Oracle's code example

Oracle has amended its lawsuit against Google, and claims that Google is stealing code for use in Android.  They also make claim that one-third of the Java APIs for use by application developers are a derivative of Oracle APIs.  The above picture certainly does support their claim, as it's almost a direct copy.

I have to be honest here, I'm not exactly sure what this all means.  There are parts of Java that will need to be copied to work, and there are parts that don't.  Remember, this all started with Sun. Google and Sun were in contention over the use of the GPL, which would expose carriers and manufacturers code if it were enforced.  This is why Apache licensing is used in Google, and why Apple chose the BSD kernel instead of the more popular and widely used Linux kernel to run their products.

None of us here are hardcore Java developers, and none of us are in the legal profession.  We have to sit back and watch, just like you do, and hope that the outcome is fair for both sides.  If Google stole code, they need to be punished financially.  If not, Oracle needs to be reigned in.  Sometimes fighting for your ideals isn't a good idea, and maybe Google should follow Apple and start to pull away from Oracle and Java.  Maybe Tim Bray says it best (NSFW).  [Electronista, ZDNet]

 

Reader comments

Oracle updates lawsuit, says Google copied code

13 Comments

Wow this sucks, everyone knows what it will all come down to,,,,,MONEY. Google has to much time and money invested into android for this to slow it down, they Will give up a nice sum check and android will be out of hot water. Well I hope.

Software patents. Somewhat likely that the Next Big Change in the Patent Office will be in regards to software patents.

Let's be clear on exactly what Oracle is claiming. In addition to the patent infringement claims that Oracle is making, it also claims that Google has infringed its copyrights to its code. This is where the copying portion comes in.

In assessing whether or not non-infringement has occurred, courts apply the abstraction-filtration-comparison test, which aims to compare only the copyrightable portions of the two works in question to see if those parts are copies of one another. In this process, any code boilerplate or ideas would be excluded from the compared portions.

For more information on this test, see: Computer Assocs. v. Altai

This is where things start to get interesting to watch.

Per Groklaw...the place I go to when I need these things explained...
"Sun released PolicyNodeImpl.java under the GPLv2"
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20101028111354436

So, this is already GPL Open Source code.

To complicate things a bit further...it's showing up in code with an Apache license, and this specific code is not actually distributed on Android phones.

You beat me to it....well actually my first post was stopped as spam for some reason.

But it seems to me that what Oracle is saying here is that we don't intend to honor the GPL. We may say its GPLed code but you can reuse it as you wish....only in its entirety. I really can't see many devs on the open source projects so important to Java sticking around with moves like this. Java will probably wither quickly as a platform.

As for Google they need to think about moving away from Java. I'd love to see the Go language flourish. Who wouldn't want a native, garbage collected language/platform thats good for everything from mobile to middleware? But I doubt you'd be able to convert Java code to Go with the huge difference in syntax and paradigm. You'd force devs to have to learn a whole new language that doesn't have any traction anywhere yet. Python would probably end up being the go to but this Oracle case seems to make the claim that any interpreted language is going to infringe on Java VM patents.

Just waiting for Dr. Martin Cooper, Bell Laboratories and Motorola to sue all the cell/smart phone companies.
(Just kidding.)

I like the idea. Buy enough stock to get a seat or seats on Oracle's board and gain influence that way.
This code looks to be a lot of boilerplate and, based on previous posts, it even looks like code that is required for the opensource language to operate. On top of that it may not even be distributed! Oracle is trying to pull a fast one. I think they are hoping that the judge or judges and or jury are not well-versed in programming. If Google's attorneys are smart, they will require a true jury of peers and only have developers in the jury. No offense to anyone, but a financial advisor (me), fireman, photographer, vetrinarian, surgeon, or whomever else wouldn't have a clue, unless they develpp apps for their specific professions....

Hey what are you saying. I am a fireman but you are right, I don't know diddly about code I love tech and I can do very basic stuff like put a computer together add programs even trouble shoot a little.But the meat and potatoes of code I am like so lost so I am just validation that what your saying is correct.Google needs people who knows code to be in that jury.

What is posted in this picture is the same logical algorithm implemented in two distinct ways. One could very easily argue in court any syntactic similarities are explained by limitations in the programming language they are commonly written in (ie: there are only so many valid ways to declare and assign a reference, etc.)

I'm wholly not worried this stunt will propagate any further in Oracle's little spat.