Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 16th May 2012 07:35 UTC
Legal A bit of a fascinating little surprise in the Oracle vs. Google proceedings yesterday. As it turns out, judge Alsup... Has done, and still does, a lot of programming, and hence, he knows just how silly the whole rangeChek issue is. Addressing Oracle's lawyer, Alsup notes: "I couldn't have told you the first thing about Java before this problem. I have done, and still do, a significant amount of programming in other languages. I've written blocks of code like rangeCheck a hundred times before. I could do it, you could do it. The idea that someone would copy that when they could do it themselves just as fast, it was an accident. There's no way you could say that was speeding them along to the marketplace. You're one of the best lawyers in America, how could you even make that kind of argument?" Ouch.
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Yeah!
by Radio on Wed 16th May 2012 07:55 UTC
Radio
Member since:
2009-06-20

Ahahahah,this is the best news ever! So often have we seen judges completely unknowledgable of the subject they had to arbiter be successfully spinned by a cunning lawyer who can bullshit them at length, that this must have taken Oracle's team completely by surprise ;)

Reply Score: 14

Nice, but rare exception
by kragil on Wed 16th May 2012 08:02 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

This is great and I'd love to see more people get the memo, but most scolars of law don't have the slightest clue about software(engineering).
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/05/top-judge-ditching-softw...

Reply Score: 4

Quite right
by vaette on Wed 16th May 2012 08:27 UTC
vaette
Member since:
2008-08-09

Quite right, illustrates a point much too often misunderstood; something being copyrightable does not make any fragment of it significant. Much like how APIs can certainly be copyrightable, if they can be found to be sufficiently unique and creative (which if certainly possible in some cases with sufficiently expressive languages).

Reply Score: 2

v Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 16th May 2012 08:34 UTC
RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 16th May 2012 08:49 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Does that take the judge of your insanity list?

"Also, what kind of nonsense is it for a judge to tell a jury to assume something is illegal? Am I the only one who thinks that's just complete insanity?"


Reading comprehension fail. Didn't say the judge was insane - asking a jury to assume something is illegal is insane.

But no, this changes nothing about that.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 16th May 2012 08:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I didn't say you said he was. If ones acts insane it's not strange to be put on an insanity list.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by M.Onty on Wed 16th May 2012 12:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

... asking a jury to assume something is illegal is insane. But no, this changes nothing about that.


For the record, as it was made clear by various people in the original comments thread, he asked the jury to temporarily assume something is illegal so they could establish what to do if it were. The illegality was to be established seperately. It could be called parellel processing, it could be called efficiency, it is not insane.

On topic; it is indeed a pleasant suprise to see some common sense on software issues from a judge.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 16th May 2012 12:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The illegality was to be established seperately. It could be called parellel processing, it could be called efficiency, it is not insane.


And as I and several other also explained, from the perspective of a country without common law, that IS insane.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by ephracis on Wed 16th May 2012 12:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

I find that argument a little weird. It's like saying that constructing houses using ice sounds insane from the perspective of a person living in Africa.

You have to consider the context. I am from a country without common law, but as I consider the fact that Judge Alsup is from a country which do have it, his shortcut (or attempt at it) sounds very reasonable. I can't see that I wouldn't have done the same thing.

Again, if I considered the context.

Judge Alsup would be insane if he did what he did in a country without common law. I can agree to that.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 16th May 2012 12:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm still allowed to find it insane from my perspective, even if it seems rational from another's. I find it insane to jump around in loincloths praying to ancestors, but for certain tribes, it's entirely rational. I find it insane to disallow gays to get married, yet for others, it's entirely rational.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510
by ephracis on Wed 16th May 2012 12:45 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510"
ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

It's interesting that you compare common law with tribes and banning of gay marriage.

In any case, I see your point. However, I would place the insane label on the system rather than on the judge whom tried to avoid expanding the system's reach. But hey, that's from my perspective. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 16th May 2012 12:55 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I think that is the cause of your black/white, good guys/bad guys thinking. If you just tried to see things from another perspective instead of attacking everything you don't like or don't understand.

You can learn much more if you just put in some effort to see the "why " instead of putting an "insane" or "evil" label on something.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by MOS6510
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 16th May 2012 12:59 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I think that is the cause of your black/white, good guys/bad guys thinking. If you just tried to see things from another perspective instead of attacking everything you don't like or don't understand.

You can learn much more if you just put in some effort to see the "why " instead of putting an "insane" or "evil" label on something.


Black and white thinking? Good guys bad guys? Really, you need to stop that nonsense.

If there is one person on this site who has demonstrated the ability to distinguish between a company, its people, its actions, it products, and judge them all on their own individual merits and negatives, it's me. It's why I can write glowing reviews of Apple products, yet still despise the company for its behaviour. It's why I can love Windows 7 yet still dislike the company that made it. It's why I can adore Google's professed ideals, but remain sceptical about their adherence to them.

Accusing ME, with MY track record, of black/white good/bad thinking is so far removed from the truth it borders on the delusional.

Edited 2012-05-16 13:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by MOS6510
by kwan_e on Wed 16th May 2012 14:46 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

I think that is the cause of your black/white, good guys/bad guys thinking.


This coming from a person who explicitly stated that they don't want to consider all the shades of patent troll. An organization is patent trolling or it isn't.

Don't be a hypocrite.

Edited 2012-05-16 14:48 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by M.Onty on Wed 16th May 2012 14:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

OK, I can see some people, including yourself, might justifiably think common law is odd. However, within that oddity, what he did made a sort of sense.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by s-peter on Wed 16th May 2012 12:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
s-peter Member since:
2006-01-29

It could be called parellel processing, it could be called efficiency, it is not insane.


I don't know much about the legal aspects, but "speculative execution" [1] (in branch prediction) seems a more appropriate (or more specific) analogy. I think parallel processing is most commonly used to refer to doing two or more "useful" things at the same time, whereas in this case (as with speculative execution) ultimately it is either legal or illegal, so there is a chance that considering it in advance will end up not bringing any benefit. So even though strictly speaking it can be considered parallel processing, calling it so will likely give the wrong impression of trying to "solve two cases" (in different universes) at the same time to some readers.

Heck, given today's news, I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that the judge was just doing it to show off his knowledge of computing concepts. ;)

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speculative_execution

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by M.Onty on Wed 16th May 2012 14:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

You win!

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by zima on Wed 23rd May 2012 23:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

he asked the jury to temporarily assume something is illegal so they could establish what to do if it were. The illegality was to be established seperately. It could be called parellel processing, it could be called efficiency, it is not insane.

More like inefficiency. People are taken from their usual activities (typically / ideally contributing to society), gathered and provided for at some place, and asked to focus their efforts on contemplating something ...conclusions of which, they are basically explicitly told, might very well be irrelevant.

First establish the dilemma about legality, then (if required) gather the jury - that would be efficient (especially since this will come back to haunt us, the question about legality will have to be established down the road, anyway)

Parallel processing doesn't automatically bring more efficiency - just as impregnating 9 women doesn't give a child in a month.

Reply Score: 2