"Greed is good" ...
Larry and Gordon must be related.
The Oracle v. Google fight over Java took a couple of twists just before the Easter weekend. The database giant now reckons it is owed up to $9.3bn in copyright-infringement damages for Android's use of Java. Meanwhile, the judge in the trial wants to ban Oracle and Google lawyers from scouring jurors' social network profiles …
...but in particular the Oracle team.
There is a serious danger of the whole industry going up in flames, and all for their 9.3 billion pieces of silver (or rather less, in spite of grandiose claims by oxygen-wasting, water-polluting lawyers)
Meanwhile Java has apparently been grabbed by the suits and is about to get the sociopathic reaper treatment. God help us all.
That's a little harsh.
I would propose executing legal teams ( all sides...) in patent disputes once a set period had expired without resolution of the issue.
I would say it was to speed up the process, but I know the lawyers won't be able to turn down the additional profits from one set of legal teams being eliminated and the process restarting...
"I would propose executing legal teams ( all sides...) in patent disputes "
That'll never work. If you want to see the lawyers scramble, or even shun patent disputes entirely, just have it set in stone that they'll be disbarred once the time period has lapsed without resolution.
Just the thought of having to live a regular life in the world they're creating will give'em screaming nightmares.
What about trial by combat (no champions allowed). One lawyer claims it was never repealed in the USA.
That would be a spectacle seeing CEOs really earn a bonus (assuming either one survives).
I would prefer the mace and shield version, but I would allow that for the defendant to pick.
"I would prefer the mace and shield version, but I would allow that for the defendant to pick."
I think it would be fairer, faster and more beneficial to society as a whole if the trial by combat was conducted at the bottom of the Mariana Trench with the combatants offered a choice of being shackled to 1000kg of boat anchor or 1000kg of concrete as ballast for the rest of their lives. I would graciously allow them to use any firearm they wish, although they would not be allowed any ammunition in case they shoot themselves in the foot before the contest gets underway.
It does rather seem so.
But surely a realistic appraisal would be the amount of money that Oracle would have made out of Java had Google not developed Android. Since Oracle was about as likely to develop an advertising-funded mobile phone platform as I am to become the next President of the US, the most they should expect is some fraction of the usual per-device licence fee for embedded Java - not the full amount because only part of the IP is used, and it is not being supported.
It's said that with libel cases the result depended on who could get the best (connected?) QC first. Expert witnessing nowadays seems to be similar. I wonder what this guy would have come up with if Google had engaged him?
"not the full amount because only part of the IP is used,"
Not only that, but any calculations on infringement of copyright should only be based on the time when the crazy decision to allow copyright on APIs was made plus some "honeymoon" period afterwards to allow the new infringers to change their models or licence the APIs. That would mean that at worst Google was infringing for less than a year with a very small part of their product.
I mean, no one in their right minds had considered APIs to be copyrightable for all the preceding years they existed, so why should Google or anyone else be classed as infringing before new "law" was created by the courts?
Maybe it's time to really shake up the software industry and start suing for software sold with inherent bugs and security vulnerabilities? Games with multi-GB download "fixes" on launch day FFS?
Heh, I just thought. Is MS seeing this coming and that's why Win10 is free? You get what you pay for and can't claim a refund?
Expert witnessing nowadays seems to be similar
Last year, I spent some time in a Public Enquiry. A certain large manufacturer of processed obesity was appealing the fact that they had been denied planning permission to knock down our pub.
They had several "expert" witnesses - all independent. Except that, when you do a little digging on these witnesses, the only work they ever did was to appear as expert witnesses for this particular corpopation...
You'll be glad to know they appeal was denied.
 Some of them were decidedly inexpert; the traffic bod, for example, decided that although the road in question was a main thoroughfare to the motorway junction, he was going to treat it as if it were not, and thus have less-exacting rules as to its use. And the property development guy, when questioned about his addition of a £250k kitchen as part of the "necessary" refurbishment, came up with a beautiful response - that you could get away with less if you were only looking for burger and chips, or some rubbish like that. Oh how we laughed, considering the appellant :-)
 The A334 in Southampton
The outcome of the litigation is not due to that the API´s are many or few, or that are hard or easy to make, is that they are property of the first that made them and therefore retains all rights, company Larry Ellison made a very significant investment in Java is just to get benefits
Yes indeed, Oracle paid for Sun in the hope that they could make money out of the Java development including all the work contributed for free by the development community. The nonexistence of a just divinity is proven by the fact that Oracle is still in business rather than a smoking hole in the ground.
"Those are just individual method/function names and shouldn't be copyrightable, but an API should be protectable by copyright"
An API could consist of a bunch of a set of entry points identified by a natural number. How would you distinguish between such APIs for the purposes of Copyright litigation - or would you simply declare them all the same despite them having totally different purposes ?
Not all books are copyrightable in all aspects. Books which implement well-known "APIs" are not copyrightable in respect of the patterns commonly established by the API.
Tor example, anyone can publish a calendar with one month per page, with months and days having the canonical names in your local language, with seven columns representing the days of the week, with the week-numbers, the public holidays and the phases of the moon marked, and so on. These details will be (and must be) the same in every competitor's calendar.
All that stuff is the API for a scheduling entity called a "Year".
This has also been thrashed out in other areas of human endeavour. For example, there is one and only one pattern of pipes and brackets and holes of particular heights and diameters that allows an exhaust pipe to fit any particular model of car. Copying that pattern in all details is necessary in order that a replacement exhaust pipe can be fitted to that car. The courts have established that auto manufacturers should not have a monopoly on the supply of spare exhausts by virtue of copyright over the external details (the Car to Exhaust API). They retain copyright on the internal design of their design of exhaust system, because there exists a near-infinity of designs all of which can perform the same function, and competitors can and should design their own internals.
I had hoped that the eventual demise of Caldera's claims over the Unix API was the end for lawyers claiming copyright over software APIs. Sadly, it seems not to have been.
The Java brand and internal non-OSS implementation code, may be the property of Oracle, but the API and OSS reference implementations, definitely not! It is nonsense to restrict public API use, because client code needs to use the API and will often need to provide alternative implementations for adapters, extensions and mock testing!
It was/is quite pathetic and stupid for Sun/Oracle to start and persist a greedy, legal tantrum because Google said no to the stupidly expensive license for the crippled JME, which was underpowered for ARM CPUs, so adapted an OSS JRE API reference implementation for their own VM engine (not called Java).
The USA patent system has already been proven to be unfit for purpose, with loads of over-broad nonsense approved, many submitted as obvious mockery!
Intellectual Property (Industrial Protectionism) is an archaic, anti-property, oxymoron, state monopoly privilege invented by corrupt & zombie businesses and enforced by bribed government, it seems to be hampering healthy Capitalist competition too.
Sun (not Oracle) made Java, they also made WABI, a Windows clone that cloned the APIs of Windows so it could run an Sun Sparcstations.
Sun released Java under the GPL license back in 2006. i.e. Oracle don't even have exclusive rights over Java. Sun had already given that copyright away to open source.
Oracle bought Sun.
Google don't use Java, they use Davlik. A VM that implements the same API but is different code. Sort of like WABI did to Windows. (WABI is worse in that Windows isn't under GPL).
The judge can ban them from finding out the juror's name and searching for them, but if they can get pictures of them they might be able to use facial recognition to find out who they are.
Might be something more up Facebook's alley today, but if 'face unlock' became a popular feature in Android, then Google would be able to figure out who over half the potential jurors were. They could simply find a reason to excuse the ones they couldn't identify, leaving a jury packed with people whose names they knew but the opposition didn't, and they'd have a big advantage in every trial!
"The judge can ban them from finding out the juror's name and searching for them, but if they can get pictures of them they might be able to use facial recognition to find out who they are."
Don't the lawyers on both sides have interviews with the prospective jurors and have a say on which ones get onto the actual jury already? So they must already have at least a list of names, possibly more data to start working from. And they have a cut off date so can get their searches in before then and still tell the judge they won't do it, having already done it, so technically not even lying.
If oracle or google wins, anybody ever that ever suffered a loss via java ought to consider class action recourse. Ok thats unlikely to happen because the T&C's absolve them of that for the end user...
but It's wrong that millions are dying while people are getting fat on a bloody stupid argument.
Fine them both and put the proceeds to a worthwhile cause
"The current version of Java - Java SE 8 - is free and available for redistribution for general purpose computing. Java SE continues to be available under the Oracle Binary Code License (BCL) free of charge. JRE use for embedded devices and other computing environments may require a license fee from Oracle. Read more about embedded use of Java SE or contact your local Oracle sales representative to obtain a license. "
However, Sun released the source code of the Class library under GPL on May 8, 2007, except some limited parts that were licensed by Sun from 3rd parties who did not want their code to be released under a free software and open-source license.
So if the Android platform uses Java SE or some derivative under the older GPL then it's fine otherwise if they used the BCL version of Java then pay a licence?
One of the non-technical reasons I have for not using Java is that I could never work out the revenue model.
I did dig thru the license and found some weasel words about 'only being free on desktop computer'.
The fact that I had to wade thru a large license document and sill not come away with a clear idea what or who Id be paying put me off totally.
As I backed away, I did not keep the license.
However, a quick googles comes up with:
Java can be freely used for General Purpose Desktop Computers and Servers.
Thats what I stumbled on. I was looking to do something on a specific lights out box. I did not want to enter the Sun (at the time) legal vortex to work out General Purpose meant.
If APIs can be patented, there is no obvious reason why this would be restricted to application libraries, rather than including things like the API or ABI of operating systems. Linux was designed as a work-alike for Unix, and this could imply that the entity holding the copyright for Unix would be able to shut Linux down. It is not entirely clear who that is at the moment - either Micro Focus International, or our old friends SCO.
"Linux was designed as a work-alike for Unix, and this could imply that the entity holding the copyright for Unix would be able to shut Linux down. It is not entirely clear who that is at the moment - either Micro Focus International, or our old friends SCO."
Linux is built to be POSIX compliant, so they'd be taking on the entire industry including folks like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Huawei, Google as well. The Regents of UCB might have a word or two to say as well seeing as their copyright adorns vast swathes of code. It would be a sad day to see the BSD vs AT&T license wars kicked off again.
> the entity holding the copyright for Unix would be able to shut Linux down. It is not entirely clear who that is at the moment - either Micro Focus International, or our old friends SCO.
You are quite wrong about that on many levels.
The SCO versus Novell case found that Novell did not pass any copyrights to SCO.
Whether Novell holds _any_ protectable copyrights in Unix has not been tested. Some versions of Unix were never registered when this was a requirement. Some versions of Unix were released to the public domain (v32). Much of the Unix code was developed by third parties who may, or may not, retain copyright over their own code, many of whom are probably not contactable.
And mainly: there is no Unix code in Linux.
As for the POSIX API, this is explicity allowed to be used, so no action there is possible.
this could imply that the entity holding the copyright for Unix would be able to shut Linux down. It is not entirely clear who that is at the moment - either Micro Focus International, or our old friends SCO.
This is not true - please do not spread this FUD.
Novell was the owner of Unix - SCO never owned it They merely distributed it.
Novell has distributed GNU/Linux under the GPL for years. Any parts that might become covered by this or any other legislation are still legally redistributed because Novell has granted an irrevocable licence to do so.
The judge is right. And I think that Googling a juror's personal life should ALWAYS be banned in any trial. Juries for some cases, particularly RICO cases, are already completely anonymous, for obvious reasons. This privacy protection should be extended to all juries. It's fair game to ask them questions about what sort of work they do and their opinions on matters that could affect the case, but I strongly feel that their personal identity should never be reveled to anyone outside the court itself. Ever.
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