Reply to post: Oracle asking for "non proportionate share of revenue"

Why Oracle will win its Java copyright case – and why you'll be glad when it does

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Oracle asking for "non proportionate share of revenue"

IIRC, Oracle is asking for about 30% of the revenue. That's what Google and Apple charge developers to sell their apps from their respective app stores, so that's probably a reasonable starting point. I don't think Oracle expects that they'd actually get awarded the full amount, but in any negotiation (and that's what damages in a trial ultimately come down to in some form or another) you start high the other guy starts low and you eventually meet somewhere in between.

I get what you're saying about the 11,000 lines, but if the judge rules against them, they will be guilty of IP theft. Oracle would be well within their rights to ask the judge to order them to stop using their property immediately, meaning a stoppage of sales of Android phones until they could fix the problem - which might make those "Android v2" phones incompatible with existing apps meaning devs would have to rebuild/resubmit their apps. The threat of that makes those 11,000 lines more valuable than simple math dividing 11,000 lines versus however many you care to put in the denominator.

If some aerodynamics guru found that making a few simple changes to the design of the wing and fuselage of a plane saved 4% of its fuel, and these changes amounted to gluing a few bits of plastic in the right places, you could argue "well these are only .0001% of the mass and volume of the plane, and cost only a few hundred bucks to have a 3D printer churn out" but the inventor of that would say that the value was in knowing what the form of those plastic bits and where to place them, not the their contribution to the total weight/volume/price of the plane, and is better reflected in airlines paying millions more per plane to get one that is 4% more efficient.

So the real question isn't how many lines of code are involved, but their contribution to Android's success. Was the fact that Android used something that is basically Java, instead of C++ or something weird like Google Go important to its success? I'd argue that at least at first it certainly was, since most CS students worldwide had learned Java over the decade previous to Android's release, it helped jump start its app economy and contributed to its success. If Android used something else, fewer people would have been able to easily write apps, and it may have had a harder time getting apps in those crucial early days. Who knows, maybe Windows Phone would have got enough extra momentum to reach viability and today be a third competitor with double digit market share. Had that happened, Google would have collected billions less in Android revenue.

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