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Author Topic:   Oracle Wins Ruling Against Google Over Java APIs
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 62 (830618)
04-04-2018 2:03 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Percy
03-29-2018 9:49 AM


I bet at least 9 out of 10 software developers if asked, "Is Java free," would answer yes

For 99 out of 100 software developers, Java is free. It cost nothing to use, they can deploy it on any workstation they want without any charge or requesting any permission, and they can write their applications using it, and running on top of the virtual machine without paying a cent.

The set of programmers who need to do stuff that Oracle does not allow is a pretty small percentage. I would suggest that a license that allows that, and that is not hidden from anyone is not in the least deceptive.

Google's current problem is that they use a modified version of Java. Android does not use the standard "class" files that Oracle freely allows. Instead, there is some kind of "dex" format that Google created for technical reasons related to deployment on mobile platforms. If Google had not done that, they would not be in violation of the license, and they would not have to hope for sane interpretations of copyright law that they don't seem now to be able to get judges to buy.

Most software developers that I discussed this stuff with back in the 90s felt that API copyrights were total BS. But the Supreme Court never said so, and in fact, the closest thing to a precedential decision on interface copyrights is a 4-4 split decision, (Lotus v. Borland I believe) which left in place an appellate decision that APIs were not copyrightable. And of course, by being a 4-4 decision, it is not precedential at all.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. Neil Young, Rockin' in the Free World.

Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Percy, posted 03-29-2018 9:49 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Percy, posted 04-04-2018 6:29 PM NoNukes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 62 (830720)
04-05-2018 4:53 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Percy
04-04-2018 6:29 PM


Do "99 out of 100 software developers" who ship actual product use OpenJDK? Because that's the only one that's guaranteed free. I did try to answer this myself but couldn't find a search that provided any answers.

Good question. Let me help out here.

999 out of 1000 folks who ship Java products ship their own code compiled against the SDK provided by Oracle. Their users download the runtime environments and virtual machines from Oracle, so the developers know exactly what virtual machine and libraries programs will be running on. There are no license issues unless you want to ship a modified run-time environment or modified libraries. Essentially nobody does that kind of modification.

It is true that Oracle code is not free in the sense that GPL code is free. If it were, Google would not be in trouble now. But most folks are not distributing their own operating system/operating environment.


Ignoring the "embedded devices" portion that they've been clear about since the beginning, since Java SE (meaning the Oracle binary distribution) is the one that Oracle's License Management Services division is "chasing down people for payment," and since "general purpose" is vaguely defined and ultimately up to what the LMS division says it is, this doesn't seem misleading to you?

I don't think so. Has Oracle sued or complained about anybody who is on the vague borderline of "general purpose"? If not, then what is the standard for calling it misleading? I don't think there is any question that Google is not covered by the license. The question for Google is whether copyright law gives Google an out. I would have thought it did.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. Neil Young, Rockin' in the Free World.

Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Percy, posted 04-04-2018 6:29 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Percy, posted 04-07-2018 6:36 PM NoNukes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 62 (830825)
04-07-2018 6:54 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Percy
04-07-2018 6:36 PM


Right, but Oracle provides two SDKs: OpenJDK (free) and Java SE (sometimes free, sometimes not, it all depends on what Oracle's LMS division thinks). What's the breakdown between the two?
I believe my remarks apply to Java SE with the exception of not applying to certain "Commercial Features" and embedded applications, for which Oracle does charge. The licensing details are readily available. I don't think there is anything misleading about the license on Java SE.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. Neil Young, Rockin' in the Free World.

Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Percy, posted 04-07-2018 6:36 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Percy, posted 04-11-2018 11:16 AM NoNukes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 62 (831044)
04-11-2018 1:57 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Percy
04-11-2018 11:16 AM


I'm trying to understand how you're reaching your conclusions. If I were to argue your position using the provided information I would be be reduced to, "There's nothing misleading about the Java SE license because...someone on the Internet told me so."

That is not my position. My position is that the terms of the license for SE, which is that it is free except for embedded applications and for those portions that are designated as "Commercial feature" are readily available. I did not ask anyone, I read those terms on Oracle's web page.

Anyone, even you can find those terms with just the slightest bit of effort. I am not repeating anything that somebody told me. Your claim is erroneous. If you repeat it after this clarification, I will then be forced to assume you are lying.

I cannot say that nobody would be confused. You clearly are. But you cannot rely on the words "general purpose" to give you all of the details. You are going to have to look at the details. If you can conclude based on doing so that something that requires payment really is general purpose, then you might have some kind of case, and I will engage you on the details. Right now what we can say is that Percy is confused, but that he has not bothered to do any homework.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. Neil Young, Rockin' in the Free World.

Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Percy, posted 04-11-2018 11:16 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by Percy, posted 04-11-2018 9:33 PM NoNukes has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 17 of 62 (831050)
04-11-2018 2:59 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Son Goku
04-11-2018 2:53 PM


If it's any help, I think NoNukes is referring to the .class files, compiled from the source .java files.

Yep. That is exactly right.

The bytecode has to be different, since it is a different machine, hence the different file type.

Nicely explained. I was trying to avoid going into the technical reasons, but you did a great job here.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. Neil Young, Rockin' in the Free World.

Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Son Goku, posted 04-11-2018 2:53 PM Son Goku has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by Son Goku, posted 04-11-2018 4:17 PM NoNukes has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 25 of 62 (831126)
04-12-2018 12:45 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Percy
04-11-2018 9:42 PM


I could have been more clear, but I thought that the use of scare quotes around "class" along with the comparison to "dex" files was sufficient to point to something that Google was doing differently from what the typical Java programmer does. The rest of Son Goku's explanation about the technical reasons why Google deviated from what they were freely allowed to do was equally spot on.

To make this more about my personal experience, I don't frequently bump into Java restrictions that require money or that are otherwise restricted. I believe that my experience is typical. Obviously there are lots of folks programming in specific arenas who have different experiences. But for those folks, I suggest that there is plenty of readily available information to steer you in the right direction. I would further suggest that your personal experience as a person not familiar with Java is not representative.

I'll also note that Android does not involve Java SE, so the issue is not relevant in that arena.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. Neil Young, Rockin' in the Free World.

Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Percy, posted 04-11-2018 9:42 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
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