Can Andriod Pass the Copyright Test?

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News: Can Andriod Pass the Copyright Test?

  1. Can Andriod Pass the Copyright Test? (8 messages)

    The Oracle lawsuit against Google is twofold. First, there are five alleged patent infringements. The second is the allegation of copyright infringements.

    Patent litigation is a tricky business, and TheServerSide.com has opined quite openly about the ludicrosity of many software patents and flaky patent mills bringing down some of the big players in the industry. There are specifically five patents on which Google is being sued, and if you're familiar at all with Google's Andriod and the Java platform, you can actually read up on the various patents and come to your own conclusions on whether or not the patents that are part of the suit are indeed valid patents, and furthermore, if indeed Google has violated them. (Links to the five patents are listed below at the end of this article.)

    However, the along with the patents, Google has alleged Copyright infringement. Plain and simple, it would appear that indeed, there has been a bit of Copyright infringement. I mean, go out and ask anyone what the Java platform for mobile application development is, and they'll tell you it's Android. That's not Copyright infringement in itself, but it does press the point that there is a perception that Andriod is Java. And lets face it, when you code Android applications, there is an awful lot of java.lang and java.util references thrown around.

    Fortunately, Copyright infringements don't seem to bring with them the same level of punishment that patent violations generate. Still, from what I can see, it seems that the allegations of Copyright might be more valid than the alleged patent violations, so perhaps it's a pertinent point on which to be focussing.

    The best article I've read to date was at java.net called Android = Java, by Osvaldo Pinali Doederlein. It's an interesting piece, and while it probably goes way outside of the specifics of Copyright law, it does epitomize much of the thoughts and perceptions with regards to Java and Andriod that are widely held in the Java community.

    http://www.java.net/blog/8494

    And on the patent front, here are the five patents Google has allegedly violated.

    *************************************************

    United States Patent 6,910,205 June 21, 2005
    Interpreting functions utilizing a hybrid of virtual and native machine instructions 
    (The "Speeding Up Something Slow Makes It Faster" Patent)

    United States Patent RE38,104 April 2003
    Method and apparatus for resolving data references in generated code 
    The "Direct is More Direct Than Indirect" Patent (James Gosling's Patent)

    United States Patent 7,426,720 September 2008
    System and method for dynamic preloading of classes through memory space cloning of a master runtime system process 
    The "Memory Access is Faster than Disc Access" Patent

    United States Patent 5,966,702 October 12, 1999
    Method and apparatus for pre-processing and packaging class files 
    The "Smells like WinZip"  Patent

    United States Patent 6,125,447 September 2000
    Protection domains to provide security in a computer system 
    The "Well, it works for Users and Groups" Patent

    United States Patent 6,061,520 May 2000
    Method and system for performing static initialization
    The "Static Side-Step" Pattern

    *************************************************

    Threaded Messages (8)

  2. Gosling's Opinion[ Go to top ]

    Folks,

    I am glad Gosling is finally speaking up on some of this. I hope Oracle/Sun speaks out soon too in order to give out their side of the story (which I'm sure differs from Gosling). Here are Gosling's comments, which happens to coincide almost exactly with mine: http://www.dzone.com/links/r/quite_the_firestorm_2.html

    I also agree with a lot of what this fellow is saying about Java being of neccessity a strong hybrid of both open source, standards-based and "closed" systems while it never was and probably never should be a "pure-bred" of any of them: http://www.dzone.com/links/r/in_support_of_oracle_and_java.html

    Hope it helps provide some perspective on things...

    Cheers,

    Reza

  3. Gosling's Opinion[ Go to top ]

    This is to optimistic. Lets go back to history, Oracle is an aggressive comercial company same as Microsoft that they just care about "Profit" thats all.

    Do you remember what happend to VB6?, Dissapeared, Microsoft didnt give a damn to VB6 and VB6 community of programmers, They just killed VB6 and move on to the next cash cow. Well Oracle could do the same or anything with Java, They could kill tomorrow Java cause Java does not give a stable profit and move on to the next cash cow could be MySQL or buy a new startup.

    Yes Oracle is invested heavily inside in Java but as I said they can close it and just use it inhouse as SAP use abap just for them and their paid customers for the platform.

    Java as we know it, Java the open source platform and an alternative to the evil dotNet is OVER.

    Of course we can continue to work in Java and create new projects but for new projects or open source ones is a huge risk. If you already have a big system for a fortune 500 dont worry your company have enough cash to continue using Java and pay lots of cash to Oracle. But for medium size to small business this is so risky and for them Java is dead.

  4. Java is solid. It's easy to get caught up in the hype, but Java is far from dead. In fact, it continues to top the polls as the most prevalent programming language out there. But indeed, the press hasn't been great.

    Java is worth alot. If Oracle killed Java, they'd lose millions. We all know they want to make money. They'll make more if Java thrives. Maybe Oracle can twist Google's arms and negotiate a plan where Oracle gets revenue sharing on Android, they get a nice sum of cash, and Google gets Java. It would be a win win! This might just be Oracle's first step in that play.

  5. Cameron,

    Well said again. Someone mentioned something like Java GE (Java Google Edition). Certainly would be better than the current ambigous mess since it would be explicitly clear that it *is* an incompatible Java implementation with pretty much any runtime outside of Andriod...

    Cheers,

    Reza

  6. Gosling's Opinion[ Go to top ]

    This is to optimistic. Lets go back to history, Oracle is an aggressive comercial company same as Microsoft that they just care about "Profit" thats all.

    Do you remember what happend to VB6?, Dissapeared, Microsoft didnt give a damn to VB6 and VB6 community of programmers, They just killed VB6 and move on to the next cash cow. Well Oracle could do the same or anything with Java, They could kill tomorrow Java cause Java does not give a stable profit and move on to the next cash cow could be MySQL or buy a new startup.

    Yes Oracle is invested heavily inside in Java but as I said they can close it and just use it inhouse as SAP use abap just for them and their paid customers for the platform.

    Java as we know it, Java the open source platform and an alternative to the evil dotNet is OVER.

    Of course we can continue to work in Java and create new projects but for new projects or open source ones is a huge risk. If you already have a big system for a fortune 500 dont worry your company have enough cash to continue using Java and pay lots of cash to Oracle. But for medium size to small business this is so risky and for them Java is dead.

     

    VB.NET is still here. Not sure what you're point is. It needed to evolve. Just like Java does. Java has been stagnant for years because of the infighting of the JCP -> Sun wars. Too many chefs in the kitchen syndrome.

    What are the alternatives -- Ruby?. Python? PHP? (.NET is an obvious choice also.) The language holy wars need to stop. Use the tool that makes the right sense for the shop you're in. Not because there is zealotry around it and one language is going to 'kill' the other. The risk argument is played way too many times -- and weakly at that. Let's not forget that Java was a young upstart language once that was 'too risky' to adopt when there was C++,VB around.

    Bottom line, Oracle bought Sun and their IP portfolio to add to their stock value. They are staking claims against that IP. Sun pooched the Mobile segment -- Google took a stab at evolving in the mobile space and is seeing success. It seems Oracle would like to rethink that position now that they own Java(TM) outright.

    End of the day, there will be a lot of pageantry surrounding this and no or little impact.

     

     

  7. Gosling's Opinion[ Go to top ]

    You have good points, I agree. Just that VB6 != VB.Net is another language and platform(Next cash cow) Its very different to program in VB6 than VB.Net as Delphi to Java.

    My point is if Oracle decide tomorrow to close the java platform or relicense OpenJDK 7, 8  or 9 to a proprietary and decide only pay customers can use it, that will be the end of Java as we know it. But as we see it how Oracle Killed OpenSolaris and all what they are doing with the open source Sun portfolio they can do anytime anything with Java. I thought in 2007 that Java already was an Open Standard and with the Oracle acquisition of Sun they could try to Fix the JCP and the Harmony dispute but all this is just a dream. Java is not 100% free and never will be.

    The true is that Java is so proprietary as dotNet and Im afraid happend to me or to my projects the same happend to the VB6 folks that Microsoft left them in the dust.

     

    Cheers.

     

  8. NOBODY expects...[ Go to top ]

    ... the Spanish Inquisition!

    Here are the five patents Google has allegedly violated.

    * United States Patent 6,910,205 June 21, 2005
    * United States Patent RE38,104 April 2003
    * United States Patent 7,426,720 September 2008
    * United States Patent 5,966,702 October 12, 1999
    * United States Patent 6,125,447 September 2000
    * United States Patent 6,061,520 May 2000

    Six! Here are the six patents Google has allegedly violated...

     

    SCNR,

    Jens

  9. No copyright infringement[ Go to top ]

    However, the along with the patents, Google has alleged Copyright infringement. Plain and simple, it would appear that indeed, there has been a bit of Copyright infringement. I mean, go out and ask anyone what the Java platform for mobile application development is, and they'll tell you it's Android. That's not Copyright infringement in itself, but it does press the point that there is a perception that Andriod is Java. And lets face it, when you code Android applications, there is an awful lot of java.lang and java.util references thrown around.

    Cameron, it's great that you're providing an opportunity for discussion about the copyright aspect of the lawsuit here. The linked article is a good read. Posting a paragraph like the above, however, really, really, hurts TheServerSide's reputation. And I'm not talking about the initial typo (Google has alleged nothing, Oracle has alleged quite a bit ;-) ).

    Public opinion is utterly irrelevant in determining copyright infringement. The fact that the common development process (not the only one, the common one) involves the generation of .class files (and their subsequent conversion) is equally irrelevant. You could hand code .dex files if you were so inclined. 

    If using java.lang or java.util in a program indicates copyright infringement, umm.... Million of programmers are in deep trouble.

    The question of copyright infringement is a question of what code Google used and where they got it from. "Is Dalvik a Java knockoff?" is a fun question but it doesn't help answer the more important question, "Is Dalvik a legal Java knockoff?"

    In the linked article, the author himself declares:

    This blog is not about the merits of the Oracle vs Google suit.

    Misconstruing the original article and saying that there is obviously copyright infringement because of public confusion as to what a buzzword means (Java the language? Java the Virtual Machine? Java the Trademark? Java SE? Java ME? Java) just isn't helpful to the debate.

    Gosh, I feel like a grinch posting this :-(