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Google Developer Testifies That Java Memo Was Misinterpreted 201

Posted by timothy
from the not-what-I-meant dept.
benfrog writes with a piece that appeared in yesterday's Wall Street Journal about the in-progress legal battle between Oracle and Google over Java: "Ex-Sun and current Google employee Tim Lindholm testified that it was "not what he meant" when asked about the smoking gun email (included here (PDF)) that essentially said that Google needed to get a license for Java because all the alternatives 'suck[ed].' He went on in 'brief but tense testimony' to claim that his day-to-day involvement with Android was limited."
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Google Developer Testifies That Java Memo Was Misinterpreted

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  • Re:Oh come on (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Friday April 20, 2012 @09:52PM (#39753055) Journal

    If he didn't mean they should negotiate a Java license with Sun, why did he say:

    It seems likely that he meant that they should negotiate with Sun for a license. However, the most likely meaning of such a statement (when spoken or written by an engineer) is that it would be easier to get a quality product out the door in a timely manner if they licensed Java from Sun than if they wrote their own implementation, and thus, from an engineering perspective, they needed to do so. The powers that be chose to rewrite it instead of buying a license, therefore no license was needed from either a legal or a technical perspective. It is therefore downright silly to interpret such a statement from an engineer as implying that a license was legally necessary.

  • by cryptoluddite (658517) on Friday April 20, 2012 @10:59PM (#39753409)

    Oracle is trying to use the e-mail to prove

    There are literally shittons of emails talking about Google needing a license, trying to get a license, not doing clean-room because they were confident they would get a license, etc. To show it wasn't clean-room Oracle doesn't even have to show anything was copied, Google up and said it. 'Should we do this clean-room?' 'No, it'll be fine'.

    Google now needs to prove to a jury not just that they didn't actually need a license, but also that all their top execs and engineers were wrong. If say in a police interrogation you admit to doing the crime a jury will still convict you even if there is absolute proof that you didn't do it. Human nature says if you admitted to it then you did it, so Google has a huge uphill battle to climb here with these emails. At this point they may be already planning the appeal, where the actual law matters.

  • by msobkow (48369) on Saturday April 21, 2012 @07:31AM (#39754909) Homepage Journal

    And now I can understand why Oracle's shorts are in a knot.

    A key point of Java technology is the cross-platform nature of the JVM. Without the JVM, you lose the portability that was a primary goal, and which Sun fought Microsoft to protect. Microsoft, despite having licensed Java, was beaten down in court for their "variant" on Java.

    Regardless of the legalities of the case, I now have to take Oracle's side on the issue. Google is breaking the Java "contract" with developers: portability. Java is not just the syntax and libraries; it's the whole ecosystem, including the concept of portable jars. So regardless of the finer points of law that have been brought up, I hope Oracle wins.

    If Microsoft can be bitch-slapped, so can Google.

Given its constituency, the only thing I expect to be "open" about [the Open Software Foundation] is its mouth. -- John Gilmore

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