back to article Oracle refuses to let Java copyright battle die – another appeal filed in war against Google

Oracle has brought its legal war with Google back to life, alleging Android's Java framework ripped off Big Red's copyright. According to a lengthy court document filed today by the database giant, and obtained by El Reg, Oracle will once again make its case that Google violated copyrights it holds on core Java libraries. The …

  1. Palpy

    Business plan for Oracle --

    -- stop fumbling about with databases and softwares, make a fortune slinging sueballs. Is this not the second Oracle lawsuit article to hit El Reg today? -- Though, to be fair, the first involved Oracle paying out to avoid appearing before the jury in prison orange and shackles.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Business plan for Oracle --

      Leisure Suit Larry needs to find a business that is viable for the future other he and his minion will be reduced trolling.

    2. g e

      Reunited & it feels so good

      Ladies and gentlemen, reunited again for the first time after being separated at birth, we present The Twins Oracle and SCO !!

  2. FrankAlphaXII

    Y'know, Einstein said that doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result is a definition of insanity.

    Oracle is clearly insane, but who here didn't know that already?

    I mean really, would you hire an ex-HP CEO? Or buy Sun?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Was there, was WTF, but not surprised now.

      I think that the business is too big-money oriented, bureaucratic and surprisingly dated/disorganised, so they waste lots of time and miss lots of opportunities, so have to play unfair games with licences to prop up their very late cloud venture (being crushed by AWS), and still insanely trying to be an IP (Industrial Protectionism) Troll to pad its Arse. I expect that it will lose market share and total revenue, and shrink when the cash reserves eventually run low, even with it's newer products from newer (disorganised) acquisitions like Micros.

    2. bazza Silver badge

      Einstein did indeed say something like that, but I don't think he had court cases in mind. And to be fair to Oracle (let's suspend opinion for one moment) they're saying that the appeal is not a straight re-run.

      Oracle are not being insane, like any other company they have a fiduciary obligation to maximise profit by any realistic means possible. They own Java, and monetising Java is potentially a very lucrative way of cashing in on the success of Android. If they're not seen to be pursuing every opportunity properly their own employment is under threat from aggrieved and out of pocket shareholders.

      I am somewhat concerned about the outcome. If Google ultimately win with their "fair-use" argument (they have already conceded in court that they have broken Oracles copyright) then what other copyrights are vulnerable to the same treatment?

      All of GPL licensed source code comes to mind.

      Personally speaking I'm not to fussed if Oracle beats Google. I'm no fan of Oracle, but Google is a company that is increasingly unpleasant. They’re making a ton of cash parasiticly, they have a virtual monopoly which they're not shy of exploiting, their services are actually pretty rubbish these days (e.g. search returns adverts, not results, route editing in maps is broken), they're pushing inefficient technologies on to everyone (Web browsers should be about content display, not a VM), they waste their shareholders' money on dubious glory projects (self drive car that isn't and won't ever be) and on fines related to their business practices in Europe.

      And in pursuit of cash they naively participated in the most damaging disinformation campaign ever mounted against a country's electoral process (so did Facebook, probably Twitter). What on earth did they think they were doing when they turned on their automatic "News" algorithms?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @bazza - "fiduciary obligation"

        @bazza,

        I agree with most of what you say, but you are completely wrong to state that there is a fiduciary obligation to maximise profit; a commonly held, but false belief.

        Put simplistically, the directors (and by extension, the company) are required to serve in the "best interests" of the company and again, by extension, the shareholders. The shareholders may deem that their best interests are served by the company maximising its profits but that's down to them and to vote and take action if they feel their interests are not being served. Furthermore, how do you define "maximise profit" - one shareholder may be looking to maximise profit over a single year, another shareholder may be looking for maximum profit over a much longer term (and which could involve losses in any one year).

        1. bazza Silver badge

          Re: @bazza - "fiduciary obligation"

          @AC,

          "Put simplistically, the directors (and by extension, the company) are required to serve in the "best interests" of the company and again, by extension, the shareholders. The shareholders may deem that their best interests are served by the company maximising its profits but that's down to them and to vote and take action if they feel their interests are not being served. Furthermore, how do you define "maximise profit" - one shareholder may be looking to maximise profit over a single year, another shareholder may be looking for maximum profit over a much longer term (and which could involve losses in any one year)."

          I think it's easier to couch it in terms of the opposite; not going after a potentially lucrative and attainable opportunity might lead the shareholders to conclude that the company / board isn't trying hard enough. Sure, there's differences over what period a company might seek to make profit, but turning down the opportunity altogether wouldn't look good in the eye of all the shareholders.

          Given the size of the Android "market", and the effort for Oracle being nothing more than paying a bunch of lawyers (3rd least respected profession?!), it's not entirely inexplicable why Oracle are doing this. If they eventually win (either quickly or slowly) and Google have to cough up a few $billion, well done Larry, have another yacht. Oracle's shareholders would probably be quite pleased (though less so if they also hold Google shares, a not unlikely scenario).

        2. Oh Homer
          Headmaster

          Re: "fiduciary obligation to maximise profit"

          It may well be a misconception, but sadly it has nonetheless become enshrined in corporate culture, to the extent that it has subsequently become supported by case law (re: eBay Domestic Holdings Inc. v. Newmark[1] and, even more damningly, the establishment of so-called "B Corps"[2] to distinguish corporations that are (assumed to be) legally compelled to maximise profits from those that are free to pursue other goals).

          The fact that corporations may or may not (depending upon one's subjective interpretation of such vague legal definitions as "best interests") have been explicitly obligated under the law to maximize profits is moot, if all those involved in such undertakings nonetheless believe that this legal obligation is real, and moreover would gleefully pursue that single-minded objective anyway, even in the absence of any such legal obligation, particularly given the dire extralegal consequences of not doing so.

          [1]The corporate form in which craigslist operates, however, is not an appropriate vehicle for purely philanthropic ends, at least not when there are other stockholders interested in realizing a return on their investment. Jim and Craig opted to form craigslist, Inc. as a for-profit Delaware corporation and voluntarily accepted millions of dollars from eBay as part of a transaction whereby eBay became a stockholder. Having chosen a for-profit corporate form, the craigslist directors are bound by the fiduciary duties and standards that accompany that form. Those standards include acting to promote the value of the corporation for the benefit of its stockholders. The "Inc." after the company name has to mean at least that. Thus, I cannot accept as valid for the purposes of implementing the Rights Plan a corporate policy that specifically, clearly, and admittedly seeks not to maximize the economic value of a for-profit Delaware corporation for the benefit of its stockholders

          [2]Gilbert and his colleagues argue that conventional companies are constricted by corporate law. "At the end of the day," he told me, "the only legitimate purpose of a [conventional] Delaware corporation is to maximise shareholder interest. That has a chilling effect on corporate behaviour." Managers and directors of conventional companies who fail to maximise profits risk being sued by shareholders, he said. "What B Corps does is open up a whole new avenue of possibilities," he went on "It makes it clear that we as entrepreneurs and investors are free to build businesses with a higher purposes."

          [2]99% of US businesses today are conventional C Corps, and most are likely to remain so.

          That means 99% of US businesses will continue to aggressively pursue an agenda of maximising profits, whether or not they are truly legally obligated to do so, indeed they'll do so by any means possible, ethical, legal or otherwise, as regular El Reg readers are only too painfully aware.

      2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Best interests

        Perhaps the bast interests of Oracle's shareholders would best be served by not wasting any more money suing Google.

      3. Dan 55 Silver badge

        And to be fair to Oracle (let's suspend opinion for one moment) they're saying that the appeal is not a straight re-run.

        They've made more shit up, then?

        If APIs turn out to be copyrightable then the IT industry will spontaneously implode in a puff of lawyers because the history of computing is based on taking what's already there and improving upon it slightly.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          >If APIs turn out to be copyrightable then the IT industry

          That's only in the US, the EU has already ruled on this five years ago that they are not.

          https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/05/eus-top-court-apis-cant-be-copyrighted-would-monopolise-ideas/

          1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

            And the Exodus of IT Companies from the USA

            would be like the Wildebeast migration in Africa, a veritable stampede.

            This would also put a huge hole in Trump's 'Make America Great' campaign.

            That leads me to think that it won't be allowed to happen.

            But this won't stop the Oracle Lawyers from following their bible, the SCO (oracle are playing the role of SCO) vs IBM playbook. And we know how that turned out don't we.

            1. tom dial Silver badge

              Re: And the Exodus of IT Companies from the USA

              As we have seen quite recently, the executive branch of the US federal government does not necessarily have much influence over the courts. Moreover, juries sometimes behave in strange ways, and certainly are not creatures of the executive branch. The notion that "it won't be allowed to happen" is paranoid nonsense, but may well be what Oracle is betting on.

              The lawyers, however, will be willing to accept Oracle's money at a rate of $1,000+ a person-hour for as long as Oracle is willing to make it flow.

          2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

            East Texas here we come, again...

            Google: Your honor, I would like to introduce my first piece of evidence showing that the Java interface in question has been used by Starbucks for years.

            Judge: Case dismissed.

            1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
              Joke

              sorry you got it wrong

              Judge: I prefer Coffee from my Cousin Wilbur's Diner.

              Starbucks is an evil supporter of Globalisation.

              Make America Great Again and keep my family in business.

              Judgement to Oracle. Google to pay $100B to Oracle within 10 days or the CEO will be in contempt of court and the chain gang needs new fodder.

              Court Dismissed.

      4. oldcoder

        I don't think the GPL code is at risk - it has already gone through courts.

        1. bazza Silver badge

          @oldcoder,

          "I don't think the GPL code is at risk - it has already gone through courts."

          It has, kinda, here and there. Where it has touched the courts it has been treated as a copyright issue.

          Google's so-far-winning argument is something like that it is OK to break someone's copyright; they've already been found to have breached Oracle's copyright (an odd decision, but it's beyond all argument now in the USA), and they're claiming fair use.

          If that sticks, it chips away at the enforceability of the GPL. GPL basically says "do what you like, but publish the source code, and no mixing with other licenses". There's a risk that some lawyer in the future might contest that such generosity cannot fairly be paired with such restrictions.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "something like" means nothing

            > Google's so-far-winning argument is something like [ ... ]

            Bullshit.

            Either you quote Google's arguments, or you don't. Something like doen't fly.

            At any rate, this has nothing to do with GPL, given that Google's implementation of Dalvik is not licensed under GPL.

            As for the substance of Google's arguments at trial, it really does not matter, as long as the arguments are properly offered, and the Court accepts them. The only thing that matters is the jury's acceptance of these arguments, and the verdict.

            In the Oracle vs. Google case, the jury has rendered its verdicts, twice already.

            The only thing Lawsuits-R-Us Oracle is doing here is shopping for a new judge and jury, in the hope that they can extract a ransom from Google, somehow. The basic premise behind the acquisition of Sun Microsystems was that the money squeezed from suing Google would pay for the Sun acquisition.

            It would appear that Oracle spends more money on lawsuits than on R&D.

          2. dajames Silver badge

            Google's so-far-winning argument is something like that it is OK to break someone's copyright ...

            Pay attention at the back! Google's argument is that Copyright law does not prohibit what they are doing with the Java APIs, and the courts seem to agree. That is very different from arguing that it is OK to violate Copyright.

            1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

              @dajames

              Bingo! Google is saying a common and necessary IT practice should either not be copyrightable or if it is falls under fair use. Both are defensible positions particularly if you understand how software is developed. But the problem is the Senile wann-a-bes are either too lazy or stupid or both to learn anything about software development with on glaring exception. Thus, they collectively have no clue what the real issues of the case are.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Yes, if someone writes a library with merely the same API names as some library under the GPL, and links to it, their code won't fall under the GPL by the decision that using the API is fair use. Can you even find SOMEONE who can't live with that? Especially considering that much code under the GPL IS free re-implementations of APIs?

          BTW, there was not a restriction on using bytecode on other JVMs, or translating it to other codes, like native. There was a test suite. licensable at high cost, for VERIFYING one's JVM. There was also the threat t, hat using SE APIs other than on the desktop could bring up patent attacks on YOUR JVM. That is WHY Google implemented Dalvik!!!!!!!

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Okay Baza, a few things.

        "And to be fair to Oracle (let's suspend opinion for one moment) they're saying that the appeal is not a straight re-run."

        This is not a fairness issues, Oracle has lost case after case after case on this. They keep adjusting and changing the premise, just hoping that some of their crap sticks to the wall. Lets go back in time a little - Google developed Android and based their API on Java well within the legal and moral framework of the time. The owners of Java had also open sourced it, there was a clean room environment of it and the owner endorsed and supported it, and still does!

        Oracle even called for Java to be more open and free when it was owned by Sun.

        Oracle bought Sun, probably to ensure they could control development of MySQL and make sure it did not take business from Oracles traditional customers. They then decided that an easy return on their investment (because they were unlikely to get a return otherwise) would be to go after Google on a spurious Patent claim. The patent claim failed but a second part was the amount of copyrighted code that Google had copied. Much in the same way as the SCO/Linux suit this was also proved to be not true with very minor parts potentially 'copied' and even then it was just up and lifted, things like a range-checker is just an extremely obvious use for checking an array is within range (the judge even stated that). So they broadened the definition of copyright to include the API itself.

        Replicating someones API has always been seen as okay in computer programming and is done by many major and small companies. It isn't replicating the process behind it, just the input and output. Hell, Oracles business was based on copying IBMs SQL. So they thought that by suing for copyright of the API infront of a jury they could hope for a technology illiterate group who could be wowed by the number of lines and similarity and using the 'traditional notion' of copyright would award them the entire profits x 3 from Android. The jury didn't play ball and so they have now returned with another re-run (once again not a straight re-run just a new tactic. The original claim against Google failed, the subsequent calims against Google failed and now they are trying a new slightly different claim.

        "Oracle are not being insane, like any other company they have a fiduciary obligation to maximise profit by any realistic means possible. "

        As has already been stated this is a complete myth often peddled to try to get a corporation a reason for doing some wrongdoing (sorry we didn't pay our taxes, it was our legal duty). Just look around, plenty of corporations pay full taxes and don't use tax havens so why aren't they being sued by shareholders or being hauled into jail.

        "...their own employment is under threat from aggrieved and out of pocket shareholders." Same part of the myth. However, if I was a shareholder for Oracle I would have said - don't buy Sun, don't try to sue Google, concentrate on being nice to your customers and sales staff and coming up with great new products, ahead of the curve, for when everyone gives up on the Oracle DB. Innovate, don't troll.

        "(they have already conceded in court that they have broken Oracles copyright)" No they haven't and every court case has said they haven't.

        "Personally speaking I'm not to fussed if Oracle beats Google" Well, you should be. If you are in IT then increasing the avenues for lawsuits in the software environment can only ever be a bad thing. The widespread broadening of patent misuse to allow software patents let a genie out of the bottle that is only slowly getting squeezed back in and extending copyrights to APIs which traditionally have been a great thing for software as a whole will just open the market up further. You should not be afraid of making a software product in the US because it is impossible to mitigate risk of a lawsuit. The software industry should not be an extension of the legal industry. The uptake of technology, improvements and enhancements has been made by restricting it as much as possible. Life is better with multiple operating systems that can work together, with open standards rather than proprietary features in web browsers, the web has moved on massively because people don't sue (yet) because other web devs have copied some nice elements from another site (in fact the sharing of code and ways of doing thins and free libraries is massive within web development).

        You may not like Google but jump in to bed with Oracle and you haven't solved anything!

        1. bazza Silver badge

          @AC,

          "This is not a fairness issues"

          I was actually making a mild observation that Oracle were seeking to get a different set of evidence heard, rather than simply making a dumb appeal with nothing more to bring to the bench, and thus not quite fitting in Einstein's observation of which FrankAlphaXII so pleasantly reminded us. But you seem to have taken it rather to heart. Bad luck.

          "Oracle has lost case after case after case on this."

          Actually, on cases that have reached a final settlement Oracle (of which I'm no especial fan) have done quite well. Google have been found to have breached Oracle's copyright, and that's settled. AFAIK that's about the only part of this whole sorry saga that has actually been finally, conclusively decided.

          "They keep adjusting and changing the premise, just hoping that some of their crap sticks to the wall."

          Well? They're allowed to do that you know. If you don't like the way the legal system in the USA works I suggest you take that up with your local congressmen (assuming you're resident in the USA).

          "Google developed Android and based their API on Java well within the legal and moral framework of the time."

          We don't know that yet. The court cases have not been fully exhausted yet. As for "moral", if you think a legal judgement is somehow not moral then I suggest you take that up with local congressmen to see if they can have the law brought more into line with your own view.

          "The owners of Java had also open sourced it"

          So?

          "there was a clean room environment of it and the owner endorsed and supported it, and still does!"

          OpenJDK was endorsed, not Dalvik. Dalvik in not Java byte code compatible goes AFAIK against the terms under which Java is licensed. Breaking "Java" is something that has previously cost companies money, e.g. Microsoft.

          "Replicating someones API has always been seen as okay in computer programming and is done by many major and small companies. "

          Not okay anymore in the USA. Google lost that one. It's OK in the EU. Dunno about the Far East - Japan has some pretty restrictive copyright laws.

          "As has already been stated this is a complete myth often peddled to try to get a corporation a reason for doing some wrongdoing (sorry we didn't pay our taxes, it was our legal duty)."

          I've never once heard of a shareholder who doesn't want their company to exploit every opportunity to pay minimum tax whilst sticking to the letter of the law or make a large profit by any reasonable means. Lawyers-at-dawn is easy-peasy for a large company like Oracle.

          "Just look around, plenty of corporations pay full taxes and don't use tax havens so why aren't they being sued by shareholders or being hauled into jail."

          I look around and I see a lot of companies who aren't massive multinationals and therefore cannot exploit all the tricks availabel to Google, Apple, etc. If such shennanigans were an option for every Mom'n'Pop outfit, their accountant would be advising them to make use of them.

          " Well, you should be. If you are in IT then increasing the avenues for lawsuits in the software environment can only ever be a bad thing."

          I know very well that a weakening of the copyright laws is going to be a very bad thing for everyone. If one's copyrighted material can be abused because someone else has deemed it "fair use" that sounds bad for, well, the smaller outfits I guess. We don't all have the legal resources to take on a behemouth like Google.

          "You may not like Google but jump in to bed with Oracle and you haven't solved anything!"

          I never said anything about favouring Oracle, that's something you've dreamt up all on your own.

      6. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        @bazza - Leisure Suit Larry's core product is a relational database. A product that has many high quality competitors such SQL Server which have the same primary feature set. Also, in many respects the db market is fairly mature; most people who need a db have one in place. So there are not too many new prospects in the market. So you are reduced to raiding competitor's customers and squeezing your customers hard but not hard enough to make them leave. Basically a crappy business model.

        Java is programming language. For it be successful its tools and runtime need to be widely deployed at minimal or no cost - a problem for all languages actually. While Java is popular Leisure Suit antics could force Google and others to seriously look at alternatives to Java.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          While Java is popular Leisure Suit antics could force Google and others to seriously look at alternatives to Java.

          Other than for Oracle, this would be a problem how?

      7. HAL-9000

        ?

        Oracle are not being insane, like any other company they have a fiduciary obligation to maximise profit by any realistic means possible. They own Java, and monetising Java is potentially a very lucrative way of cashing in on the success of Android. If they're not seen to be pursuing every opportunity properly their own employment is under threat from aggrieved and out of pocket shareholders.

        That depends on your definition of realistic, and the win/loss risk assessment. They own java?, where does that leave open JDK, in the court? I read somewhere : "the jury found that Android does not infringe Oracle-owned copyrights because its re-implementation of 37 Java APIs is protected by fair use".

        To me neither corporation is a beacon of hope, though you have to wonder what Oracle hope to achieve. Should IP be granted for abstract concepts like API interfaces? In my view that could lead us down a very murky avenue indeeed, wouldn't you agree.

      8. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

        If Google ultimately win with their "fair-use" argument (they have already conceded in court that they have broken Oracles copyright) then what other copyrights are vulnerable to the same treatment?

        All of GPL licensed source code comes to mind."

        Exactly, and this caused a few people to change their minds. is a lot of concern about this. GPL and Foss relies on strong copyright law and strong contracts. If you weaken copyright, you make the GPL much more vulnerable.

    3. John H Woods Silver badge

      Y'know, Einstein said ...

      Nope. Firstly it's "making the same MISTAKES over and over again" otherwise anything that involved practice would be insanity. Secondly, it's a (mis)quote from an anonymously-written pamphlet for Narcotics anonymous.

      Just helping out because, as Confucius said, "knowledge is power and knowing is half the battle"

      1. JeffyPoooh
        Pint

        Re: Y'know, Einstein said ...

        JHW offered: Confucius said, "knowledge is power and knowing is half the battle."

        I didn't realize that Confucius spoke English. Are you sure it wasn't Einstein that said or wrote that?

        ;-) !!

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Y'know, Einstein said ... Confucious

          Einstein was german!

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. John H Woods Silver badge

          Re: Y'know, Einstein said ...

          "I didn't realize that Confucius spoke English. Are you sure it wasn't Einstein that said or wrote that?" --- JeffyPooh

          You got me, the quote's from GI Joe. But I should have remembered Napoleon's dictum: "Utilisez toujours l'icon de blague"

    4. Charles 9 Silver badge

      "Y'know, Einstein said that doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result is a definition of insanity."

      Didn't he ALSO say that doing the same thing over and over again and actually getting a different result is a definition of persistence?

    5. Wensleydale Cheese

      "Y'know, Einstein said that doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result is a definition of insanity."

      Einstein never used Windows.

      P.S. Apparently there is some doubt as to whether Einstein actually said this.

      Proof that if something is repeated often enough, it becomes accepted?

    6. SeymourHolz

      _

      Oracle is doing everyone a favor. Every challenge is launches against 'fair use' of APIs, and subsequently loses, only strengthens the precedents that protect future APIs and competitiveness of implementations. Oracle has too much money and pride to realize they are losing the war by continuing to lose small battles.

  3. frank ly

    Watch, listen and learn

    "At every turn, in countless ways, the district court issued rulings that obstructed Oracle's case."

    Have they ever stopped to consider that there might have been good reasons for that?

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Watch, listen and learn

      You are clearly biased. And if the court's find in Google's favour, they are biased too. Because I am the ultimate arbiter of bias, and to disagree with me is to be biased.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Took them long enough

    Oracle lost the lawsuit last May.

    That said, this particular appeals court is in general sympathetic to copyright holders. They might keep the issue alive.

    It's only been seven years after all.

  5. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Sco away Oracle

    Pretty please.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sco away Oracle

      That was my first thought - Oracle is trying to become the new SCO.

      1. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

        Re: Sco away Oracle

        Oracle can't become the new SCO until SCO/TSG dies which will be never.

        1. Steve Knox

          Re: Sco away Oracle

          Oracle can't become the new SCO until SCO/TSG dies which will be never.

          Wait -- that's it! We need to get SCO to sue Oracle!

          A lawsuit between these two should create an attractive force for IP lawyers so strong that they can't resist -- a legal black hole of sorts. Then they can sink into their own singularity, spending all of their time and resources on lawsuits and counter-suits.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its like watching

    Two fuckwits fighting over dogshit.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Its like watching

      Would be nice if they could both lose.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Its like watching

        "Would be nice if they could both lose."

        Have you considered the cost to software development if Google were to lose? Copyright on APIs? Patent trolls would be as nothing compared to the copyright trolls it would let loose.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Its like watching

          The cost? It would cause lots of devs to move away from Java.

          <Wonka>

          No. Please. Don't stop using Java. That would be terrible.

          </Wonka>

  7. Bob Hoskins

    Isn't Java free anyway?

    Someone explain this to me. How is Oracle able to sue Google for using Java more than say suing a bank that uses Java to power the back end on its retail web site?

    Apologies for my ignorance in advance.

    1. stephanh

      Re: Isn't Java free anyway?

      It's not "free", it is licensed to you for specific use cases at zero cost.

      http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/terms/license/index.html

      Relevant quote:

      "The use of Software in systems and solutions that provide dedicated functionality (other than as mentioned above) or designed for use in embedded or function-specific software applications, for example but not limited to: Software embedded in or bundled with industrial control systems, wireless mobile telephones, wireless handheld devices, kiosks, TV/STB, Blu-ray Disc devices, telematics and network control switching equipment, printers and storage management systems, and other related systems are excluded from this definition and not licensed under this Agreement. "

  8. Frank N. Stein

    Is Oracle's Legal Counsel having trouble keeping his side piece layered in presents? This is pathetic and ridiculous. Could some developer just come up with a stable and secure alternative to anything Java and just kill everyone's desire to use it? Can some other database vendor produce a database that kills anyone's desire to use any Oracle database? And while we're at it, let's make Sun and Solaris even more irrellevant so that Linux supersedes it and kills anyone's desire to use that? Then, Oracle can just go down in flames and save us all from it!!

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      But...

      don't Oracle have 'Unbreakable Linux' waiting to replace Solaris?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Google is clean rooming the rest of Java as a result of Oracle suing, and losing, every few months.

      Google just released their Spanner relational DB, which is some next gen tech, to the general public via their Cloud.

      Google's working on both.

    3. tom dial Silver badge

      In the federal agency where I used to work, at least 95% of the databases, comprising perhaps 70% of the work, could relatively easily have been replaced by MySQL, PostGres, or SQL Server. The remaining 5% of the databases then - around 5 years ago - were running DB2 on IBM zSeries. The only real migration issues had we chosen to abandon Oracle were databases where we had locked ourselves in by using PL/SQL; some of those would have required significant recoding and testing effort.

      Along with a few others, I argued for adoption of free and open source software where it made business sense, but the truth is that even at Oracle's sometimes astonishing and outrageous cost, eve fair economic analysis would show benefits so far in the future as to render them fairly meaningless. In addition, there was a good deal of management discomfort with products that did not come from large vendors who provided "support." Little was done then, and I doubt much more has happened since beyond a slight shift toward SQL Server.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "In addition, there was a good deal of management discomfort with products that did not come from large vendors who provided "support.""

        This is important to management legally because it's kiester-covering. Without a concrete entity to point a finger for problems beyond their control, the bill ultimately boomerangs back and has to be dealt with internally, which would then tick off the investors. After all, who do you sue when a very subtle bug in FOSS software results in a multi-billion-dollar mess? To them, "support" means "insurance".

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would be nice if they could both lose.

    They will. But what would be *really* nice is if the lawyers could also lose and that, my friend, ain't never gonna happen.

  10. FuzzyTheBear
    Happy

    Simplify man

    If you don't understand what's happenin' d00d it's simple .. the writers of SCO vs IBM have written a sequel .. it's Google vs Oracle :) Just as idiotic and pointless as the first volume.

  11. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Maybe Google can get SCO Oracle declared a vexatious litigant.

    1. Diodelogic

      Or a vermicious knid.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        No, vexatious, as there's a legal distinction. If a plaintiff is found to be vexatious, not only can their claim be dismissed offhand, but they can also be put on the hook for the defendant's legal fees. It was developed as a way to counter suit bullies by threatening them with the double whammy of having to pay BOTH side's legal bills which in turn emboldens defendants who can stand up to bullies knowing they can recoup their costs if they win.

  12. TVU Silver badge

    While Google is not by any means perfect, what Oracle is doing now is far worse not least because of the negative consequences of any Oracle win...which is why I sincerely hope that they lose (again).

  13. Syntax Error

    Trolling

    Oracle are just behaving like a patent troll.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Trolling

      "Oracle are just behaving like a patent troll."

      No, this is much worse. A patent troll has to get something past the USPTO. If this were to establish copyright trolling on APIs even that slight barrier would be removed.

  14. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Happy

    ROFL!

    "But....but.... Schwartz said we'd make beeeelllions from Java...."

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can I suggest, ahem, someone with Legal experience does a write up?

    although I would not be surprised if Oracle's lawyers are stoking this just so they can keep getting paid, it would be nice to have a better understanding of the arguments on the table.

    Personally I am more worried about the outcome and implications for the rest of IT than the two parties involved. They stand a good chance of taking us all down with them.

    1. John G Imrie

      Come back PJ

      We miss you.

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