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Does Google Pin Copyright Violations On the ASF? 136

Posted by Soulskill
from the plot-thickens dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Florian Mueller claims to have produced new evidence that he believes supports Oracle's case against Google on the copyright side of the lawsuit. Oracle originally presented one example to the court, and that file was found to have been part of older Android distributions, with an Apache license header. Mueller has just published six more files of that kind and believes the Apache Software Foundation will disown those just like the first one because those were never part of the Apache Harmony code base. Furthermore, various source files from the Sun Java Wireless Toolkit were found in the Android codebase, containing a total of 38 copyright notices that mark them as proprietary and confidential, but Google apparently published their source code regardless."
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Does Google Pin Copyright Violations On the ASF?

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  • by ByOhTek (1181381) on Friday January 21, 2011 @12:57PM (#34954710) Journal

    This post is proprietary and confidential. By accepting it, Slashdot agrees to not publish it to any third parties without my explicit permission. Violations of this contract will result in Commander Taco being legally bound to turn into a tunicate [wikipedia.org] for not less than 36 hour greater than the duration at which this post is made available to any unauthorized third parties.

    • [This post has been removed.]

      Last edited by cdrtaco [slashdot.org] Friday January 21.

    • Ed Burnette dug down and found the code to be unused unit-tests and unused driver code, not shipped with android.

      See Oops: No copied Java code or weapons of mass destruction found in Android [zdnet.com]

      --dave

      • by exomondo (1725132)

        Ed Burnette dug down and found the code to be unused unit-tests and unused driver code, not shipped with android.

        See Oops: No copied Java code or weapons of mass destruction found in Android [zdnet.com]

        --dave

        Mueller posted a rebuttal to that also, but it seems the upshot of his argument is that the code exists in the sourcetree (which of course has been acknowledged) and that while it doesn't appear to have been actually used in Android distributions (as per the make files) since it is unit test code, Burnette can't prove that Android distributions that do use that code in some form don't exist. So it seems he his now trying to go with a 'guilty until proven innocent' argument.

        In his defence of Engadget's headl

    • by kiwix (1810960)

      This reminds me of the /bin/true shipped in Solaris:
      bash-2.05$ cat /bin/true
      #!/usr/bin/sh
      # Copyright (c) 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 AT&T
      # All Rights Reserved

      # THIS IS UNPUBLISHED PROPRIETARY SOURCE CODE OF AT&T
      # The copyright notice above does not evidence any
      # actual or intended publication of such source code.

      #ident "@(#)true.sh 1.6 93/01/11 SMI" /* SVr4.0 1.4 */
      bash-2.05$

      Yep, the empty program is "UNPUBLISHED PROPRIETARY SOURCE CODE". It

  • Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Spykk (823586) on Friday January 21, 2011 @12:59PM (#34954750)
    Another "anonymous" submission linking to this troll's blog? You know better than to feed the trolls slashdot...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      [...] You know better than to feed the trolls slashdot...

      Do you have ANY evidence to substantiate this?

      • by Cwix (1671282)

        AC sticks up for another AC. I wonder if they are the same AC.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          AC sticks up for another AC. I wonder if they are the same AC.

          Actually, all ACs are me. However I am also 93.2% of all logged in accounts too, so that doesn't help much. You may be one of the few exceptions but 'Cwix' does sound familiar, I'll have to check my list.

        • by ByOhTek (1181381)

          Who was s/he sticking up for? Looks like the GP was suggesting that there is no evidence that Slashdot knows better than to feed the trolls.

      • by fishexe (168879)

        [...] You know better than to feed the trolls slashdot...

        Do you have ANY evidence to substantiate this?

        I would say there's quite a bit of counter-evidence, given how often trolls are fed around here...

    • You say that as if you expect someone to actually RTFA. I'd say you must be new here, but it won't be long until there are as many accounts that were created after you joined as before...
    • by masdog (794316)
      What is so trollish about it? It seemed well reasoned, and it appears to link to evidence to support his claims. I have not, examined the evidence, though.
      • by bonch (38532)

        It's "trollish" because this is Slashdot. On Slashdot, Google is automatically given the benefit of the doubt because they use Linux. Seriously, that's why.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      You know better than to feed the trolls slashdot...

      o_O Please don't feed Slashdot to the trolls!

    • by bonch (38532)

      Rather than refute his arguments, you call him a troll and cite the anonymity of the submitter (as if anonymous submitters don't submit pro-Google stories), which got you an instant +5 Insightful.

      Can you actually refute his arguments rather than calling him names?

    • Got any evidence to back your claim that he's a troll?

  • I am confused. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) on Friday January 21, 2011 @12:59PM (#34954760)

    If I publish a book that has a section with someone else's copyright notice printed in it, can I blame the person who holds that copyright for any issues it causes? And if not, why can Google do it?

    • by DMiax (915735)
      As far as the Apache blog post explaiins, they just used the Apache Software License. They did not attribute the code to Apache.
    • I'm not sure blame is the right word, however it's entirely possible that Google has a copyright assignment agreement with the ASF. If this is the case, they may simply be putting an ASF copyright header at the top of Android source files, with the assumption that people at the ASF will pick up any that are actually useful and incorporate them into their codebases. This would mean that the ASF actually does own the subset of this code that Google has the right to assign (i.e. the stuff that isn't owned by

      • ... however it's entirely possible that Google has a copyright assignment agreement with the ASF. If this is the case, they may simply be putting an ASF copyright header at the top of Android source files, with the assumption that people at the ASF will pick up any that are actually useful and incorporate them into their codebases. This would mean that the ASF actually does own the subset of this code that Google has the right to assign ...

        An AC posted a header. If accurate it seems to license not assign ownership:
        "Licensed to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) under one or more contributor license agreements."

    • Re:I am confused. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (esidarap.cram)> on Friday January 21, 2011 @01:22PM (#34955224) Homepage Journal
      Except that as far as I've seen (troll blog post notwithstanding) Google didn't try to blame anything on anyone -- they used the Apache license. ASF independently clarified saying that the choice of Apache license does not mean that it was a part of the ASF-owned Harmony project.

      From the referenced ASF blog:

      Recent reports on various blogs have attributed to the ASF a number of the source files identified by Oracle as ones that they believe infringe on their copyrights. The code in question has an header that mentions Apache, and perhaps that is the source of the confusion. The code itself is using a license that is named after our foundation, is in fact the license that we ourselves use. Many others use it too, as the license was explicitly designed to allow such uses. Even though the code in question has an Apache license, it is not part of Harmony. PolicyNodeImpl.java is simply not a Harmony class.

      That's all. No "blaming" involved on Google's part. No "disowning" on ASF's part. Just one annoying blogger trying for ad impressions.

      • Re:I am confused. (Score:5, Informative)

        by bonch (38532) on Friday January 21, 2011 @03:32PM (#34957520)

        Just one annoying blogger trying for ad impressions.

        Since Slashdotters have more than once tried to dismiss this guy as some troll or just some blogger, perhaps you should do a little research. Florian Muller [wikipedia.org] is the founder of the NoSoftwarePatents [nosoftwarepatents.com] campaign, fighting the EU's directive on the patentability of computer-related inventions, which they eventually rejected. He's received several awards for his intellectual property activism and is considered one of the most influential in the field.

        But yeah, because this is a potentially negative Google submission, people around here are going to attack the messenger and try to dismiss him outright, because they're biased toward pro-Linux companies like Google. This site's comment section is becoming a real trash heap.

        • Good for him! Seriously, I think that what he's done is great. However, it doesn't change the problems that exist with this and a couple of his other blog posts.

          Neither his stance on Google nor the tone of the article have anything to do with my comment. Instead, it's based on a portion of his post being factually incorrect. So blatantly incorrect I don't see how he could have missed it -- which leads me to thinking that it was intentional.

          But yeah, because this is a potentially negative Google submission, people around here are going to attack the messenger and try to dismiss him outright, because they're biased toward pro-Linux companies like Google. This site's comment section is becoming a real trash heap.

          For the record, I'm not a huge fan of google, and I gave up on u

        • by ishobo (160209)

          Slashdot was a trash heap from the very beginning.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I like how you left off the part about him lying to the EU commission about the effect on MySQL during the Oracle buyout of Sun:
          http://www.groklaw.net/articlebasic.php?story=20091204095942328 [groklaw.net]
          When the FSF's Eblen Moglen has to side with Oracle against his FUD, clearly something is up.

          Florian set up a FUD campaign against IBM in the TurboHercules:
          http://www.groklaw.net/articlebasic.php?story=20100408153953613 [groklaw.net]
          Pamela Jones stated "It seems Groklaw will have to open a new category,

    • Re:I am confused. (Score:4, Informative)

      by phantomfive (622387) on Friday January 21, 2011 @02:15PM (#34956174) Journal
      If you look at the second link, it gives an example of some code that is in the Android git repository. It does have a basic copyright notice on it, along with the words "SUN CONFIDENTIAL - DO NOT DISTRIBUTE." So Google could be in some kind of legal trouble here. They distributed code that is owned by someone else, against their wishes. HOWEVER - the damages are not likely to be very big, because Oracle is still distributing the same code for free. As far as I can tell, it's not a part of the Java source code.

      Google does have serious problems with Android, mainly because Oracle owns a lot of patents relating to virtual machines. Microsoft ended up paying $700million or so because of that, for C#. It will not be easy for the Android creators to get out of it.

      (Note: if you're going to reply telling me that Microsoft had to pay because they were copying Java, you are right, but please go find some links talking about Sun's other lawsuit over C# and inform yourself before replying).
      • please go find some links talking about Sun's other lawsuit over C#

        Was there an actual lawsuit over this? IIRC, all that is known is that Microsoft pays a certain undisclosed amount to Sun/Oracle over some Java patents, which, supposedly, pertain to CLR - without any lawsuit (which would actually be a good hint that Sun's JVM patents are solid).

      • by nurb432 (527695)

        They distributed code that is owned by someone else, against their wishes. HOWEVER - the damages are not likely to be very big, because Oracle is still distributing the same code for free.

        That sort of argument didn't work well for Kevin Mitnik. He still went to prison.

  • by pcause (209643) on Friday January 21, 2011 @01:03PM (#34954844)

    Another example of what "do no evil" really means: if Google benefits it isn't evil, right? Pretty amazing and inept theft of IP on Google's part and for being this inept and stealing so blatantly, Oracle will get billions. Shame that we Android users will have to pay for Google's theft.

    • Why should Android users have to pay for Google's mistakes? I'm thinking more along the lines of:

      1. Google releases code that's not theirs
      2. Google profits massively from Android, users profit massively from Android
      3. Google gets caught, pays bunch of fines and whatever it needs to to be allowed to continue use of the code
      4. Users continue to profit, Google's profits from Android are diminished just a little bit
      5. The whole issue is forgotten and life goes on as Android users continue to profit

      I'm gonna go

      • by aliquis (678370)

        I'm gonna go hug my CyanogenMod7 powered Desire now... :)

        I'm gonna throw my Droid in the toilet [slashdot.org]. Wait, I don't own a Droid =P

        • Be happy. I went through that same crap with the Motorola Milestone before getting my Desire. Six months of misery... makes freedom taste all the sweeter ;)

        • by GooberToo (74388)

          I'm gonna throw my Droid in the toilet. Wait, I don't own a Droid =P

          That's too bad because the Droid isn't locked. The Droid was actually pushed out by Google to Android developers. So if you were to throw a Droid down the toilet you wasted a perfectly good, unlocked, fully rootable, Android device.

          • 1. are there any android devices to date that aren't rootable? yes maybe there are, but saying the device is rootable doesn't make it especially unique or suited for development.

            2. what exactly does unlocked mean when the only droids produced are on verizon's non-standard CDMA network? you can't use a droid anywhere except verizon. and by the way, "droid" is a trademark of verizon wireless.

            • by GooberToo (74388)

              are there any android devices to date that aren't rootable? yes maybe there are, but saying the device is rootable doesn't make it especially unique or suited for development.

              The Droid has built in facilities to allow for rooting and loading of custom ROMS. No exploits are required. There is a difference between requiring an exploit and leveraging a built-in facility.

              As for the answer to your question, yes, there are some Android devices which are not rootable.

              As for unlocked, I didn't mean carrier locked. I mean hardware locked - as in, it doesn't have one.

      • by meloneg (101248)
        But, the actual owner of the IP is under no obligation to grant a license at any cost. That's the catch. Huggin' my CM7 Vision. :)
        • True, but let's just hope Google throws money at them until they say yes :p

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I believe that it goes more like this. Iif Google violated terms I believe the courts will determine the value of that violation and make Google pay. A company that refuses to license you something that you accidentally use doesn't get to determine what you will pay. Google simply has to leave it up to the courts to decide what that value is and they won't necessarily use the numbers the company says it is worth. In the case of people violating the GPL the value courts have ruled is $0. They essentially get

      • Google profits massively from Android

        And you have proof of this from where? Because according to their own financial statements they say otherwise. 96.5% of their revenue comes from adsense programs and from Google-owned websites. The other 3.5% comes from "other sources" which are primarily interest off of investments.

        • Someone from Google stated that Android was profitable a few months ago. At Google, I'm guessing profitable doesn't mean pennies... :)

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      But their motto wasn't "do no evil", it was "don't be evil". Big difference.

  • No they do not (Score:5, Informative)

    by DMiax (915735) on Friday January 21, 2011 @01:05PM (#34954872)
    Using the apache software license is not the same as attributing code to the apache software foundation, you know just like people is not giving their copiright to Berkeley or MIT or the GNU project... Seriously, this is the second story from this troll in a couple of days... This is not even flamebait, if so at least I could enjoy the show, instead: why post it?
    • Read more carefully. The license files in the headers explicitly state the ASF as the copyright holder, not just that they are licensed under the ASL 2.0. Of course, the reason for this is probably to make it easier for Google-contributed Android code to be used by the ASF, rather than to blame them for copyright violation.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      The troll is paid by MSFT to create fud around patents, and more recently, Android. He is a whore and a pox.

    • The files say that they are from the ASF. Did you bother to even read the article and look at the files before you posted?

  • I have no idea what the hell the post title here has to do with the story. There's no indication that Google's blaming the ASF for anything, in any of the primary reporting on the story.

  • by omb (759389) on Friday January 21, 2011 @01:13PM (#34955034)
    This is all getting SO stupid, copying a bit of text is NOT infringment so long as fair use is not exceeded, and if the text or the idea was already written that way, shoot or throw all the STUPID corporate f**kers and lawers and throw the bodies in the Charles River, along with the Tea chests.
    • by fidget42 (538823)
      If you use someone else's code in your program, that is not fair use. If you copy someone else's text into your book, that is not fair use.
    • It's stupid, but not for the reason you suggest. Oracle's attack on Google's use of Java is based on patents. Copyright issues are peripheral and cannot prevent use of Java, they will at most further line the pockets of lawyers and require some clean room rewrites. To put it another way, copyright does not protect ideas, only the expression of them. Either Sun's expression of Java ideas is not the only one in which case a rewrite is possible, or it is the only possible expression in which case the expre

      • That said, the stupidest thing of all would be for Google to continue to rely solely on Java for Android while C++ is significantly more efficient and significantly less of a patent minefield. Of course there are stupid people at Google, or more accurately, people who consistently do stupid things for whatever reason (as far as I'm concerned, a stupid person) and it comes down to, who calls the shots and how stupid is he?

        IMO, using Java and Linux was a brilliant strategy to get Android off the ground quickly and to have a critical mass of experienced developers from the start. However, now that it's established, Google can begin damping down the significance of Java and allow it to be more language neutral.

        Movement away from total reliance on Java (or the Dalvik JVM) is already underway. It is (as of 2.3 - Gingerbread) possible to implement apps completely in C/C++ without writing any Java. http://android-developers.blogsp [blogspot.com]

        • It is (as of 2.3 - Gingerbread) possible to implement apps completely in C/C++ without writing any Java.

          But the C++ application still runs under Java so somebody is still stupid.

          • It is (as of 2.3 - Gingerbread) possible to implement apps completely in C/C++ without writing any Java.

            But the C++ application still runs under Java so somebody is still stupid.

            That somebody is beginning to sound a lot like you.

            The C++ applications run natively (as in, not on top of Java). In NDK v5, ONLY when services provided by the Dalvik JVM are needed do they go through the JNI layer. C++ apps have full native access to the linux kernel services and in effect, run ALONGSIDE the Dalvik JVM. This really provides the best of both worlds. Apps with simple user interaction that don't require high performance can stick with the simpler Java APIs, while apps that require high perfo

            • It is (as of 2.3 - Gingerbread) possible to implement apps completely in C/C++ without writing any Java.

              But the C++ application still runs under Java so somebody is still stupid.

              That somebody is beginning to sound a lot like you.

              Sorry, it's not. I quote: "Of course, access to the regular Android API still requires Dalvik, and the VM is still present in native applications, operating behind the scenes".

              So, months after being sued by Oracle, C++ is still joined at the hip to Java on Android. It should have been set free the next day. Stupid. Or more accurately, fucking stupid.

              • It is (as of 2.3 - Gingerbread) possible to implement apps completely in C/C++ without writing any Java.

                But the C++ application still runs under Java so somebody is still stupid.

                That somebody is beginning to sound a lot like you.

                Sorry, it's not. I quote: "Of course, access to the regular Android API still requires Dalvik, and the VM is still present in native applications, operating behind the scenes".

                So, months after being sued by Oracle, C++ is still joined at the hip to Java on Android. It should have been set free the next day. Stupid. Or more accurately, fucking stupid.

                I don't know why I'm wasting my time responding to this because you're obviously don't know what you are talking about.

                First, the NDK compiles the C/C++ code down to native ARM binaries. Yes, the VM is still in control, but the binaries run at the full speed of the processor. Accessing the standard Android API obviously still has to go through the VM via JNI for now, but as I stated, the direction of the NDK is to expose more and more services without going through the Android API. For instance, NDK r5 e

                • You imagine I was not fully aware of every detail you just regurgitated. The fact remains, Android still ties C++ to Java, needlessly. Which is stupid. And I am beginning to think that the same should be said of you, even though your heart is in the right place.

                  • by SnowZero (92219)

                    Daniel, you're starting to sound like the people who go on LKML and ask why the Kernel can't be rewritten in another language. I'm sure you understand that is crazy. Much like Linux's 8 million lines of code, Android is large at 11 million lines of code. All of the libraries and services a native app might use are not going to be rewritten in a point release. How else would you expect the system to work right now except as a mixed mode?

                    I personally detest Java, and would rather use either C++ or a real

                    • One has to be a realist.

                      You're not going to impress me exaggerating by the difficulty of doing this or that with a computer, especially when it comes to interpreters and especially when it comes to execution environments. Conversion of large Java code bases to C++ is largely mechanical, and in this case, only a small fraction of the code needs to be converted to remove the tie between native applications and Java. Here is the reality: smart people can do stuff like that. Stupid people just bleat about the difficulty ad nauseum.

                    • I hope that someday everything on Android is handled through kernel interfaces and native libraries

                      By the way, you must be aware that it already is? Java/Dalvik does all its IO including all device control by JNI calls. Exactly the same API calls a native binary makes, except twisted through the incredibly barfacious JNI API.

  • by Jahava (946858) on Friday January 21, 2011 @01:26PM (#34955296)

    In Florian's paper, he points these out as Sun PROPRIETARY / CONFIDENTIAL. However, it looks like several of the sources come from Sun's mmademo, linked here [java2s.com]. In this rendition of the document, each source file's license is a permissive one by Sun (i.e., not proprietary / confidential).

    The ones from microedition seem to be mentioned elsewhere under GPL [mobile-utopia.com].

    Some sources seem to come from here [mobile-utopia.com], where some of the files (e.g., Control.java) have the proprietary markings, but these are interfaces. Control, for example, is an empty interface. Not sure if that affects anything.

    I'm not qualified to make any sense out of this, but it seems like several of the sources Florian mentions are actually GPL'd sources with incorrect headers. There are a few trivial ones that (in the source I found) seem to be correctly marked proprietary. As much as I admire Florian's ability to grep, I think he's just found an error in some headers, not actual violations.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm not an expert either, but he points out that J2SE 5.0 has the "proprietary" copyright notices while 6 has GPL notices, but that 5.0 is relevant for the time. I didn't see a specific date mentioned for when the alleged violations occurred, but Google announced Android on Nov 5, 2007 (while the first handset to use it, the T-Mobile G1 aka HTC Dream, was released on Sep 23, 2008). J2SE 6 (which apparently has GPL notices) was released Dec 11, 2006 (nearly a year before Google released the first SDK for A

    • by yuhong (1378501)

      Note that Apache is NOT GPLv2 compatible.

    • by yuhong (1378501)

      However, it looks like several of the sources come from Sun's mmademo, linked here [java2s.com]. In this rendition of the document, each source file's license is a permissive one by Sun (i.e., not proprietary / confidential).

      Indeed, I just compared two files from the /test/mmademo/src/example/mmademo/ directory inside the MMAPI.zip file with the linked source code and indeed it seems like they are the exact same files with a different license header.

  • Just because the code was allegedly re-licensed under the Apache license doesn't mean Apache had anything to do with it. That would be like claiming the FSF is responsible for all code released under the GPL. As already noted, the files in question were not part of the Harmony code base, so I don't understand how anyone could see this as Google "pinning copyright violations on ASF".

    Sounds like someone definitely f**ked up though.

    I hope their "Unladen Swallow" project succeeds, so they can port everything to

  • I don't get it. Searching the source code for words like "proprietary", "distribute", "licence", "sun" must have been the first step taken by anyone intrested in finding out more of the Oracle lawsuit. Not to mention Oracle's investigation, hundreds of tech-savvy people must have done it the same day as the story broke. How can this be a new finding? I mean.. he is the first person savvy enough to wield the arcane power of The Grep on ze code and post about it? Not probable. I dont get it.
  • Suppose I grab a copy of some of Oracle's propriety licensed source code, and change the header to attribute the copyright to me and change the date to a prior date. How can Oracle conclusively prove that they didn't steal the code from me?

    For that matter, who's to say that some of Oracle's source code wasn't lifted from some other OSS project with the headers changed?

    The idea that simply placing "Copyright (c) 1995, mswhippingboy" in the header of a file seems like pretty flimsy evidence either way to me

    • by MarkvW (1037596)

      If you can convince 12 people off the street (a jury) that copying took place, then you can win googlebucks in a lawsuit.

      Juries are strange and unpredictable.

      Engineer binary thinking gets its ass kicked in court all the time by word-painting artists (lawyers and their experts).

      It's a high stakes crapshoot.

  • The big deal is this:

    From the beginning, some others believed that the Android developers had utilized a decompiler. I read about that theory on a couple of different websites, especially reddit.com. When I looked into this case again, I downloaded a Java decompiler named JAD. And when I decompiled PolicyNodeImpl.class from J2SE 5.0, the result was pretty much the same source code as Android's PolicyNodeImpl.java code (which Oracle presented in its Exhibit J). My "PolicyNodeImpl synopsis" document shows the similarities.

    I then performed the same comparison for six other files in the adjacent "acl" subdirectory. The Android versions of those files are available on the Web (Android version 2.2 aka "Froyo", Android version 3.0 aka "Gingerbread"). My synopsis PDF files document the same problem: Android contains, under the Apache license, code that is essentially just decompiled code of Oracle/Sun software that was never licensed to Apache.

    Interestingly, PolicyNodeImpl.java (the file used by Oracle in its Exhibit J) appears not to have been part of the most recent Android distributions, while the six other files I identified are part of the two most recent and presently most relevant distributions: Froyo (Android 2.2) and Gingerbread (Android 2.3). That makes those files even more important than the one Oracle presented.

    The old story about one decompiled class was made not quite relevant by the fact that it was not part of the OS itself, but some supporting code that is easily removed. Now, though, it turns out that vendors have shipped decompiled proprietary Sun/Oracle code on numerous Android-based devices, courtesy of Google. That will not look good in the court at all.

    • by MarkvW (1037596)

      Thanks for the helpful post.

      Google copycatting will cost them Googlebucks.

      • Google copycatting will cost them Googlebucks.

        Tom Callaway has done tremendous work cleaning up the Chromium codebase and one of the things he found is that Google just grabs stuff without thinking [livejournal.com].

        They say things like they need to fork, they can't use existing versions, they need to copy code wholesale into their codebase, etc. He's proven them wrong on those counts by systematically replacing all their half-baked crap with system libraries. They don't seem to regard licenses very highly either.

        The same

      • Not so helpful after all [slashdot.org], I'm sorry to say.

  • Dear Oracle,

    As a long-time customer of both Oracle and Sun, as well as a professional Java developer and an Android user, I have a request to make of you.

    Please stop being douchebags.

    Sincerely,

    Me

  • by pickens (49171) on Friday January 21, 2011 @06:11PM (#34959922) Journal
    http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2011/01/new-alleged-evidence-of-android-infringement-isnt-a-smoking-gun.ars [arstechnica.com]

    "A close look at the actual files and accompanying documentation, however, suggest that it's not a simple case of copy and paste. The infringing files are found in a compressed archive in a third-party component supplied by SONiVOX, a member of Google's Open Handset Alliance (OHA). SONiVOX, which was previously called Sonic, develops an Embedded Audio Synthesis (EAS) framework and accompanying Java API wrappers which it markets as audioINSIDE."

    It's not clear how the zip file got included in the AOSP, but it's obvious that it wasn't intended to be there and isn't actually used by Android in any capacity. Android is using SONiVOX's EAS code, but doesn't use or need the MMAPI wrapper. This incident is very clearly not a case of Android stealing code from Sun or J2ME. It's a handful of test cases from an unrelated and publicly available Sun reference implementation that got uploaded by accident to AOSP in a zip archive supplied by a third party. It's a tacky mistake, but it's hardly serious or damaging. At worst, it warrants a takedown notice. It's certainly not a smoking gun as one might assume when viewing the code out of context.

  • Florian doesn't seem to consider the possibility that when Google acquired the files, they didn't have the "CONFIDENTIAL" notice on them. If the files were obtained as part of a larger demo or test suite released with an encompassing less-restrictive license, as appears to be the case with at least some of the files mentioned, then maybe someone other than Google (even possibly a Sun employee) scrubbed the notices accordingly. The tone of the article doesn't give Google much benefit of the doubt that these
  • if there's guilt, it seems that the files involved are essentially insignificant in the context of android. does that factor into damages? is guilt here all or nothing? is stealing 100 lines of stolen source code the same as 1 million? common sense would say no but of course the laws here aren't common sense.

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