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Email In Oracle-Google Case Will Remain Public 114

Posted by timothy
from the cannot-unring-that-bell dept.
itwbennett writes "When last we left the Oracle/Google patent infringement saga, Oracle had been ordered by Judge William Alsup to lower its claim for damages to $100 million, give or take. Today Judge Alsup denied Google's attempt to get a potentially damaging e-mail redacted. 'What we've actually been asked to do by Larry and Sergey is to investigate what technology alternatives exist to Java for Android and Chrome,' Google engineer Tim Lindholm wrote in the Aug. 2010 e-mail. 'We've been over a hundred of these and think they all suck. We conclude that we need to negotiate a license for Java.'"
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Email In Oracle-Google Case Will Remain Public

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  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @07:15AM (#36957828) Homepage Journal

    It fits if google were thinking oh shit oracle have their hands on java we are screwed get us out, but its not like right at the start they were rubbing their hands with glee we know we have to pay for a license but we are not going to.

    • by bonch (38532) *

      If it's no big deal, why did Google want it redacted, and why did the judge say it would be a blow to their case?

  • Not incriminating (Score:5, Informative)

    by wintercolby (1117427) <winter,colby&gmail,com> on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @07:19AM (#36957846)
    August 2010 is much later than when Oracle bought Sun [oracle.com] and long after Android was initially announced [wikipedia.org]. In fact, all this email was sent just 2 days before Oracle filed their lawsuit [cio.com].
    • Re:Not incriminating (Score:5, Informative)

      by Chrisq (894406) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @07:24AM (#36957874)

      ... In fact, all this email was sent just 2 days before Oracle filed their lawsuit [cio.com].

      Or maybe not sent. from TFA:

      Oracle also implied that Lindholm's e-mail had actually been sent, but in fact it was an incomplete draft, Google added.

      . Probably someone thought "oh shit Oracle have brought Sun", started to suggest that they got a license when someone else pointed out to them that they didn't need to.

      • Following the story thus far I'd guess that's probably about what happened.

      • It doesn't make sense that this email was a start of a suggestion that they get a license, since it seems to be the culmination of them going through "a hundred of these" alternatives to Java and discounting them all. Whoever sent the email saying that they should look through a hundred alternatives to Java (TFA says that it's Larry and Sergey) was already considering whether or not they should get a license. It seems like if they were confident that they still wouldn't need a license they wouldn't have i
        • Oracle was already demanding that they pay for a license. They didn't just file the lawsuit without discussing licensing with Google first. Google said "we don't need a license", Oracle said "Yes you do." Google initiated a search for alternatives as a precaution. Since this document is a technical evaluation of the suitability of the alternatives for their specific use and not a legal opinion about whether or not they actually need a license, this document is not incriminating at all once you spend 2 minut
        • Since I'm not a Google basher, I read that to mean, "Hey, we've been looking at technology ever since we started this business. There are hundred of alternatives to Java - but they all SUCK!" I don't see a "smoking gun" showing that Google was avoiding licensing Java. In fact - that blog posting by Sun's CEO, congratulating Google for using Java seems to imply that no license was needed.

    • And, it's not a legal opinion on whether they actually need to license Java (which Oracle was already asserting), but rather a technical opinion about Java vs the alternatives. It's not damaging if you bother to examine it at all.
    • by bonch (38532) *

      If it's not incriminating, why did Google try to have it redacted? I guess all the Slashdot lawyers are going to tell us.

      • Lots of things can be taken wrong. That's why you have the right to remain silent -- you might say something that incriminates yourself when you don't intend to.

        If you have something that can look to be bad, even if you know it wasn't intended that way, you'd still want it off the record.

  • Given that there are no recipient - this is a draft for an email that was never sent.

    So its nothing more then a private note written by one person.

    As for the damages the 100 million figure was for the whole java plattform - given that this is only for a couple of patent in the java plattform the final figure should be significant less then that given that the patents is only a small portion of the java plattform. Its looks like this will become another case where
    the only winner will be the lawyers since th

  • by pieterh (196118) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @07:33AM (#36957922) Homepage

    No, I'm serious. This is not about emails and licenses but about whether we tolerate monopoly ownership of ideas, i.e. software patents (or patents at all). Up until recently Google has been deliberately naive about the problem, shrugging it off and allowing others to take the hit. It's allowed Microsoft and Apple to accumulate large patent portfolios intended to stop free competition.

    Google need to get hit, and they need to see software patents as a real threat to their plan of world domination. They need to realize that $100M buys a lot of lobbyists, and they need to spend that money in Washington to end the software patent system. Oracle is doing us a favour by forcing Google into court here. They're greedy enough to not want a nominal settlement, and they're smart enough to win their case.

    So despite the fact that I'd rather stab myself with a blunt fork than install a piece of Oracle software on any machine I own, I'm rooting for them in this case, and I hope they win big.

    • by Gaygirlie (1657131) <{gaygirlie} {at} {hotmail.com}> on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @08:07AM (#36958168) Homepage

      Google actually IS and has been fighting software patents for a good while already and they do indeed have lobbyists. They however cannot do miracles: the whole god damn media industry is pushing for stricter copyright and patents laws and they've got all the politicians in their pockets.

      • by JamesP (688957)

        Then Google and and whatnot should take every last single penny and buy the congress...

        Or maybe buy a bunch of patent trolls and 'unleash the kraken' agains MS and Oracle, it's probably cheaper.

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        Yup, media industry has a HUGE amount of power. Far disproportionate to their actual earnings, since they influence how the masses think. They pay everybody from singers to actors to newscasters.

        Maybe if Google starts a movie/music studio...

      • by bonch (38532) *

        the whole god damn media industry is pushing for stricter copyright and patents laws and they've got all the politicians in their pockets.

        You realize that Google has close ties to the Obama administration, right? Schmidt is a technology adviser for Obama, and Andrew McLaughlin is the U.S. deputy chief technology officer. Marissa Mayer even held a fundraiser at her mansion, where Obama made a personal appearance (less than a week before the FTC dismissed its inquiry into the Street View debacle). I wouldn't

    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      and they need to spend that money in Washington to end the software patent system.

      Rather, they'll buy some patent portfolios from random failing tech companies and they will jump in the bandwagon of software patents. It is a much easier route to safety for them.

    • by westlake (615356)

      Up until recently Google has been deliberately naive about the problem, shrugging it off and allowing others to take the hit. Google need to get hit, and they need to see software patents as a real threat to their plan of world domination.

      Google is a licensee of three MPEG LA patent pools:

      MPEG-2, MPEG-4, AVC/H.264

      I haven't the least doubt that it licensees other technoogies on the same scale.

      Google is a business. Its core competence is search. All that licensing the patent portfolio really means iin business s that you can't afford to be the first or the best in everything.

    • It's unlikely that Oracle will lose, since their patents have already been tested in court, and have stood up. The only question is what kind of cross-licensing agreement they get with Google, and how much each patent portfolio is worth.
    • by chrb (1083577)
      Saying that "Oracle are the good guys here" is kind of like saying that "Japan were the good guys" for hitting the U.S. at Pearl Harbor and pulling them into WWII, because it forced the U.S. to join the Allies and their fight. In the end, that may have turned out to have been for the best, but you still wouldn't describe the Japanese as the "good guys" for starting it.
    • by bonch (38532) *

      It's allowed Microsoft and Apple to accumulate large patent portfolios intended to stop free competition.

      Please give examples where Microsoft and Apple have been stopping "free competition" through patent portfolios. The reason for having them is primarily defensive; e.g., it was Nokia who sued Apple first, not the other way around.

      I realize this is Slashdot, and patents have become the new hip cause, following Linux-on-the-desktop, copyright reform, and various other online movements that didn't actually a

  • Once something is 'out there' its kinda impossible to make it 'private' again.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      that's not how patent litigation works, i'm afraid.

      if it did work like that and the jurys were free to do research on their own, then majority of patent litigation cases would end up with both parties patents being stamped with "obvious shit". because very few patents end up being groundbreaking or so innovative that they'd be worthy of a patent, and that's the world we're living in now.

      • by Dog-Cow (21281)

        Your post has no connection to its parent. In fact, I can't figure out what your point is at all, much less how it might be related.

  • 'What we've actually been asked to do by Larry and Sergey is to investigate what technology alternatives exist to Java for Android and Chrome,'

    LOLCODE!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Something interesting to note: take a look at who the writers of the Java VM specification are. One of them is Tim Lindholm.

  • Years ago Google should have bought Sun Microsystems which I am sure why didn't they. Or why doesn't Google buy Oracle NOW
    • Or why doesn't Google buy Oracle NOW

      Google can't afford Oracle.

      You may think Google is some super huge corporation, but Oracle is a super huge corporation as well.

      Not only that, but Oracle makes more money per year than Google does. Of course, they have less equity (thanks in part to them buying companies willy-nilly).

      • Oracle is trading [google.ca] at around $30 a share with a market cap of ~ $153 billion.
        Google is trading [google.ca] at around $600 a share with a market cap of ~$194 billion.

        That is to say, Oracle isn't small, and while Google's bigger, it would have to use nearly half its own net worth to gain a controlling share of Oracle.

  • by Jmc23 (2353706)
    Please, please, why can't they just use lisp? I'd pay extra for a tablet optimized for lisp. It's just so clean and expressive, and if people wanted they could build they're own complicated DSL's and frameworks on top of it.

    Actually i'm willing to pay top-dollar for ANY of todays tablets that can run an optimized Lisp(common lisp preferred), any suggestions?

    • by sessamoid (165542)

      Please, please, why can't they just use lisp? I'd pay extra for a tablet optimized for lisp. It's just so clean and expressive, and if people wanted they could build they're own complicated DSL's and frameworks on top of it.

      Actually i'm willing to pay top-dollar for ANY of todays tablets that can run an optimized Lisp(common lisp preferred), any suggestions?

      Lisps and DSLs seem like they would go together well.

    • by vsync64 (155958)
      I wonder how hard it'd be to build CLISP or SBCL using the NDK.
      • by Jmc23 (2353706)
        Clisp would be the way to go for a quick port; after all it was made to be portable. SBCL would need someone familiar with asm for whichever cpu was being targeted.

        i can't even look at it since my laptop died. which is why i'd give almost anything for a tablet i could do onboard development with. Pretty soon i'll probably just settle for a tablet with a large screen, my n900 doesn't cut it for reading technical docs or hardcore surfing.

        I seriously hope all this legal nonsense steers google in this dir

  • We've been over a hundred of these and think they all suck.

    Even Google's version of the Go Programming Language?

  • The obvious suggestion is that they simply (;-) translate all their java code to python or perl. Or a mixture of both, for even more fun. I'm sure that Guido and Larry would be happy to help google out with that.

    Seriously, all three languages have very similar properties and implementations. There have been a number of proposals for merging their VMs, and packaging all three languages on top of the result. Sorta like the flock of different source languages that have first-stage parsers that spit out

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