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Re: The GPL and Patents: ROFL

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: The GPL and Patents: ROFL
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2010 15:59:40 -0000

RJack wrote:
> On 8/13/2010 5:59 PM, RJack wrote:
> This is a well written article. I suspect the demise of Java is at hand
> because of the Oracle suit. Java will become a niche platform.
> "James Gosling was right. Goodbye Oracle Java."


""SCOracle" Weaponizes Java

But what about other Sun open source projects?

2 comments | 2I like it! 

Tags: Google, java, Oracle, patents, SCOracle 

August 13, 2010, 09:03 AM —  

I'll say this for Oracle, at least they're consistently contradictory.
They'll extol the virtues of their partners, then turn right around and
kick them in the--well, you know--and deploy an "innovative" copy of
their partner's free software.

Or they'll claim to love open source, then let a prominent open source
project suffer death by ignoring.

Or they'll tout open standards, then turn around and use patents on a
standard programming language, then sue one of the biggest users of that

Yes, consistent indeed.

Last night, when Oracle announced it was suing Google for alleged
infringement of Oracle's Java patents, my initial reaction was one of
resigned realization: when Oracle bought Sun Microsystems last year, I
always wondered if it was just to get control of MySQL, arguably
Oracle's once-biggest potential threat. They weren't doing anything with
OpenSolaris, after all, and just this week at LinuxCon, praised Linux to
the heavens.

Yesterday, I realized, was the other piece of Oracle business plan: buy
Sun, get Sun's Java IP, and then start shaking down as many Java
implementers with deep pockets as possible. Repeat.

As programmer Joe Cheng tweeted so eloquently last night: "One word:

There are, of course, many learned and experienced pundits offering
early analysis of this lawsuit, so I won't belabor the point. Bruce
Perens asks, what about the Java patent grant? And Joel West has an
excellent play-by-play on his blog, tagging this as a likely negotiation

Instead of adding my voice to the rising cacophony of dismay, I want to
put the question out there that's been bothering me quite a bit as I've
watched Oracle kill or weaponize components of Sun:

What's going to happen to

The open source office suite, once owned by Sun, is now part of Oracle's
stable of properties. The question then becomes, will Oracle continue to
feed and care for, or will it put the project out to
pasture, as it seems to be doing with OpenSolaris? doesn't need Oracle to survive, of course, but without
corporate backing to keep the project's lead developers going,, the best platform for open document standards to date,
would likely suffer.

So we should ask Oracle what they plan to do with

Then figure they'll actually do the exact opposite."


". . . .

6. Where are the free software activists, lawyers and paralegals who
supported Oracle's acquisition of Sun?

Concerning open double standards and open hypocrisy, it's very
regrettable that the Free Software Foundation Europe and the FFII
collaborate with the "Open"Forum Europe. The two most influential
members of the OFE, IBM and Oracle, have both shown in recent months
that they use patents against free software in order to prevent

I know a thing or two about EU politics and I'm profoundly concerned
that the FSFE and the FFII stand to lose some of their credibility by
partnering with organizations that clearly defend corporate interests,
not values. It ultimately raises questions about the nature of the
motivation that drives the FSFE and the FFII, or its leaders. What they
do in this context isn't genuinely NGO-like to say the least.

Some of you reading this may know that I opposed the MySQL part of
Oracle's acquisition of Sun. I was also against them acquiring Java, but
I kept quiet about that. What I did speak out on was the MySQL part of
the deal because I couldn't see (and still can't see) how MySQL could
ever be a competitive force that puts Oracle under pressure if Oracle
owns and controls it to the greatest extent any company can ever control
an open source product.

I worked with Michael 'Monty' Widenius, MySQL's creator and founder, in
opposing MySQL's acquisition by Oracle. Among other things, I authored
this position paper, which Monty's company filed with the European
Commission and regulators in other jurisdictions. (However, I am not
involved with Monty's appeal against the European Commission's decision
to ultimately clear the merger.)

Most members of the FOSS community understood and supported our
concerns. More than 40,000 signed up (in only about a month) on to voice their opposition to the deal. But some well-known
voices who claim to advocate FOSS interests supported Oracle (and even
accused us of absurd things). And very importantly, Richard Stallman
co-signed a letter asking the European Commission to block the merger.

It was part of Oracle's and Sun's communication strategy to tell
community leaders that the deal was good in the community's interest
because Sun owned so many patents that others (in some cases suggesting
Microsoft although they never made a bid for Sun) might be able to use
against free and open source software. They said that Oracle was a
reasonable patent holder and wouldn't harm open source.

Yes, they said that. You can still read these claims. Carlo Piana, a
lawyer affiliated with the FSF Europe, wrote about that when he
explained why he joined Oracle's legal team. A website that always
supports IBM's actions unconditionally (and IBM publicly supported the
Oracle-Sun deal) parroted Carlo Piana's argument. And there was a lot of
talk about it at community events and on various blogs.

It is worth noting that Eben Moglen of the Software Freedom Law Center
(SFLC) also supported Oracle, including that he traveled to Europe to
support their case at a European Commission hearing. He, too, claimed it
was good for free software.

So where are those pro-Oracle FOSS advocates now? Will they come out
unequivocally in support of Google and condemn Oracle's action? Will
they admit that it was a bad idea to let Oracle acquire Sun in the first
place? Will they concede that they were wrong when they said Oracle
would be a good owner of those patents? Will the SFLC and the Public
Patent Foundation now lend pro-bono legal support to Google in order to
get those Java patents invalidated before they do more damage?

Or will they keep quiet due to a conflict of interests and only talk
about a bogeyman and propose fake solutions such as the OIN in order to
distract the community from the real problems?

Oracle's patent suit against Google raises many important questions,
including the ones I just asked."



(GNG is a derecursive recursive derecursion which pwns GNU since it can 
be infinitely looped as GNGNGNGNG...NGNGNG... and can be said backwards 
too, whereas GNU cannot.)

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