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News: Google gains a victory, while Oracle wins by losing

  1. The verdict is in, and the jury deliberating the Oracle vs. Google trial has concluded that Google's Android does not infringe on any of the Java related patents Oracle assumed when they acquired Sun Microsystems and all of the Java related intellectual property that went with it.

    So, it looks like the doom and gloomers, including many at TheServerSide, were way off base when declaring that this lawsuit would be the end of the world. Groklaw, who has been the definitive resource on the progression of this trial didn't spare any words when chastising the media for their coverage:

    "And now to the media: Here's a homework assignment for you, if you are willing. I want you to think about those $6 billion damages headlines. Where did the "information" come from? Was it an accurate tip? Remember all those articles about Google and how they were hopelessly in a mess because they had no patents to use in a counterclaim against Oracle? Where did that come from? Was it an accurate analysis? Was it expert? Think: If someone is being paid by a party to litigate, what is he likely to say? There is a difference between information and propaganda."

    Of course, the trial isn't completely finished, as the question as to whether Google violated Oracle copyrights remains on the table. However, the financial repercussions of a finding of guilt during this phase of the trial will be minimal at best.

    Ironically, Oracle wins by losing. The fact that the trying of this lawsuit came at a time when the Java community was just beginning to get comfortable with Oracle's stewardship of the Java platform simply worked against the Oracle Public Relations machine. Furthermore, by putting Android through a legal litmus test, the mobile Java landscape, and the Java landscape as a whole, now has a legal precedent concerning what can feasibly considered acceptable fair use.

    The Android OS has been one of the best things to happen to the Java community in years. When people were starting to get bored at the prospect of learning about JSPs and Servlets, Android made Java cool once again. The hip college kids were anxious to learn it, and until Android came along, Java was losing the battle to capture the hearts and minds of the programming youth.

    With the future of the Android OS unencumbered, Java will continue to prosper, and in the end, that will result in Oracle being the big winner, despite losing this little battle in court.

    Oracle v. Google at Groklaw - Now Back to the Copyright Question and How Oracle Fragments Java

    Threaded Messages (25)

  2. I think this too is way too preliminary/speculative. This is, after all just a lower court decision that either/both parties are likely to seek an appeal for.

  3. Before the suit Google produced Guice, GWT, Android SDK and was the unoffical leader in Java. Since the suit Google went quit on their Java products and switched to promoting JavaScript 3, Dart, Html 5. Native mobile apps are being conceded to Apple as Google falls back on the web. GWT developers worry about continued support.  As for Oracle, everyone expects them to ruin what they buy and this suit reinforces that.

  4. Before the suit Google produced Guice, GWT, Android SDK and was the unoffical leader in Java. Since the suit Google went quit on their Java products and switched to promoting JavaScript 3, Dart, Html 5. Native mobile apps are being conceded to Apple as Google falls back on the web. GWT developers worry about continued support.  As for Oracle, everyone expects them to ruin what they buy and this suit reinforces that.

     

    +1.

    This is lose-lose for the Java community. If Oracle can't monetize their IP, there is no incentive to keep building the platform. It will stagnate at best. Most likely fragment ala Unix in the 80's/90's.

    My money is on Oracle jettisoning Java and getting whatever they can for it while they can.

    So sad.

  5. Frank -

    This is lose-lose for the Java community. If Oracle can't monetize their IP, there is no incentive to keep building the platform. It will stagnate at best. Most likely fragment ala Unix in the 80's/90's.

    My money is on Oracle jettisoning Java and getting whatever they can for it while they can.

    At this point, the outcome of the trial does appear to be unfortunate. The jury's decision appears to prevent Oracle from holding Google to the terms of the Java license agreements, which means that not only does Google get away with (IMHO) stealing Java, but -- more importantly -- they also get away with incompatible changes (breaking write-once, run-anywhere), and to top it off, they then decide how to monetize and re-license what they have taken, as if it were their IP to begin with.

    However, Oracle is not going to "jettison Java and get whatever they can for it". Oracle has been, and continues to be, a remarkably good steward of the Java platform. Oracle continues to invest significantly more in Java than Sun was, and continues to recruit additional developers to enhance the platform. (Yes, that's right! The Java team is hiring! Drop me an email if you are up to the challenge!)

    Furthermore, Oracle uses Java in many, many different areas, and is quite successful with its use. Java remains a strategic investment for Oracle, and for many, many other Java licensees, partners, and a very large and successful community.

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy | Oracle

  6. Oracle as a steward for Java[ Go to top ]

    For normal devloper like me- java EE is simply "confusion". All vendors release buggy softwares wether its in JPA/JSF (may be James Gosling hmself told JSF is not good)..

    Is there a proper tooling documentation in Java EE. Answer is no. Normal person takes ages to understand how to generate tables from JPA entities in a OSGi(Rod Johnson says OSGi is not productive).

    Overall I feel - oracle is doing nothing for java. It just vendors and community who are somewhat advancing java.

  7. Oracle as a steward for Java[ Go to top ]

    For normal devloper like me- java EE is simply "confusion". All vendors release buggy softwares wether its in JPA/JSF (may be James Gosling hmself told JSF is not good)...

    He was referring to JSP, not JSF...

  8. Oracle as a steward for Java[ Go to top ]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ei-rbULWoA ( 47:05 ) - JSF vs some of other web frameworks?

    29:40 (on sun suing google) - we don't like suing people. Most of what they were doing was reasonably positive to the community.

     

    I feel - Google could have created different open source language for mobile platform, and it still could have defeated apple & microsoft(since these are propreitary). Sun was upset that Google didn't consult them, or take their advice on how to proceed in mobile. Or sun was upset that Google didn't make them partners for mobile development. And the other side to this argument at that point of time was- Google thinking- if you want us to use and promote java- we will not consult you(this may be the real intentions of mails that circulated in google).

  9. At this point, the outcome of the trial does appear to be unfortunate. The jury's decision appears to prevent Oracle from holding Google to the terms of the Java license agreements, which means that not only does Google get away with (IMHO) stealing Java, but -- more importantly -- they also get away with incompatible changes (breaking write-once, run-anywhere), and to top it off, they then decide how to monetize and re-license what they have taken, as if it were their IP to begin with.

    Hence the fear of fragmentation. If the new wave of interest surrounds mobile apps, as the main post suggests was giving Java a boost with Android, wouldn't Google have the leg up in dictating evolution of the language?

    Furthermore, Oracle uses Java in many, many different areas, and is quite successful with its use. Java remains a strategic investment for Oracle, and for many, many other Java licensees, partners, and a very large and successful community.

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy | Oracle

    I'm one of the those partners. Been an Oracle partner way before the Sun acquisition. In fact, I believe the Wall Street firm I was working at was one of the first ones to receive the "new java" language beta disks so I've been "challenged" by Java for awhile now and has been the primary focus of work product over the years. I would love to see a renaissance of Java. Unfortunately, my observations are from field experiences and at minimum there is a PR problem surrounding the platform. This treatment of Java as a child caught in the middle of a nasty divorce is not making IT managers commit thinner budgets to the platform -- for new developments at least.

    Feel free to ping me and I will share as many field experiences that I am able over the past couple of years. FWIW, I'm sure the objectivity would be helpful for the Java group.

  10. However, Oracle is not going to "jettison Java and get whatever they can for it". Oracle has been, and continues to be, a remarkably good steward of the Java platform. Oracle continues to invest significantly more in Java than Sun was, and continues to recruit additional developers to enhance the platform. (Yes, that's right! The Java team is hiring! Drop me an email if you are up to the challenge!)

    Surely you're joking. Java 8 is 1.5 years away and it'll contain only minor changes, Java 7 being a major fiasco ('release defining' feature got dropped after 5 years in development). No LINQ or anything similar in sight.

    Situation with Java is so dire that companies like JetBrains and RedHat are now creating their own languages.

    Guys, you really need to get a perspective.

  11. Oracle as a steward for Java[ Go to top ]

    What's really unfortunate is the Java community's propensity for doom and gloom :-).

    If Google prevails in the end, so be it. It's a little scary in terms of Java compatibility, but unlikely to be earth-shattering given the overall size of the Java community that it interested in platform-neutral applications, especially with the mobile landscape itself gravitating towards HTML 5 anyway. If Oracle prevails in the end, it's no better/worse than status quo and maybe the first steps to finally getting the standard Java mobile API right...

  12. If Oracle can't monetize their IP, there is no incentive to keep building the platform. It will stagnate at best.

    As a matter of fact, most innovation in the Java world doesn't come from Oracle. Just look at RedHat, SpringSource, Google.

  13. Grapes aren't so sour ..[ Go to top ]

    As a matter of fact, most innovation in the Java world doesn't come from Oracle. Just look at ..

    I think that this is an important point. While Oracle does play a leadership role with Java, Oracle is only one out of thousands and thousands of companies that are innovating with Java. The value of Java isn't found in a particular feature or something coming in the next release -- the value is in the amazing network effect of so many companies working competitively and cooperatively around a single, portable platform.

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy | Oracle

  14. Grapes aren't so sour ..[ Go to top ]

    As a matter of fact, most innovation in the Java world doesn't come from Oracle. Just look at ..

    I think that this is an important point. While Oracle does play a leadership role with Java, Oracle is only one out of thousands and thousands of companies that are innovating with Java. The value of Java isn't found in a particular feature or something coming in the next release -- the value is in the amazing network effect of so many companies working competitively and cooperatively around a single, portable platform.

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy | Oracle

     

    That is why, when i look around, I currently see no alternative. Sure other platforms and languages have "advantages". But when I look at the whole picture, I always end back at Java.

  15. Grapes aren't so sour ..[ Go to top ]

    As a matter of fact, most innovation in the Java world doesn't come from Oracle. Just look at ..

    I think that this is an important point. While Oracle does play a leadership role with Java, Oracle is only one out of thousands and thousands of companies that are innovating with Java. The value of Java isn't found in a particular feature or something coming in the next release -- the value is in the amazing network effect of so many companies working competitively and cooperatively around a single, portable platform.

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy | Oracle

    What a convenient ellipsis... Here, I'll fix the quote for you:

    Just look at RedHat, SpringSource, Google.

    If Google is such an important part of the ecosystem, why sue? They were enhancing the platform. As far as the "incompatible extensions" argument, the JCP is replete with self-serving silo-ed vendor specific specifications/extensions. Why this attack on Google? Egos and money. Period.

    If Oracle's stance is that they "thought they owned all the IP rights from the Sun purchase", then Oracle shareholders should be the ones suing for incompetence and mismanagement of the Sun purchase. It sounds like the portfolio wasn't even fair valued before the purchase.

    The only winner in this ego fest is Microsoft as IT managers migrate limited budget resources to less dramatic pastures.

  16. Grapes aren't so sour ..[ Go to top ]

    I think that this is an important point. While Oracle does play a leadership role with The value of Java isn't found in a particular feature or something coming in the next release -- the value is in the amazing network effect of so many companies working competitively and cooperatively around a single, portable platform.

    Well said, but not quite applicable to mobile computing: In this battlefield, Android plays an outstanding role for Java developers. JME has to be considered as not competitive for powerful modern smartphones and tablets, the convergence of JME and JSE still has to happen, and there are simply no other acceptable solutions.

    The whole trial is an unfortunate quagmire for most of us. With Android, the motto is "write once, test thoroughly, and run on 50% of all smartphones", without Android "write once and run nowhere".

    One of the cutest things on earth would be an implementation of the JavaFX2 low-level toolkit based on the HTML5 canvas and Google's GWT: Write once in JavaFX, compile once into JavaScript, and run literally everywhere (= on a modern browser) pixel by pixel without the need for the crappy Java plugin...

     

  17. android rocks because its in java. java rocks because world's largest mobile platform is in java. Its win-win for both Larrys. If Oracle would have supported google, google would have put more effort in android java than alternatives - thus developing better java libraries.

     

  18. Double standards[ Go to top ]

    My bias take on this whole situation. Google should have either A created their own language, or B purchased a license of Java from Sun.

    If we ignore all the non-sense, it comes down to the fact that Google took a gamble by not licensing Java. I blame SUN for the poor business decision. Why go after Microsoft, but not Google? Obviously Google was doing the same exact thing as Microsoft (embrace and extend), but SUN executives chose to ignore it.

    It would be better for everyone, if SUN and Google reached a mutually beneficial licensing agreement when Android started. At the end of the day, it doesn't change my opinion of Java technology. Big business will do what they do.

  19. Double standards[ Go to top ]

    Why should Google have licensed Java?

    Google was not interested in failed J2ME or heavyweight desktop JVMs. So they were not interested in Sun's technology. And as we see Google fairly and honestly created an independent implementation of the language.

    Just imagine what would have happened if Microsoft had to license C and C++ from K&R.

    Or if you want something closer to Java you might remember that none other than Gosling created his own emacs implementation because of his disagreement with RMS. Maybe RMS should have sued him for $TENBILLION for producing an editor without a license?

    Sorry, no company should have that large amount of control.

  20. Google had the power to make Sun an offer they couldn't refuse to do mobile Java the way they wanted. If they had, Java at Google wouldn't be in limbo. It was negligent for Google to gamble on not being sued or winning a suit. It was also pennywise. This has given Microsoft the chance to take the sub-Apple mobile market away from them. Paying Sun a few million for legal certainty should have been obvious. 

  21. Google had the power to make Sun an offer they couldn't refuse to do mobile Java the way they wanted. If they had, Java at Google wouldn't be in limbo. It was negligent for Google to gamble on not being sued or winning a suit.

    Google actually talked with Sun about licensing Java officially, but nothing came out of it (and I highly doubt that they talked about "millions"). And Google is certainly not required to bend over backwards to conform to wishes of a third party.

    Besides, at that time there at least two alternative JVM projects were present: GCJ and Apache Harmony. GCJ is also binary-incompatible with Java because it can produce compiled machine code.

    Additionally, there is a long tradition in IT of independently reimplemented languages and other systems for interoperability (should Lotus have sued Microsoft for implementing Lotus macroses in Excel?). So Google had reasonable expectation that they won't be sued based on frivolous claim of copyright violation of API.

    As we've seen Google was quite diligent not to infringe any copyright of Sun/Oracle and they also avoided the 'Java' trademark.

  22. gradkiss at 7:05 AM May 29, 2012

    Apple and Oracle are both terms used in jokes by many people along with about the same rating as the current Congress holds for being anything but dysfunctional...historically speaking.

    Android is once again in reach of the poorest children of the world...and can be learned and utilized even if they use Dart instead of Java.Now everyone is working once again on the cheapest phones sell the most around the globe ethics.

     

  23. Double standards[ Go to top ]

    Alex -

    Why should Google have licensed Java?

    In Google's own words:

    Tim Lindholm, Software Engineer at Google (and previously Sun): "We have been over a bunch of these [platforms / languages], and think they all suck. We conclude that we need to negotiate a license for Java under the terms we need."

    Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Mobile at Google (and holder of four patents): "My proposal is that we take a license that specifically grants the right for us to Open Source our product."

    (Emphasis added by me.)

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy | Oracle

    (obviously speaking as an individual, and not as a spokesperson)

  24. Double standards[ Go to top ]

    Tim Lindholm, Software Engineer at Google (and previously Sun): "We have been over a bunch of these [platforms / languages], and think they all suck. We conclude that we need to negotiate a license for Java under the terms we need."

    That tidbit has been discussed several times already on Groklaw and other sites. Tim Lindholm was saying that they had to use Java because no other language was sufficient at that time. Not that they had to license Java because they couldn''t develop their own product without Sun's license.

    And anyway, judge has just ruled that APIs are indeed not copyrightable: http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20120531173633275

    So Oracle has lost this case as completely as possible.

  25. Double standards[ Go to top ]

    Alex -

    That tidbit has been discussed several times already on Groklaw

    Yeah, and Groklaw is almost as unbiased as slashdot .. nice touch.

    I think I'll let the emails speak for themselves.

    Peace,

    Cameron.

  26. Double standards[ Go to top ]

    Yeah, and Groklaw is almost as unbiased as slashdot .. nice touch.

    I think I'll let the emails speak for themselves.

    So? I don't understand the importance of these emails. Yes, even if some engineers thought that they might need a license doesn't mean that this license is really required.

    And the court has confimed it, Google does not need a license to implement a Java-ish language. Which just confirms the old-standing status quo in IT. Any other decision would have resulted in a bloodbath in which _everyone_ looses except for trolls.

    Oh, and EU has also ruled that APIs are not copyrightable.

    Was Google acting recklessly when they decided not to bend over backward to obtain a Java license? I don't think so.