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Oracle vs Google: End Of Phase One

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Following a weekend where James Gosling says that 'Google totally slimed Sun', both Oracle and Google delivered their closing statements yesterday, leaving the decision of whether Google violated Oracle copyright, in the hands of the jury. It's not over yet though - phase two of the trial will deal with the patent infringement issues once the jury finish their deliberations.

You can read full transcriptions of the closing statements over at Groklaw, which concludes with an excellent summary: 

 I think you could sum it up like this: Google says everybody at the time said it was fine to do what we did, and they surely knew what we were doing. Nobody at Sun objected. Oracle says there is a new sheriff in town.

Oracle's Closing Statement 

"Why would anyone write a good book, compose a beautful song, or write a great API, when you know that somebody would just rip you off?"

During their closing statement, Oracle made references to Jonathan Schwartz's blog post praising Android. It's an important (and obvious) point that the post is in no way a licence.

Was Google's use "fair use"? Sun didn't sue everyone, why are you suing us? -- You don't have to sue everybody in order to protect your IP from commercial use. The Jonathan Schwartz blog post is not permission; it is not a license.


So here we are in 2012. Google still doesn't have a license. Google is still using Java. Took IP. Leverage off Sun/Oracle's investment in Java. Our system asks you [to get a license]. Blog post is not a license. Hold Google accountable for its use of IP in Android without permission. Thank you.

The statement also accussed Google of copying documentation and code: 

"Google copied Java documenation across the board". Mr. Lee said that he would have prefered to send people to Sun's site for the documentation. Conclude that Google's use of the documentatin was not fair use. Copied code. "Google literally copied files" Decompilation. Not by accident. 

Google's Closing Statement 

Once again, Jonathan Schwartz features heavily in the closing statement: 

Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun, knew that Google was using Java and didn't have a license from Sun. Schwartz: "We didn't have grounds to sue". "There is no copyright infringement, and we don't have grounds to sue." 

The statement always plays on the fact that Android is open source software 

Google's use of the 37 APIs from Java in Android was open. Everyone knew about it. What is Android? It is an Open Source platform. Nobody is excluded. Anyone can work on it. Sun just failed to build their own smartphone.


Google's use was transformative. Android was always intended to be Open Source. Put the product together, make a brand new product, and give it away. Yes, Google makes money on ads. Google doesn't make any profit on licensing and selling Android.

Another major point made throughtout, was that Android is a reason that Java is such a popular language: 

Schwartz: "Android strapped a set of rockets onto Java." Profits on Java are up at Oracle. Most popular language in the world, due in part to Android.


More people are writing code using Java than ever before.



And What Does The Father Of Java Think?

On Saturday, James Gosling wrote about his thoughts on the Oracle v Google: 

 Just because Sun didn't have patent suits in our genetic code doesn't mean we didn't feel wronged. While I have differences with Oracle, in this case they are in the right. Google totally slimed Sun. We were all really disturbed, even Jonathan: he just decided to put on a happy face and tried to turn lemons into lemonade, which annoyed a lot of folks at Sun.

Up until now, a common perception has been that Sun were fine with what Google were doing, and it's just Oracle who took issue with the whole Android thing. It's good to hear James' opinion, and we may see more of him when we enter the second phase of the trial which deals with patent claims. One of those patents is written by Gosling: Method and apparatus for resolving data references in generated code



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Published at DZone with permission of James Sugrue .

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