Thursday, April 26, 2012

Oracle/Google Java/Android trial is in full swing

I'm not really sure where is the best place to try to follow the trial. There is a lot of coverage, but in some ways it's surprising how little information is being released, as Paul Thurrott points out:

It's a case in which Google has been charged with stealing the intellectual property of Java, which is now owned by Oracle. A case that has incriminating email. A case in which Google has clearly done exactly as charged. And a case in which Google CEO Larry Page appeared on the stand in court. And actually, you’ll still pretty much have to imagine it. Because even though it really happened, it’s somehow not the biggest tech story on Earth this week. Inconceivable!

There are a few sites, however, which seem to be doing a pretty good job of covering the trial. Wired, for example, has been featuring a number of articles.

And Florian Mueller has been covering the trial on his FOSS Patents blog.

Even just given these few sources, it's interesting how hard it is to make sense of the trial. Just consider:

  • Open-sourcing of Java and API copyrightability are entirely unrelated issues
    Sun's publication of certain Java software under an open source license has nothing -- absolutely nothing -- to do with the question of whether the structure, sequence and organizations of API packages is protected by copyright law.


    There's no way that Google's use of the structure, sequence and organization of the asserted API packages can be justified by claiming that Google simply chose to benefit from the availability of Java software published by Oracle/Sun on free and open licensing terms.

  • Ex-Sun Boss Defends Google’s Right To Java on Android
    Taking the stand during the ongoing court battle between Google and Oracle over the use of the Java programming language on Google’s Android mobile operating system, Jonathan Schwartz — the former CEO of Sun Microsystems, the creator of Java — said that Java has always been free to use and that although Sun didn’t necessarily like the way Android used Java, it had no intention of stopping it.


    Schwartz acknowledged that he didn’t like what Google was doing at the time. But he maintained that Google was free to do this.

It's a good thing I wasn't on the jury for this case, as I can't imagine making heads or tails of situations like this.

1 comment:

  1. Hi!

    I have been following this trial and there is a lot of coverage.

    May I suggest:

    and for a comprehensive legal coverage. Great notes from the hearings.

    Björn Sveinbjörnsson
    fellow programmer