Well Google has responded to Oracle’s patent infringement suit over the alleged improper use of Java in the Android operating system. While they actually do make a legal argument, the rhetoric around their positionreminds me of something that you’d hear at an elementary school playground (from TechCrunch):
“It’s disappointing that after years of supporting open source, Oracle turned around to attack not just Android, but the entire open source Java community with vague software patent claims. Open platforms like Android are essential to innovation, and we will continue to support the open source community to make the mobile experience better for consumers and developers alike.”
First of all this ain’t a vague patent claim and it’s not about silly stuff like who came up with a button to complete a transaction in one click. It’s not fringe use of technology is the core underpinnings of the Android OS.
And the cries of attacking “the entire open source Java community” and how “Open platforms like Android are essential to innovation” are disingenuous and weak with the sole purpose to engender a false sense of sympathy. Where was all this feeling of openness in their joint “proposal” with Verizon to crush Net Neutrality and create a tiered Internet structure, especially regarding the mobile web.
Some may wonder whether Oracle should be allowed to change their mind. The truth is that companies change their minds whenever it suits their purposes. People do it in their daily lives all the time. When circumstances change, your perspective and objectives change — and you’re supposed to adjust accordingly. Google did it regarding Net Neutrality to support it’s partner Verizon, who is almost single-handedly responsible for Android’s rise as a mobile OS. And Oracle did it after they acquired Sun and all the resulting IP (if you think they bought it just for the hardware revenues, you’re either naive or crazy — I’ll let you pick). Some may say “It’s almost never about what’s ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, it’s what improves the stock price” and many times they may be right…but there are concepts like fiduciary duty to shareholders too.
Engadget does an excellent job of analyzing the actual legal issues, so I’ll just refer you to their article to learn more.
What’s your POV? Who’s right and who’s wrong? Do you even care?