The opening salvo in an open war

The shit finally hits the fan…. : On a New Road.

So Oracle, who now owns Sun, who open-sourced Java(1), is suing Google over the way open Android is mis-using open Java.

Sounds like an open and shut case. I, for one, am looking forward to the opening statement.

(1) On November 13, 2006, Sun released much of Java as open source software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). On May 8, 2007, Sun finished the process, making all of Java’s core code available under free software/open-source distribution terms, aside from a small portion of code to which Sun did not hold the copyright.

  • From Ars Technica (… )

    "An obvious question is how Oracle can sue Google for using intellectual property that was ostensibly made available under royalty-free terms when Sun opened the Java source code. Our investigation of the licensing issues suggests that Oracle does, in fact, have the law on its side—if the patents are valid and applicable."

    The article goes into a deeper explanation

  • Hector

    JavaME doesn't have the "classpath exception" which is precisely why Google created Dalvik to try to circumvent the GPL

    In my view, Google did this in part to reassure his partners they wouldn't need to contribute back to Android all their differentiating offerings as obliged by the GPL

  • yet another steve

    The danger to all those committing their future to the Android ecosystem is that this is a hobby for Google. The handset makers existence depends on this… but google does not. Google is an advertising company.

    Were google an OS company they would be looking to profit on their OS (a la MS) not using it as a loss leader.

  • Walt French

    “Sounds like an open and shut case.”
    What billion dollar patent case is so trivial?

    This is a complicated case, with subtleties even for those who've spent their professional lives working in technology IP.

    But for starters, you could actually read the patents. Even the summaries are tough sledding. This is, after all, a case about patents, for which Oracle claims the GPL language clearly does not apply. The fact that Google went to the effort of buildings its own VM suggests they recognized they couldn't just re-use what Sun had authored. No small effort was made by Google to draw a bright line between their work and the java effort; nonetheless, Oracle alleges they used some specific, patented work.

  • Relentlessfocus

    Off the topic slightly but I found it interesting that the lead attorney for Oracle v Google is the same chap who lead the Ellison/Oracle sucessful legal challenge in the the last America's Cup race and also was one of the two lead attorneys in the successful challenge to overturn Prop 8 in Califirnia.

  • Tom

    Culled out of the bowels of comments shines this one:

    I am no backer of softwarepatents. But Google did screw with the very spirit if Java; compatibility. Google willfully created Dalvik, an incompatible Java run-time, in order to weasel out of compatibility tests and license fees. Google did this in order to be able to cherry pick the good stuff from Java (developer mind-share, existing frameworks and great tools) without having to care about compatibility or costs. Just try getting any AOP or mocking tools to run on Dalvik. Oracle might have done it for the wrong reasons, but Google should not be surprised.

    This recent lawsuit against google has caught the developer community by surprise, it seems. They are the last stronghold of pure anti regulatory spirit to be found.