Jury decision may not be determining factor in case, turns out Oracle’s main gripe is that Android isn’t platform agnostic
Something that didn’t cross my mind when I was ranting about Oracle’s angst towards Google in my last post was that Java is meant to be 100 percent cross-platform. Not just cross-platform in the sense that it can run on any OS, but in the sense that it must run across all OS’s – following the “write once, run anywhere” rule.
Not that I agree with this silly rule, but I guess that doesn’t really matter – that’s the way Oracle wants it, and it’s pretty much what’s allowing it to hold on to this case for so long. That, and the simple fact that Google didn’t actually license any part of the Java API.
I love Oracle’s Open Office Suite and VirtualBox VM software as much as the next guy, but I think most of us love Google a lot more. Again though; it’s not like any of that matters – it’s not even looking like the jury has a whole lot of say with the issue at this point either.
When it comes down to it, it’s all about narrowing everything down as close to the hard legal guidelines as possible. It’s obviously not a light task and I’m sure judge Alsup isn’t having much fun with the battle, but he’ll likely be making a decision before too long.
What’s causing all the confusion and chaos here, is the difficulty in determining whether or not the (nine lines of) code that Google used out of the API falls under fair use – which would put Google in the safe zone – or if it is in fact copyrightable.
We appreciate the jury’s efforts, and know that fair use and infringement are two sides of the same coin. The core issue is whether the APIs here are copyrightable, and that’s for the court to decide. We expect to prevail on this issue and Oracle’s other claims. – Jim Prosser of Google via Washington Post
For me at least, it’s sad to see two open source developers battling it out over two open source products. Microsoft and Motorola? Sure. They can fight all they want – they’re not widely open source, if at all. But Oracle and Google? C’mon now…
I don’t think we have to worry about anything happening with Android – even if Google is found guilty of infringement. They’ll most likely just be paying some fees and getting some licensing, but still, it’s kind of a ridiculous war for two open source companies to be in the midst of.
How do you feel about it – is Google in the wrong, or is it Oracle that needs to back off?