* Posts by br14

20 posts • joined 26 Apr 2012

Java jury finds Google guilty of infringement: Now what?


Re: API's and copyright

"And really, "The alternative is chaos."? APIs have been written for the past what 60 years and the only chaos I see is folks running around with their hair on fire shouting "there will be chaos if APIs cannot be copyrighted".

The point was there would be chaos in the narrow context of Java if you can take an API and do whatever you want with it. My understanding is that Google don't even claim that the Android Dalvik VM is compatible with the Oracle JVM (though that may be for legal reasons).

Dalvik is effectively another realisation of Java syntax ulitmately generating Dalvik bytecode, and if Google wins this case prehaps we may see more variations, thereby losing standardisation of anything but the basic syntax. And next we'll see extensions to the language not available across all implementations etc. Ergo. Chaos.

There's an interesting link here for more background on how Google got around Suns licensing restrictions. It was legal, probably, but was it really good for Java?


I doubt anything good is going to come of this trial whoever wins. Google wins, it's open season on Java (and is Dalvik open sourced?) and makes the already fragmented language less attractive for enterprise (is there a Dalvik implementation for Windows?). Oracle wins, who is going to license at $15 per device.


Re: API's and copyright

Java was doing amazingly well before it was open sourced in 2006.

Sun doing badly commercially forced them to push Java into the public domain, rather than let the language standard be dominated by an acquirer.

Pity they couldn't have sold a few more licenses.


Re: Groklaw is biased in favour of anything they consider "open sourced"

"of whom they think is abiding to law"

And so is everyone else. It's all about opinion.


Re: Actually, I would dispute that Google has to seek profit and increase shareholder value

"And when you think about it, it is pretty likely that the main motivation of Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt is not to make even more money than they already have."

Are you serious?

When they increase shareholder value they increase their own personal wealth. Clearly they don't have to do that, but they do it anyway.

Why wouldn't they simply pay Oracle what they want if they don't care about the money? Why didn't they cough up the far more reasonable $3 a license Sun would have asked? That cash might have kept Sun as an independent company - one that open sourced its inventions.

Google seeks total domination in the world of advertising. Android has provided them a fantastic tool in the pursuit of understanding your every move, from your location to your spending habit to the time you get up in the morning. They seek to obtain as much personal information about people as they can, then they use that information to gain higher revenues from targeted advertising.

This is their sole motivation, and the rationale behind all the goodies they like to give away. Just check their privacy agreements if you believe otherwise.

Google has refused to license in the smartphone field to ensure Android manufacturers can undercut the opposition. Mobile operators make significantly more cash selling Androids that other devices. That is changing as Google loses more and more IP cases, which is why they spent billions buying up Motorolas IP - in order to protect their wealth.


API's and copyright

As a developer I'd certainly like to be able to copyright my API's - should I choose to do so.

But only in the context of a product or system. Outside of that context clearly the copyright would not apply because most languages use commonly used terms and names.

So if I develop the Acme language, I should be able to copyright the API's in the Acme context. That might mean if you want to create an implementation of an Acme virtual machine, then you do so under the conditions I stipulate to ensure standardisation.

If I open source my API's then provided you use the license I provide you can go ahead and create an Acme virtual machine.

That's what Sun did. The alternative is chaos. And in the US I understand there is already case law that says API's are copyrightable (though not necessarily copyrighted).


Groklaw is biased in favour of anything they consider "open sourced". They're therefore far from balanced, even if they are principled.

Problem is they're so focussed on narrow principles around open source they seem to forget the fact many of these decisions are made for purely commercial reasons and apparently miss the bigger picture.

There's barely an open source project on the planet that doesn't have corporate backing somewhere that sees open source as a way of improving it's bottom line.

Google gives away Android in hopes of making a fortune from targeted advertising and the sale of information. And they do indeed make a fortune. They're not in it for the love of open source.

Oracle and Google are large corporations who seek to make a profit and increase shareholder value. This is not a battle between good and evil. It's a battle of two evils.


"Defeat could potentially allow an extension of copyright into previously undisputed areas, such as programming languages and APIs"

Surely copyright already extends into these areas. The reality being no one bothers to enforce copyright. Just because something is copyrightable doesn't mean it has to be enforced. And Java has been licensed by numerous corporations before Google decided it didn't need a license.

There is barely a single source code file I have ever used - open source or otherwise - that didn't have a copyright statement at its head. Including API definitions.

You might say Google losing has ramifications, but it's nothing to the potential impact of them winning.

My concern is that if Google wins, it becomes open season to copy someones source code (claiming fair use if required), and use it as you wish. All those Android and iPhone HTML5 apps could be copied at will by major corporations and given away under their own brand.

Partial victory for Oracle in Java case


Re: Java API's are copyrighted...

"What Andy Rubin thought he knew, or what you think Andy Rubin thought he knew, is completely irrelevant to whether or not Java API's are subject to copyright or not"

He used the term "are copyrighted" in the email extract I saw.

And you're absolutely correct. Depending on the jurisdiction, API's may or may not be copyrightable.

And yet pretty well every file of open source code I've ever seen has a copyright notice at the top. So developers clearly think their work should be copyright - even if the rest of the world doesn't.

And Google is full to the prim with developers. Clearly they have a few lawyers too.

US case law already has a case where SSO was found to be copyright - from what I've read.

I don't know how many on here are developers, but if API's and code is not copyrightable, what protection do people who write HTML5 apps (for example) have from their work being stolen at will? It's bad enough stuff being stolen by hobbyists.

Many posters here seem to be suggesting that if Google takes a HTML5 app on it's web store and sells it as it's own, that's ok with them. I can't see the difference between that and what they did to Sun regardless of what Schwarz said.


Re: Good day for Google... so far

"Errm, what's that got to do with the trial?"

Android devices are essentially being dumped onto markets at price points far lower than anyone else can manage (Nokia, RIM etc) in part because they don't pay the same license fees as others (Nokia, RIM etc).

Mobile operators push Androids (often to people who ask for other devices) because they make a stack of money.

For most people other devices are perfectly suitable but they don't get to buy them.

The idea that a market the size of the smartphone market is developing "by chance" when you have organisations the size of Google and Apple at play is naieve at best.

I get your point about the OS and content, but that doesn't make Googles actions any less evil. (And you can do the same with other devices - some app vendors will even let you switch devices).

"Or should they be convicted for making too good a mobile OS?"

Certainly not. Linux is a half decent OS, though not the best techincally by a country mile. They should be convicted because of anti-competitive action, only possible because of their sheer size. They've been very clever of course, so even I have to admit it's unlikely anyone can stop their domination.

I take it you're a die hard Google fan. Some of us would rather have a choice.


Re: Good day for Google... so far

"Has Google proven that Sun and/or Oracle engaged in conduct Sun and/or Oracle knew or should have known would reasonably lead Google to believe that it would not need a license to use the structure, sequence and organization of the copyrighted compilable code. YES."

Not really. There are internal emails that prove Google employees knew Suns API's were copyrighted, and that demonstrated Google knew it needed a license. (i.e. Andy Rubin - the founder of Android Inc. and SVP of Android development at Google).

And while Schwarz supported Googles position, no less a person than James Gosling was pissed with Google for what they had done - along with the previous Sun CEO.

It's pretty obvious Google knew exactly what it was doing. Knew it would eventually end up in court, and was hoping for precisely this kind of outcome. i.e. one where they could delay and delay until it didn't matter because they dominated the market.

However you feel about Google, it's hard to imagine anyone but the most die hard Google fan wants a device market where only Android devices (and perhaps the odd iPhone) are available.


Java API's are copyrighted...

...or at least that's what Andy Rubin thought. And he should know.

It's pretty obvious someone at Sun wanted to generate revenue from Java on the mobile side (hence J2ME is not open), but figured they'd do ok selling support for server side Java - so open sourced J2SE. And they added some protection for the open source by registering patents. Perhaps they suspected someone might try using J2SE on mobile.

Open source J2SE was licensed using GPL - a license that allows unlimited use providing you also provide GPL licensed software extensions.

Google does not. It licenses Android using ASL. Using ASL allows Google and Android manufacturers to protect their software extensions (they're not open - but should be).

This case is enormously important for one of the worlds fastest growing industries. Having to license Java from Google would increase the base cost of Android phones and reduce the price differentials to other brands leading to more diversity in the market place.

Jury retires for weekend in deadlock in Oracle-v-Google verdict


The recipe analogy is fine.

The language is the recipe.

Google has taken Oracles recipe verbatim, but used a different pan.

It's the recipe that is copyright. Not the pan.

RIM wakes up woozy in Australia


"You need to make a good phone that does not cost too much, is well built and looks nice, does everything we would expect, and does not cut corners with things like missing MicroSD card slots and the like"

Apple might take issue with much of that. Their original iPhone was expensive and full of technical compromises (like missing a MicroSD slot, removable battery, poor battery life, limited calling ability etc), but while admittedly a pretty phone, was made desirable by superb marketing. (As always).

The truth is that humans are mostly (perhaps all) gullible idiots, and you can sell us anything if you package and present it to us in the right way.

The flashmob marketing approach can work - if it's executed well and has a purpose. I'm not sure either of those criteria was met, though it's certainly got people talking about RIM if nothing else.

No surprise RIM doesn't currently have a CMO.

RIM shares take a bath after uninspiring BlackBerry 10 unwrap


Re: Playbook

"there was no fundamental security reason for not shipping it in 1.0"


RIM buckled under the weight of media pressure. However, the email on Playbook is as insecure as everyone elses. Enterprises tend not to enable the feature. At least not for the enterprise anyway.

BlackBerry Balance allows them to segregate personal and corporate email. Nice feature.


Re: Last best hope

"18 months ago when I took out a contract with Blackberry it looked a sound decision, now? I'd be daft to go with a Blackberry."

Why? What's changed?

BB10 looks fantastic. It will easily be the most technically advanced phone on the market (provided they ever launch the thing). Not that being technically advanced counts for much in these days of the might marketer.


"after uninspiring BlackBerry 10 unwrap"

Not sure why you think it was uninspiring. The audience were so inspired they cheered when they saw a glimpse of the new features. And anyway, it wasn't so much a launch as tipping their toes in the water.

And in RIM's case the stock price has nothing to do with the merits of their products. Even when sales were growing at 30% a year the price was still being forced down.

You don't have to read the financial blogs for long to realise they're the constant target of bear raiders. The amount of repeatedly negative PR around any major announcement from the company is extremely suspect.

Tools are designed for a specific purpose and my 9900 is as good as you'll get as a communications device. More than one person has dropped their iPhone. And Apple has done RIM the great compliment of attempting to copy BBM (so far not very successfully).

Space-cadet Schwartz blows chunks out of Oracle's Java suit


Re: "Essentially, he’s a lobbyist for Oracle"

"accuse others of corruption, bribery and dishonesty"

So you didn't think negatively of Mueller despite him being an adviser to Oracle? Mueller was pro-Oracle even before he became a "consultant" for Oracle. Probably why they hired him.

And I'm not accusing anyone of anthing. Simply that we're all biased one way or another to a greater or lesser degree for all manner of reasons.

News Corporation for example, has an exclusive deal with Apple. Is that why their publications rarely write anything negative about Apple but are not always complimentary about Apple competitors (in my subjective opinion of course)?

And Boy Genius Report is "advised" by Steve Wozniak. Whether that has anything to do with their often apparently pro-Apple stance I can't say.

Other tech publications have similar relationships with the major players.

It's too strong to suggest a conspiracy, but if lobbying doesn't work, why hire lobbyists?


"Essentially, he’s a lobbyist for Oracle"

But does that automatically make him wrong? No doubt the jury will decide (having been suitably not directed by the judge).

Major corporations like Google, Oracle and Apple do not leave media comment to chance.

Up to you to decide which marketing budget dictated the editorial comment you're reading.

Unless you're a complete idiot and think media is unbiased.


And pigs might fly

"Schwartz's strategy was to give away the software assets – like Java – in order to drive interest in Sun's high-margin computer hardware"

That takes some believing! And in any case isn't correct. Schwarz must stand to gain if he's willing to be humiliated by Google in this way.

Sun opened up Java SE (suitably licensed - and suitably patented to avoid use .... ), but did NOT release Java ME - the mobile version of Java.

No mug Mr Schwarz. He knew mobile was where the money is.

So they patent key components of the Java to mobile interface, and make sure Java ME has to be licensed (as numerous companies other than Google have done).

Google however, created Dalvik and then "blatantly" exploited Suns patents (to quote from an earlier judge in the case). Bearing in mind they're awash with ex Sun executives perhaps they thought they'd get away it.

Plus as demonstrated by evidence at the trial, what Schwarz may have publicly blogged was contradicted in his personal email.

Ofcom: The Office of Screwing Over Murdoch?


From the perspective of an outsider, it looks as though after years of signficantly influencing who would be in power in the UK, Murdoch has been emasculated. His media holdings will still have influence but to nowhere near the same degree.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the actions of politicians and media in Britain, the fallout from the current governments actions will be that Murdoch will no longer be able to control who gets elected. And I doubt Prime Ministers will be calling him very often in future. Which in itself is a very good thing.

I'm conspiracy theorist enough to think that after over a decade in which the Tories were kept out of power by, among other things, Murdochs influence, Cameron may even have planned it this way.

From Camerons perspective having to stick with Ofcom in its current form isn't too much of a price to pay. Looks like Vince Cable was right, if as usual, a little to free with his mouth.


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