re:Google did not develop Android to be open sourc (1, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791313)

Because the Samsung clone of it isn't out yet.

Re:Google did not develop Android to be open sourc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791373)

There is an injunction against samsung importing tablets into heaven..

Re:Google did not develop Android to be open sourc (5, Funny)

truedfx (802492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791559)

That's impossible. Where in heaven would Jobs have found a lawyer?

Re:Google did not develop Android to be open sourc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792159)

In what sick universe would Jobs even be able to find which direction Heaven was?

Re:Google did not develop Android to be open sourc (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792053)

And so the myth that Steve jobs is still alive begins!...is that you Steve? Knock once for "yes" and twice for "God wants an iPad!".

Fucking tosser iPad Idiot pad piece of shit.

Re:Google did not develop Android retro version (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39790917)

It was never their purpose. In fact, they never developed it at all - they just bought it. Microsoft does not care about opening up their code. They only do so when it's necessary. They have never opened up their search engine, advertising platform or anything else when the license allows it.

In fact, despite the fact that kernel and userland programs in Windows require it to be closed source, Microsoft is making it as hard as possible for it to be any use for others. You need to be registered partner and pay hefty sums just to officially use Windows. In fact, they have basically used the work of countless amount of programmers without giving much back. They do this to use their position as the largest operating system on planet and to leverage it against competitors who actually spend time, money and workforce to create their own software. Microsoft largely piggybacks on everyone else's work, from search results to Windows to Slashdot. It's no surprise they do this with everyone else's software too. Which, in my opinion is crappy choice anyway, but one they had to make because they didn't want to create something original. perl and python are much better than basic. Guess why Microsoft doesn't use it or create their own cpan or python libs? Because that would be much more work to do.

Re:Google did not develop Android to be open sourc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39792145)

Guava? Gperftools? Google test? Protocol Buffer? GWT?

We really need better names (5, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790665)

We really need better names in this industry. I read the headline and immediately imagined a robot falling over and convulsing while saying "IP conflict.. conffflict... unaaaable to.. reboot," while a self-satisfied and positively glowing Sun glanced over the top of his laptop and started giggling quietly to himself. But it could just be the caffeine withdrawl too.

Re:We really need better names (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39790783)

And I was thinking, doesn't the Romney campaign have IT pros to configure the network addresses so Mitt doesn't have to fiddle with that stuff himself?

Re:We really need better names (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39790919)

And I was thinking, doesn't the Romney campaign have IT pros to configure the network addresses so Mitt doesn't have to fiddle with that stuff himself?

He hired the same firm that Obama uses for his network needs. So I imagine you are correct.

Re:We really need better names (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791085)

I think you're both insufferable pricks that should have a copy of The Communist Manifesto shoved up your asses.

an "almost religious moment" (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39790697)

In the old days, such moments usually resulted in their partakers getting ex-communicated, inquisited, racked and burned.

These days, they result in getting sued, subpoened, deposed, and collected.

Gee... I long for the genial old days.

fragmentation? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39790811)

If Oracle is so worried about the "Fragmentation of Java", why would they want to force Google to write a completely different API?

Re:fragmentation? (5, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791747)

Google were going to use a completely different API anyway (the android application framework, rather than J2ME which Sunacle would have preferred). By "worried about fragmentation" what they really mean is "worried that people won't pay to license the patented parts of Java".

"Clean Room" implementation (5, Insightful)

willoughby (1367773) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790869)

If what he says is true, there should be lots of evidence including a big stack of affidavits signed by the reverse-engineers swearing that they have never seen the original code. If he can't pull these out of his pocket, along with the Attorney who oversaw the project, I'd be.. erm... skeptical.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (5, Insightful)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790945)

There are some fairly large differences between Dalvik (the vm in android) and the JVM from sun/oracle/whoever. Namely the Dalvik instruction set is register based whereas java is stack based. You can easily have any engineer look at the code for the Dalvik vm itself and see there is quite a difference. Then the libraries that aren't android specific are based on the Apache harmony project so affidavits from Google engineers would be quite useless there. Now the question to me wouldn't be in Android itself but is the Android SDK truly clean room. There's a static re-compiler to recompile JVM bytecode to Dalvik bytecode. My guess is the SDK is clean room itself but Schmidt being honest about android being clean room isn't so unlikely but it is quite possible this is doublespeak and the SDK itself (hey it's not "Android") could very well be based on Sun IP. The relevant stuff I've seen in this court case hasn't related to so much lifted code as it was patents which is quite difficult to avoid infringing just by not seeing code.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791031)

Not to mention that any affidavits would most likely be hearsay and not allowed as evidence.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (2)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791773)

An affidavit from a developer about that developer's practices, or even the practices that that developer observed other developers using, is not hearsay.

Registers vs. Call Stack = speed gain... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791399)

"Namely the Dalvik instruction set is register based whereas java is stack based" - by LiENUS (207736) on Tuesday April 24, @11:03PM (#39790945) Homepage

Register based vs. Stack based SHOULD mean better performance too -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calling_convention [wikipedia.org] (provided this is for procedure calling that is).

* This varies by hardware-platform too, & I am NOT familiar enough w/ ANDROID & the hardware for it to know for sure IF diff. calling conventions are possible on it either...

(Thanks if you can "shed more light on it" for me, & also tell me if I am "way off-based" in regards to what you stated... TIA!)

APK

P.S.=> I use this in Borland Delphi a LOT & it makes a tiny diff. in the speed of procedure calls - However, I am not SURE if that's what YOU meant here... apk

Re:Registers vs. Call Stack = speed gain... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791777)

No, we're talking about architecture here, do try to keep up. Was "instruction set" not clear?

Stack machines [wikipedia.org] , like JVM, are uncommon in hardware, but fairly popular for VMs, bytecode interpreters, etc. Register machines, like Dalvik, are ubiquitous.

Re:Registers vs. Call Stack = speed gain... apk (3, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791785)

We're talking about an intermediate representation. Both Google and Oracle's virtual machines take their respective bytecode formats and convert them to a register-based machine language prior to execution. The only difference is that Google does this by translating from a different register-based language while Oracle translates from a stack-based language. This isn't about calling conventions, but compiler technology.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (2, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791101)

This is exactly true. If it were truly a clean room implementation, they couldn't have possibly ended up with parts of Sun's Java in their code, even a single line. But they did. Not only that, Google engineers have said that they were looking at Sun documentation while they were writing Dalvik.

So Schmidt might be right. It could have been 'legally correct.' But it sure wasn't a clean room implementation.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791119)

If you look at docs, specifically java docs you will get variable names and description what it does. This is still clean room implementation.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791169)

It seems some people here are a little unclear of what a clean room implementation is. Here, from the wiki:

Typically, a clean room design is done by having someone examine the system to be reimplemented and having this person write a specification. This specification is then reviewed by a lawyer to ensure that no copyrighted material is included. The specification is then implemented by a team with no connection to the original examiners.

That's the proper way to do a clean room implementation. Once you start looking at copyrighted materials of the person you are copying, then it's no longer clean room. And yes, Javadocs are copyrighted.

Now, what you have done might still be legal. That's what I'm hoping for in this case. However, it certainly isn't clean room.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (1)

noh8rz3 (2593935) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791357)

INow, what you have done might still be legal. That's what I'm hoping for in this case. However, it certainly isn't clean room.

Why do you have a strong opinion for google or oracle in this case? I don't have a horse in the race, and I hope truth will out.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791389)

Why do you have a strong opinion for google or oracle in this case? I don't have a horse in the race, and I hope truth will out.

I don't have a strong opinion. I hope it will turn out that Google doesn't have to pay because that will increase the price of Android for everyone, for no good reason. Or if it doesn't, then I don't care.

Also, depending on the exact nature of the infringement, this has important implications for open source software, since Sun DID make Java open source.

And finally, if it comes down to patents, I hope Oracle loses miserably, because I hate software patents. But I don't think Oracle will lose miserably.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (0)

noh8rz3 (2593935) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791503)

I'm sorry, I disagree with you. It won't change the price of android for anybody in US, because everybody buys with carrier subsidies anyways. All phones will stick to the $99 / $199 / $299 price points.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791525)

Possibly so. Then I don't care.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791673)

Do you understand what a subsidy is? You most definitely pay the full price for that phone over time, in fact possibly even more than buying it outright. When the price of hardware and software increase to a certain point so does the cost of the service.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39792125)

It won't change the price of android for anybody in US, because everybody buys with carrier subsidies anyways.

It didn't cost me anything, it's on HP!

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791855)

Why do you have a strong opinion for google or oracle in this case? I don't have a horse in the race, and I hope truth will out.

Incidentally, the bias on Slashdot against Oracle, and for Google, is so strong right now, that if you aren't careful, you can get modded down for pointing out a way Google can lose, even though your post is 100% accurate. It's ridiculous.

Mentioning that you think it's better if Google wins is a way to let those people feel good without needing to mod you down. Sad but true.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (2)

Anaerin (905998) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791161)

The problem with your statement is that they are implementing an SDK, so the code they produce has to have the same behaviour as the original. For instance, making a sandwich - without having the original recipe and reverse-engineering it, it'll end up being (virtually) identical, as you're trying to produce the same output. And even if this wasn't the case, there are some functions that need to be the same - if they're not, breakage happens.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791229)

The problem with your statement is that they are implementing an SDK, so the code they produce has to have the same behaviour as the original. For instance, making a sandwich - without having the original recipe and reverse-engineering it, it'll end up being (virtually) identical, as you're trying to produce the same output. And even if this wasn't the case, there are some functions that need to be the same - if they're not, breakage happens.

It's not clear to me you understand what a clean room implementation is. It is perfectly possible to make a clean-room implementation of an SDK, or a chip, that implements the behavior accurately, without looking at the original code. There is no reason to believe Google did this (except for the sketchy testimony by their CEO).

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (4, Insightful)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791835)

It's not clear to me you understand what a clean room implementation is. It is perfectly possible to make a clean-room implementation of an SDK, or a chip, that implements the behavior accurately, without looking at the original code. There is no reason to believe Google did this (except for the sketchy testimony by their CEO).

And the fact that a very large majority of the non-trivial portions of the code clearly do what they do in different ways to Oracle's implementation. And the fact that the developers of the code (in this case Apache, not Google) have stated several times that it is clean room. And that it was an open source project where the practice was to obtain a signed statement from developers providing complete details of exposure to Sun's IP prior to accepting patches from them (see http://harmony.apache.org/auth_cont_quest.html [apache.org] ), so it seems to be pretty clear that either it was clean room, or there is a developer who lied to them in a written warranty and therefore *that developer should be liable*, not Google.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791887)

And the fact that a very large majority of the non-trivial portions of the code clearly do what they do in different ways to Oracle's implementation.

That's nice, but it's not evidence of a clean-room implementation. It is a good way to avoid copyright infringement.

And that it was an open source project where the practice was to obtain a signed statement from developers providing complete details of exposure to Sun's IP prior to accepting patches from them (see http://harmony.apache.org/auth_cont_quest.html [apache.org] [apache.org] ),

OK, that is evidence of a clean room implementation. How did Sun code end up in Android then?

Also, what was this guy doing working on Android? [electronista.com] Having one of the original developers work on Android is certainly not a clean room implementation.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (2)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39792031)

OK, that is evidence of a clean room implementation. How did Sun code end up in Android then?

I see no clear evidence that it did. All the code examples I've seen that are supposedly copied code seem trivial, and likely to be accidental duplication.

Also, what was this guy doing working on Android?

He wasn't. http://www.zdnet.com.au/google-oracle-get-technical-in-court-339336340.htm [zdnet.com.au]

He was working for Google in an entirely different capacity, and wrote the code as a translation of a Python implementation. The code was then copied into Android by a second Google employee, who was possibly unaware of its source. But as the code in question is trivial, and represents just about the only sensible way to achieve the same results, I'm not sure it counts as copyright code (see the Lexmark case of a few years ago -- if code is the only sensible way of implementing a functional requirement, no copyright exists). Here is the code in question:

private static void rangeCheck(int arrayLen, int fromIndex, int toIndex) {
                  if (fromIndex > toIndex)
                          throw new IllegalArgumentException("fromIndex(" + fromIndex +
                                                ") > toIndex(" + toIndex+")");
                  if (fromIndex < 0)
                          throw new ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException(fromIndex);
                  if (toIndex > arrayLen)
                          throw new ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException(toIndex);
          }

Sure looks trivial to me.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791983)

And the fact that a very large majority of the non-trivial portions of the code clearly do what they do in different ways to Oracle's implementation. And the fact that the developers of the code (in this case Apache, not Google) have stated several times that it is clean room. And that it was an open source project where the practice was to obtain a signed statement from developers providing complete details of exposure to Sun's IP prior to accepting patches from them (see http://harmony.apache.org/auth_cont_quest.html [apache.org] ), so it seems to be pretty clear that either it was clean room, or there is a developer who lied to them in a written warranty and therefore *that developer should be liable*, not Google.

Your basically right, however if a developer hired by google cheated and snuck a look, then it would be google itself who is liable. Companies can't really push liability down to employees like that. *GOOGLE* could sue the employee for breaching contract, but it can't clean its hands of the act. When you work for a company, you represent the company. Thats why if a low level chump makes an insane deal with a third party he's not authorized to make on behalf of the company he's working for , the company is still liable to the third party , the chump is liable to his employer, but the chump is not liable to the third party.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (5, Insightful)

Talisein (65839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791199)

That's the weird part of this trial, there doesn't seem to be a formal decision paper/memorandum saying "Okay, we are doing a clean room, and these are the measures we need to be sure we enforce, here is the manager in charge." [Cravat: Maybe there is and Oracle simply didn't want to present it. But that seems unlikely] It seems more like Andy Rubin was shooting the shit over email and some engineer said that he could write his own byte-code interpreter, and some others piped up that maybe rewriting everything would be fun. And then 2 years later they had it done and Rubin was just like, "Oh, cool, let's build our business on this then."

But really this entire phase of the "trial" is bizarre. Oracle spent hours and hours and hours proving.... Google implemented the methods in java.lang et al. And Google is saying.... they implemented those methods. What exactly is the jury supposed to decide? Isn't whether or not Google can implement those methods be a matter of law? if the jury is supposed to say its fair use or not, why wasn't Oracle's presentation filled with examples of what things are fair use and what things aren't?

Oracle's lawyers are so focused on saying that Google should have got a TCK license, but they never presented WHY Google should have gotten that license. They just asked the Google people, "Hey, did you know you should have got a TCK license?" Then they ask the Sun people, "Hey, should they have gotten a TCK license?" But they never seemed to explain why the TCK was needed beyond avoiding fragmentation of the language. Fragmentation of the language isn't against the law AFAIK.

I guess things will become clear when the judge gives his instructions to the jury, but I am completely puzzled.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (1)

wrook (134116) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791407)

I'm equally puzzled. They may actually have a case if they say that the API is copyrighted. Yes, it is a collection of facts, but I think there's a strong argument that it is a creative collection. The API was actually designed with an asthetic purpose. Like you say, whether or not reimplementing the API is fair use would seem to be the key issue (I hope to hell that it is, or even better that APIs can't be copyrighted).

But they are confusing the issue with this TCK stuff which seems blantantly obvious that they can't win. Probably they know something I don't. It is possible that it is simply a FUD attach (i.e., a long drawn out period of uncertainty wrt to the legality of Android causing people to develop for alternatives). In other words, they don't expect to win, but just want to confuse stuff as much as possible for as long as possible. I'd be looking for a money trail from MS in that case, though...

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (2)

ppanon (16583) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791925)

Berkeley vs. AT&T seems to have pretty well established that APIs cannot be copyrighted, although it's possible that a specific API include file layout can be.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (1)

cj* (149112) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791985)

Berkeley vs. AT&T isn't case law - it was settled so it didn't establish anything. Berkeley may or may not have been out on a legal limb because of the syscall interface. AT&T was in free fall because of the socket code.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (3, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791443)

Oracle has two goals. The first is to prove that Google copied them. They've already established this, though they might need to deal with a fair-use defense, or any other defense Google uses.

Their second, and to them very important, goal is to prove that Google willfully infringed, and benefited a lot from it. They want a big payment as a result of this.

I believe the focus on the TCK license is an attempt to get bigger damages.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (3, Informative)

GryMor (88799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791707)

Everything Google 'copied' (really, re-implemented) was released under the Apache license as project Harmony.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (0)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791753)

Saying you copied it from someone who copied it from someone else is not a defense. If it's infringement, copying it from Harmony will not help them in court.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791805)

It is a defense against the "willful infringement" part of it, which I believe does have extra penalties associated with it. If Google said that Harmony presented itself convincingly as being able to offer the code/apis/docs legally without a license, there would be cover for calling it unknowing infringement. They'd still have to pay, but it would be much less.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791837)

Sure, we'll see if that defense works.

I don't think it will, because it's clear that the infringement was willful. They WERE trying to copy Sun. The only question is whether they were able to do it in a way that infringed or not.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (3, Interesting)

GryMor (88799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39792115)

Equitable and promissory estoppel: Sun helped project Harmony and was deeply involved in it's creation, to the extent that it infringed, it had permission to do so. Sun definitely received benefit from this arrangement as parts of Sun's own implementation were contributed, as a result of Harmony, by Google.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (1)

Sudline (1552111) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791781)

The probability to have 9 similar lines in 15 millions is high. It is even higher if the lines were contributed to Java by a programmer who then contributed to Android.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (2, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791843)

It is even higher if the lines were contributed to Java by a programmer who then contributed to Android.

That wouldn't be a clean-room implementation then, would it.

Clean room is irrelevant (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791209)

As I understand tje JAVA lic, and perhaps I'm mistaken, but it seems pretty clear that Sun lic the programming language for free but retained the lic and copyright on the implementation of the language itself. That copyright would clearly include the interface and methods needed to implement any java compatible compiler or interpreter. As long as one agrees that SUN had the right to copyright that then I don't understand why google has a case on this. maybe someone can explain?

Re:Clean room is irrelevant (2)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791271)

My take on the case:

Sun requires licensing to ship their JVM and SDK with a commercial product.
Google claims their wrote their own without using any Sun code.

If that is true, there's Google's case: they're not using the parts requiring licensing.

Re:Clean room is irrelevant (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791431)

I'm not sure there is any precedent that copying APIs are illegal. Reverse engineering is legal, and that is basically Schmidt is claiming was done here.

Re:Clean room is irrelevant (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791459)

reverse engineering from the language itself might be reasonable but as I understand it Dalvic actually implements all the java VM header profiles. You can't specify those without passing along copyrighted information. So how does one explain that? it's not a clean room and it is something that I beleive their lic forbids. maybe I'm wrong.

Re:Clean room is irrelevant (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791851)

"... as I understand it Dalvic actually implements all the java VM header profiles. You can't specify those without passing along copyrighted information."

For those of us who are not familiar with Java's internals, what are Java's VM header profiles and how are they subject to copyright protection?

Re:Clean room is irrelevant (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791885)

I'm not sure what you mean by "header profile", but would you also consider Wine [wikipedia.org] to not be allowed? I'm not sure you understand what clean room means -- simply that a specification is built by one person examining an existing system, and passed to another for implementation. You certainly can produce an API this way, and Apache has documentation that they claim supports the notion that Harmony (the API implementation Google used) was produced this way.

Re:Clean room is irrelevant (1)

ppanon (16583) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791951)

And yet somehow, Berkeley managed to convince a judge to let them do exactly that with BSD. So there seems to be established precedent that this is actually possible without conpyright infringement, and it would be surprising if Google weren't to bring that up at some point in this trial. The relative newbies posting here who have only been in the industry 10 years or less may not know about this precedent, but it's doubtful that Google's lawyers won't have come up with it at some point in searching out relevant case law. Heck, even if they hadn't, Eric Schmidt's been in the ball game long enough that he would have brought it up. If that's all that Oracle's got going for them, then they must be hoping that they can snow the jury.

Re:"Clean Room" implementation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791537)

Actually it was a single engineer who made up dalvik and the .dex format, I'm too lazy to find the link, but he has a single webpage up that talks about it, and gives the .dex specification(loosly, or atleast what it was when he posted the site) , but I've done a lot of research into it in the past.

There is a compiler called DX that converts Java .object(I don't think this is the right name for java's but again... too tired to look up the right term) files and then converts them from a stack based architecture to a register based one (with some optimizations) and saves it as a .dex file. APK(applications) are made up of one or more .dex files (along with other binary/xml data)

The dalvik VM runs the dex code and does a TON of security handling the access of protected system calls, such as sending SMS/voice/handset rumble/etc...

From a pure technical standpoint Dalvik is a giant step forward for security and efficiency, because every application runs in a separate linux thread in a separate dalvik VM. and only authorized IPC through the provided dalvik mechanisms allows other programs to even see/talk to each other.

However, It still has its issues.. namely the same as the windows auth popups, most users just install anything without caring. and also you can not _yet_ revoke individual rights to programs (without root access)

Cue Google apologia in 3.. 2.. 1.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39790873)

Despite it being accepted as gospel truth here on slashdot that corporate CEO's are nothing but lying, money-grubbing whores, Schmidt's assertions will be greeted as gospel truth by the Google Faithful here.

Because Google can do no wrong, and Oracle sucks. And of course anything said by fair haired wunderkind Schmidt is absolutely, 100%, unvarnished truth, and Google really only cares about its users. Err... customers. Err... advertisers. Err.... doing good work and spreading democracy. Err... shit - which is it this week?

Re:Cue Google apologia in 3.. 2.. 1.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791149)

The judge is the one who needs to figure out who is telling the truth and what the legal ramifications of the truth are. Rabid opinions from either side of the fence is not the issue here.

Re:Cue Google apologia in 3.. 2.. 1.. (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791613)

Surely the jury figures out who is telling the truth.

Like Linux? (4, Interesting)

ukemike (956477) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790915)

Isn't this basically what Linus Torvalds did with Linux? If it can be done with an OS couldn't you do it with a compiler or an interpreter? I'm not a programmer, so the likeliness of this story being true is beyond my ability to judge.

Re:Like Linux? (2)

ukemike (956477) | more than 2 years ago | (#39790943)

Also, if this is true, shouldn't the evidence of it be bloody obvious to any sufficiently skilled programer who could examine both sets of code? It seems like a totally testable hypothesis to me. Someone should test it.

"Stand back I'm going to try SCIENCE!"

Re:Like Linux? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791053)

"Stand back I'm going to try SCIENCE!"

fuck science, law should be a fashion contest for lawyers.

Re:Like Linux? (2)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791179)

Kaffe was a clean-room Java, so yes it can be done.

Re:Like Linux? (3, Interesting)

wrook (134116) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791451)

Linux is written to the POSIX standard. The POSIX standard is copyright IEEE and the Open Group. They have been clear that they won't sue people for implementing the standard (though, they also own a trademark which is a separate issue...). Additionally, the ability to implement this was pretty much covered by the BSD lawsuits in the 80s, which said that *this* API could be implemented (not that *all* APIs could be implemented).

I don't know for sure, but I don't think that the issue of blocking the implementation of APIs has been tested. POSIX is a special case. SCO was *clearly* full of shit. It is much less clear wrt to Oracle and Java from my position. The strange thing is (as others have mentioned) that Oracle seems not to be pushing the API copyright issue and are instead claiming that Google needed a TCK license. Things may change later, though.

Re:Like Linux? (3, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791797)

Linux is written to the POSIX standard. The POSIX standard is copyright IEEE and the Open Group.

IEEE holds the copyright to the documents describing the POSIX standard. It doesn't necessarily apply to the particular items being standardized (APIs, utilities, etc.).

Re:Like Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791651)

Well of course it was a huge point of contention, once upon a time. But that battle was fought by BSD vs AT&T.

Linux gained popularity during that time, but never had to contend with AT&T. All that remained was SCO by then, but a battle was fought. They didn't actually decide whether copying OS concepts was legal, only that it wasn't SCO's intellectual property at stake.

Re:Like Linux? (1)

Ruie (30480) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791831)

Isn't this basically what Linus Torvalds did with Linux? If it can be done with an OS couldn't you do it with a compiler or an interpreter? I'm not a programmer, so the likeliness of this story being true is beyond my ability to judge.

Both general GNU and Linux developers were very careful to avoid infringing copyrights and a lot of work started after the original Unix patents expired.

Re:Like Linux? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791915)

Isn't this basically what Linus Torvalds did with Linux?

Yes & no. Torvalds was implementing POSIX. There are two advantages he had here:

1. POSIX is defined in a document that is separate from any implementation of it and is published by a group that is not a single copyright holder of a particular implementation. It was specifically intended to be a vendor-neutral standard that anyone could implement.
2. There were already free implementations available (BSD, and the out-of-copyright-due-to-error older versions of System V) that he could use as the basis for his own; both of these had already had their validity argued in court.

Schmidt cannot be trusted or believed. (-1, Troll)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791151)

He liked to the Apple board and stole IP from Apple when he was serving on their board. He should have excused himself from the board the moment Google started working on Android.

mod up (-1, Troll)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791261)

Schmidt has dirty paws.
I would not be surprised if this behavior is why Sergey Brin had to oust him. Name any market Google has created? Search? Mail? Maps? Online Docs? It's all polished implementations of other peoples well proven ideas. Their finest and purest idea was their first one: search ranking by citation.

Re:mod up (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791305)

Nice nearly universal copypasta there.

Name any market Apple has created? Tablets? Smartphones? MP3 players? It's all polished implementations of other peoples well proven ideas. Their finest and purest idea was their first one: computing accesible to masses.

Name any market Microsoft has created? Operating systems? Database servers? Directory services? It's all polished etc. etc. etc.

Re:mod up (5, Insightful)

The1stImmortal (1990110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791311)

There is nothing new under the sun :)
Seriously though - I love the irony in someone saying

"Name any market Google has created [...] It's all polished implementations of other peoples well proven ideas."

in response to a comment about Google "stealing" from Apple

Re:mod up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791367)

You don't think apple innovated? What about Microsoft? there were no substantial markets in the areas these companies pursued. Sure there were OS's and word processors and mp3 players, and even smart phones. But these companies truly created those markets for what they are today. It is okay not to like these companies but don't deny their influence. Google's claim to fame was search, which was a fairly well established paradigm. They did do it better so they deserved to win but there already was a strong and vital market there. After that what? E-mail? nope, no market creation there. Map quest? They just enter well established markets. Nor is there much innovation. Their maps are nice but are they much different than what mapquest was offering a the time. Their word processor looks the same as everyones. Android is a copy of the iphone. Google+ wants to be facebook. It is doing things well but it is not innovating.

Google=Zynga (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791417)

1. See a good idea
2. Copy it,
3. link to it on the google home page.
4. repeat
5. innovate ( Warning this line is unreachable.)

Re:mod up (4, Interesting)

edremy (36408) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791509)

Schmidt has dirty paws. I would not be surprised if this behavior is why Sergey Brin had to oust him. Name any market Google has created? Search? Mail? Maps? Online Docs? It's all polished implementations of other peoples well proven ideas. Their finest and purest idea was their first one: search ranking by citation.

AdWords. I'm unaware of any prior system that did automatic auctions for specific search terms. As far as Google's success, AdWords was equally as important as search, since it's the financial basis for the entire company. If you read some of the early history of Google their original sales methods were human centric, slow and no better than anyone else. AdWords started the flood of cash.

Re:Schmidt cannot be trusted or believed. (-1, Offtopic)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791323)

Google has been prosecuted for anti trust and infringement in over 40 countries. Pattern?

http://googleopoly.net/Googles_Rap_Sheet.pdf [googleopoly.net]

Re:Schmidt cannot be trusted or believed. (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791379)

Mod 3 Funny?? If you can not silence someone, say he is a fool...

Re:Schmidt cannot be trusted or believed. (2)

simula (1032230) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791419)

What "IP" did Schmidt "steal" while serving on Apple's board?

Re:Schmidt cannot be trusted or believed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39791441)

What "IP" did Schmidt "steal" while serving on Apple's board?

Maybe you should "google" that question?

Re:Schmidt cannot be trusted or believed. (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791937)

I did. All I get is a series of articles that suggest he probably didn't "steal" anything.

Re:Schmidt cannot be trusted or believed. (4, Insightful)

zuperduperman (1206922) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791895)

He should have excused himself from the board the moment Google started working on Android.

That would have been silly because Google started working on Android when Apple was a company that made portable music players and pretty much nothing else. But even so, he did in fact recuse himself from all discussions involving the iPhone and resigned not long after its release. Since Google purchasing Android was very publicly known there is no excuse for the rest of the board for not removing him if they thought it was a problem. There was absolutely nothing secret about it, so if it was a problem as you seem to believe then that is a testament to incredible stupidity of the Apple board room and not much else.

"Google wanted Android to be open source"?! (2, Interesting)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791529)

"Google wanted Android to be open source, and Sun was unwilling to give up that much control over Java."

What?! Java already was open source, GPLv2. Since 2006. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Java_implementations#Sun.27s_November_2006_announcement [wikipedia.org]

It must be something else then, or what am I missing here?

Re:"Google wanted Android to be open source"?! (4, Informative)

zbobet2012 (1025836) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791745)

Google wanted the [i]actual virtual machine[/i] to be open source. Java the [i]language[/i] was open sourced. This trial resides around whether or not that open source license extended to the api's of the language.

Re:"Google wanted Android to be open source"?! (2)

fsterman (519061) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791859)

Java ME (a version of Java for mobile phones) doesn't include the classpath exception, so ALL Android software would have had to be GPLv2.

Re:"Google wanted Android to be open source"?! (1)

zuperduperman (1206922) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791909)

Yeah, that statement doesn't really capture it very well. Google wanted (actually, needed) Java to be open source under a permissive license, not GPL. This trial is in an interesting way, an examination of the difference between the GPL and Apache licenses and how incredibly important they are. However both of them certainly qualify as open source.

Re:"Google wanted Android to be open source"?! (5, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39791957)

In 2006, only javac, the java compiler, was open source. Android doesn't even use this compiler, so this was irrelevant to them. It took until 2007 for a GPL release of the class library, and Android was basically finished by this point in time. The first android phone launched only weeks after Java's GPL release. The decision to pursue an open source Java implementation was taken in 2005, shortly after Google acquired Android, and long before Sun began open-sourcing anything.

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