Mar 17th, 2011

The last time Google was accused of stealing, this same source was defamed and his words were debunked by many. Still, the fact that he so boldly claims the things he claims gets us to listen. The latest says Google copied 2.5 megabyes of code from over 700 linux kernel header files for its Dalvik VM. After dropping a comment here and an if statement there, Google supposedly claimed the documents contained no copyrightable information.

Florian Mueller – the infamous man behind FOSS Patents – says this could be legally crippling for Google. Should Google be accused and found guilty of what Florian is proposing here, GPL rules would force them and ANY partner – including developers in the Android market – to allow their wares to be freely modified and redistributed. Right away you can see what type of issues this would cause and how big of a problem it would be for all parties involved.

I’m not sure if these claims would get Google into that deep of a puddle of mud, but it’s still scary to think about. Florian says that a rewrite or replacing of the code would need to take place but professes that it’s much easier said than done. You can read more about his claim and the implications for Android’s future here, if you want. It really is an interesting read whether or not it turns up true. (It is lengthy, though, so grab yourself a bag of popped corn and get comfy.)

stars Further Reading