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Re: The GPL and Patents: ROFL

From: ZnU
Subject: Re: The GPL and Patents: ROFL
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2010 15:59:42 -0000
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.5.3b3 (Intel Mac OS X)

In article <>,
 Alexander Terekhov <> wrote:

> 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."
> >
> 1.
> ""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
> technology.
> 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:
> SCOracle".

This is all fairly misleading. It presents Google as a "partner" of 
Sun/Oracle that innocently adopted Java only to be double-crossed by 
Oracle. But from what we've heard so far, Google and Sun tried to reach 
an agreement, and failed. Google refused Sun's terms and then 
deliberately set out to find a workaround that would allow the use of as 
much Java-related intellectual property as possible without giving 
anything to Sun. This isn't an innocent action.

The comparisons to SCO also seem inapt. For one thing, Oracle actually 
owns the intellectual property at issue.

More generally, for OSS fans who've come down on Google's side without 
really thinking this through... I suggest you guys think a little more. 
The notion that Google are the "good guys" here is not at all clear.

Why did Google build their own VM? They appear to have done it to avoid 
_GPL-related_ restrictions with respect to Java. Looked at from a 
certain perspective, Oracle is using software patents here to go after 
Google for violating the spirit (possibly the letter -- that's less 
clear) of the GPL.


"The game of professional investment is intolerably boring and over-exacting to
anyone who is entirely exempt from the gambling instinct; whilst he who has it
must pay to this propensity the appropriate toll." -- John Maynard Keynes

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