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Re^7: Copyright on languages

by ikegami (Pope)
on May 02, 2012 at 22:52 UTC ( #968578=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^6: Copyright on languages
in thread Copyright on languages

1. Those are the "9 lines of code" I mentioned earlier.

Not all of the Java libraries were written by Sun or Oracle. There are a lot of 3rd party contributions. timsort was a 3rd party contribution. One of timsort's developers copied an internal Java function as an interim solution until he could link to that function directly. This function is a simple array bound check function a 1st year CS student could write call rangeCheck.

That 3rd party contributor was Google. When it came to implementing timsort for the Android, Google took their contribution and accidentally failed to replace rangeCheck. A minor mistake (Copyright violation) of no consequence (outside of this trial).

2 & 3. Oracle admitted these files probably never made it to a phone. They were in a directory called "test". On their cross of Oracle's witness, Google made it sound like they were part of a developer's sandbox.

Google: Do you know if these files are part of a handset?

Dr. Mitchell: I don't recall that, no.

Google: The other files of the 12. These files all have the word "test" in them?

Dr. Mitchell: No.....

Google: para 22. Are the 8 impl files on the left... The Android name has the name "test" in it.

Dr. Mitchell: The path has "test".

Google: All 8 have the word "test"?

Dr. Mitchell: Yes, I think that's true.

Google: You don't actually know if any of these files were compiled and placed on a handset?

Dr. Mitchell: (a bit shaky) I don't have a reason to believe they were put on a handset.

Google: So the only thing you're aware of that you're sure made it onto a phone were these 9 lines of code in rangecheck?

Dr. Mitchell: [pauses] I believe that's correct.

(May not be word-for-word accurate.)


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Re^8: Copyright on languages
by BrowserUk (Pope) on May 02, 2012 at 23:09 UTC
    . timsort was a 3rd party contribution. One of timsort's developers copied an internal Java function as an interim solution until he could link to that function directly. This function is a simple array bound check function a 1st year CS student could write call rangeCheck.

    That 3rd party contributor was Google. When it came to implementing timsort for the Android, Google took their contribution and accidentally failed to replace rangeCheck

    I read an article that commented on that particular part of the suit, though I can't find it now. The (possibly erroneous) conclusion drawn went:

    Oracle are suing Google for reusing a trivial piece of code that they freely contributed to Java.

    The reasoning behind Oracle's suit seems pretty Open .. and Shut:Oracle and Java: Mobile dev FAIL dooms Ellison's future


    With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
    Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
    "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
    In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

    The start of some sanity?

      Superficially, it may sound like Oracle is suing Google for Google code, but I don't think it's actually true. While timsort came from Google, it's my understanding that Google has no Copyright to timsort's rangeCheck as it was borrowed from Java in the first place.

      Even it was was borrowed legitimately, it's much better for Google to accept that Android infringed on those nine lines than it would be to claim it has some kind of license to them. If it did, that would break Android's independent implementation claims.

        it's my understanding that Google has no Copyright to timsort's rangeCheck as it was borrowed from Java in the first place.

        I don't think that was the point.

        As I interpreted the article, the question was not whether Google could assert a copyright claim to that code; but rather whether Oracle (via Sun; via 'the Java entity') could assert copyright to code contributed to Java under the auspices of an Open Source contribution.

        And whether the provenance of those particular lines of code could be categorically traced to an individual programmer employed by Sun.

        For example, what if the programmer that originally typed those lines into a Java-associated file; was transcribing them from an example (written in Java or C or any other language) that he found kicking around on the internet; or in a book; or ...

        The more trivial a piece of code is, the more likely that it has been written almost exactly the same by someone, or several someones, before. At which point it becomes "prior art" and explicitly excluded from enforceability, and provenance becomes key.

        I believe that Google have admitted to the possibility of a common source in this case; but not to a direct copy. And that, combined with a lay jury, probably means it comes down to the persuasiveness of the lawyers rather than any stone-cold hard facts.


        With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
        Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
        "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
        In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

        The start of some sanity?

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