Android Developers Unhappy With Oracle Over “Baseless” Lawsuit


If anyone didn’t see this coming, then you’ll never see anything coming: Android developers – not actual Google engineers – are upset with Oracle over the lawsuit Google called “baseless”. If you haven’t heard, Oracle’s taking their Sun banner and trying to milk it for all its monetization worth by claiming patents and copyrights within Android’s core (namely referring to Android Dalvik Virtual Machine that Google created specifically for Android).


Backlash? Of course there’s backlash. A group of Android developers – called the Silicon Valley Android Developers group – are rightfully sticking with Google throughout the case as their organizer David Cao had the following to say: “Android Will Prevail”. Many believe there could be realistic and serious implications for Android’s future if Google weren’t to settle so it’s likely they’ll be doing just that. There are a lot of parties involved with the Open Handset Alliance that simply would not be able to tolerate a fork in the side of their business due to Android being put on hold.

It’s a shame that – even after this incident – most of the regulators responsible for US patent laws still don’t see the need for patent reform. To undermine the open source community that surrounded Sun to begin with is foolish in and of itself, but what can you do? If you want Android, you have to deal with the politics that comes along with the corporate big boys’ idea that they are just as connected as the people they’re stepping on. So be unhappy, developers, because Oracle has given you every waking right to be just that.


Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. A group*

  2. Thats pretty good that the devs are supporting Google.

  3. Google should have bought Sun years ago, that would have avoided this particular mess altogether. Oracle is actually calling for the complete removal of Android from every handset, to me that is just plain dirty. Many devs will not forgive this and they will move to other sources.

    In any case, this will take years before a decision can be made by the courts, then there are appeals, etc.

    One thing’s for certain, Oracle is dissing the open source devs, and they represent a great deal of the programmer population.

  4. Bad, Oracle. This will not be forgotten by a lot of tech people… similar to a lot of Jobs’ stunts.

  5. US Paten system is a joke.
    People “invent” a stair step to assist dogs/cats climb onto the bed and get patent for it…seriously?!

  6. I told ya’ll. And this is just the tip of the backlash. The whole open source community is rather pissed. There are some old school Java guys that just want to see “standard” Java every where but for the most part it looks like the Java realm is surprised to find out that there are restrictions on what you can do with or even building something similar to Java which is supposed to be open under the GPL. No matter how this comes out Oracle has shot itself in the foot. Google could find a way to settle and release the next big high level language platform and yank the developer community Oracle thought it had from them overnight. I bet there has been a lot more interest in the GO and NOOP Google projects all of a sudden.

  7. Oracle’s claim is baseless. Many of the patents they claim have been infringed upon don’t even apply to Android coding and the Dalvik VM. The ones that do are so trivial that it will probably get laughed right out of court. This is just a weak attempt from Oracle looking to get paid any way possible. FAIL

  8. Oracle’s philosphhy ….. “Throw enough shit at the wall … something is sure to stick”

  9. Shawn1224 nailed it: they see money, and they want a piece. How many man hours to you think went through the android code to look for these infringements? Reverse engineering is completely legal and necessarily so in order for capitalism to thrive.

    I could only hope Java will hurry up and die already…. it’s about 10 years overdue and with the push towards cloud computing i think it’s just about ready.

  10. im a Java developer and i had a very bad feeling since the day Sun/Java was acquired by Oracle

  11. @G11, I am not a programmer and don’t aspire to be one, but when you say Java is 10 years overdue what do you suggest as a replacement? HTML5 is poised to replace Flash, so they say. I don’t see how you compare Java with cloud computing. Java is a programming language and cloud computing is an infrastructure/architecture, I don’t see how cloud computing can replace Java. Would you care to elaborate?

    When SUN created Java, I don’t believe they have any intentions on profiting from it. Their focus at that the early years was to take down the WINTEL dominance and to create a programming language that will work seamlessly in a heterogeneous environment. Now that SUN have reached their goals, I don’t believe it is right for Oracle to change the rules. If Oracle decide to change the rules, then the new rules should not be retroactive for companies that have already implemented technology before the acquisition.

  12. @Droid, Java is long overdue for an upgrade. 7 has been in the works like Duke Nukem’s sequel, so because SUN/Oracle wasn’t keeping pace with what the world needed, others took over and created their own tools from the Java subsets (someone correct me if I got that wrong).

    In some ways it’s almost like they wanted someone to get better with their work, then pounce on them for the money. And that’s all it is, others have been doing their own work with Java, but Oracle didn’t care because they weren’t turning huge profits.

  13. @G11 Most “cloud” use … Java as a basement ;-)

    The lawsuit is not baseless, the pattents are there and are clearly applicable to any VM (from .net, to mono, perl parot, etc). Only MS is protected because of the bill they have payed to settle any further/upcoming litigation that is pattent related (1.5G$ should be enough ey).

    The problem is the US pattent system. But until it is reformed such pattent are applicable. By the way, lobbies are still woring in Europe so that such a supid system can prevail (take care my fellow & friend eurocitizen to “big bad wolves”).

    Let’s get back to the topic. Google is using the pattent without having payed Oracle/Sun (reading it you will know they are screwed as there are very broad pattents).

    But good news is that Google got some “armagaedon” way out: Split Dalvik into two part !
    Part 1, should be under the sole GPLv2 with classpath exception and should import the rest of the OpenJDK. Keeyping dex & register orientatio is fine, OpenJDK does not assert the VM can only support one bytecode or one call model.
    Part 2, all the Android specic classes should go in a separate library that will be sat on top of the VM. This library will be under the same licence as now (mixed licence). It can contains Java or native code if required to make call to native API.

    Doing so, Google can claim that Dalvik is simply an “improvement of OpenJDK” and that they are complying with its licence. Thus, they are allowed to hide behing its author pattent umbrela :) End of the litigation.

    Any Googler robot fan reading this ?

    By the way, once Android is “safeharbored”, there are some chance Oracle attacks other VM. If I was Novel, I would realy start discussion with Oracle lawyer about the price to pay now ;-)

  14. It’s really amazing (and concerning, at the same time) that most folks out here don’t understand the lawsuit. They also don’t understand Java. Statements like “Java is open-source” is not only incorrect, but ignorant. Java comprises of many components, and not everything is open-source. Also, open-source doesn’t mean free. Licenses like LGPL and GPL v3 claim to protect open-source, but in reality, they are harming it. Those kinds of licenses prevent free commercial use/modification of code/tools released under those licenses. The result — this lawsuit. In reality, don’t blame Oracle or Google. Blame the stupid open-source licenses that harm open-source. Not all licenses are stupid. e.g. Apache, MIT … these licenses are the true protectors of open-source.

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