Oracle wins appeal against Google in Java copyright case

By Shawn Knight ยท 13 replies
May 9, 2014
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  1. A federal appeals court on Friday granted Oracle an appeal in its case against Google. Specifically, the court ruled that code within the Java platform is, in fact, entitled to copyright protection.

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  2. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,423   +350

    So java is banned from the internet and Oracle hacked android?

    I seriously dont see a problem with using Java at all but now I am gonna think if I use java I will be sued by Oracle..
  3. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,352   +293

    Still not sure what it's going to do for Oracle to win this case. It's not like they are going after a company that charges for every license of their OS, like Microsoft. Doesn't Google just give Android away to OEMs? So there would be no monetary damages, since there was no income from using the java code. What are they going to do, force a complete shutdown of Android?
  4. This is great news!! Now Google can finally get rid of that POS software that's riddled with security issues! I'd say this is a great win for the consumer!
  5. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 568   +241

    I think you're imagining the scenario in a wrong way. It isn't about Android being built with Java, is about all apps and services using Java [excluding Swing and AWT] to work; the base of the system is built in C/C++ since the bottom layer of Android's architecture is Linux GNU/Linux [sorry Stallman].

    While programming for Android I was wondering to what extent Google was using Java agreed by both parties (Oracle and Google), since Kitkat now supports Java 7 and before that up to Java 6. Of course Google has introduced a lot of its own harvest to the Android-Java APIs because they don't use Oracle's GUI APIs, but totally new libraries and classes like Toast or Dialog instead of JOptionPane for example.

    I think the best approach for Google would have been to ask permission in the beginning to use a certain Java framework (Java 6 for instance) for basic logic, part ways and develop the framework in their own way instead of using the improvements of the original Java in parallel -now the use Java 7, then 8; instead of their own Java-based and own improvements. Besides, Google is not totally a victim here, I think Oracle is looking for a share of the huge amount of apps developed and installed in Android, based in Java, just the same way Google charges developers who use Google APIs in their apps and have a certain amount of installations -for example, if an app uses Google Maps and gets downloaded 100,000 times or more, the developer will be charged proportionally even if the app is free.
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  6. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 568   +241

    Android using Java-based apps has nothing to do with security issues, even if Oracle's Java has security issues. This is because Android uses only the most basic and elemental classes from the API (classes for handling text strings, colors, number formats and formatting, etc.) and not the whole Java framework (graphical interface, security, etc.).

    App permissions are in a XML file called manifest which states the app's permissions (read/write to external memory, internet access, etc.), the app's name, supported Android APIs that translate into Android build versions (API 19 translating into 4.4.2 Kitkat or API 9 being 2.3 Gingerbread; see more here), the app or activity theme and a lot more. The system is only in charge of blocking access to a non-authorized resource in the manifest upon installation -imagine a permission for accessing the camera but not the internet in the manifest; attempting to access the internet at some point of the app would eventually do nothing, it wouldn't crash but neither do what was requested. So it's up to the user to read the app's permission requests upon installation and installing only trusted apps, since the system won't be monitoring how the app is using those permissions once running.
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  7. So what's the verdict EEatGDL. Big money or no?
  8. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +1,085

    Oracle really gets on my nerves
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,177   +990

    Hmm; Another case of non-techies being ignorant of software. The case is without merit!

    An API (application programming interface) is just the name and arguments to a piece of code, not the code itself. For example, the C language (and several others) have a function who's api is
    function boolean print(string)
    and a very common tutorial example in many languages is print("Hello World").
    How the print function operates to put "Hello World" on the output device is never disclosed and varies depending upon the hardware, the OS and the language.

    To assert that an api can be copywrited is like saying you can't have a "green door with a brass door handle" because I have one and it is copywrite protected.

    The 'fight" imo, was to make it more difficult for the APPS to be ported from one system to another by forcing a total rewrite of the APP due to no common apis.
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  10. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    I'm not sure you understand the issue. Google does not run Java on Android. They wrote an API that has the same commands as those found in the Java API. They did their own implementation of the commands. I.e. they are not using Oracle code at all.
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,177   +990

    BTW: there was a massive effort in the '80s (known as POSIX) to get the header files for the C programming language to be 'well defined' so the APIs could be accessed and used in a uniform manner, ie:

    the file stdio.h contains the api for the stream functions such as print(), printf, sprintf, getc, putc, ...

    and regardless of the system {IBM, SunMicro, HP, SGI, RedHat, Debian}, the api is always in the same file - - thus making it REQUIRED to have the apis shared even across systems.
  12. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,379   +286

    Isn't that like CryTech suing Dice because Frostbite has certain features similar/identical to CryEngine? Google created their own version of certain feature rather than getting a 3rd party, what's wrong with this? It's not like they copy/pasted Oracles code right?

    or maybe it's late and I am too tired and pretty much overthinking this?
  13. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    It would be if the Frostbite engine commands had the same name, syntax and functional spec. Which at a guess I'd say they don't!

    This is a pretty unusual case. Not every day you have a multi billion dollar company leveraging someone else's API to get adoption. Pretty big incentive for Oracle to sue when the target has such deep pockets.

    Not saying Oracle is in the right! Just saying it's a good incentive to test the court.
  14. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,379   +286

    Ah fair enough, that explains it. Well, not to side with the "devil" but id sue as well ^^

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