Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th Oct 2010 20:07 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
Legal Now, this is an interesting development in the ongoing war against Android. Oracle didn't just sue Google for allegedly infringing its Java patents; it also claimed copyright infringement. Oracle has amended its complaint, and, fair is fair, they've got the code to prove it: indeed, Android contains code that appears to be copied verbatim from Java - mind you, appears. However, the code in question comes straight from Apache's Harmony project, which raises the question - would a respected and long-established cornerstone of the open source world really accept tainted code in the first place?
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RE: But what about GPL?
by panzi on Thu 28th Oct 2010 23:58 UTC in reply to "But what about GPL?"
panzi
Member since:
2006-01-22

I wonder the same thing. And yes, dalvik is Apache License (BSD like) and not GPL, so this is a breach of the GPL. So Oracle is actually an advocate for the GPL and this is a GPL violation!?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: But what about GPL?
by umccullough on Fri 29th Oct 2010 01:51 in reply to "RE: But what about GPL?"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

I wonder the same thing. And yes, dalvik is Apache License (BSD like) and not GPL, so this is a breach of the GPL. So Oracle is actually an advocate for the GPL and this is a GPL violation!?


If it was truly Oracle's code, then the copyright was removed, and the license changed, which is a HUGE no-no under copyright law... In that case, Oracle has every right to sue.

However, since the code was already FOSS, seems to me that Oracle is simply looking for more ammunition to hammer Google with, and this just happened to be one of the items they were able to locate in their search.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: But what about GPL?
by lemur2 on Fri 29th Oct 2010 02:30 in reply to "RE[2]: But what about GPL?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"I wonder the same thing. And yes, dalvik is Apache License (BSD like) and not GPL, so this is a breach of the GPL. So Oracle is actually an advocate for the GPL and this is a GPL violation!?
If it was truly Oracle's code, then the copyright was removed, and the license changed, which is a HUGE no-no under copyright law... In that case, Oracle has every right to sue. However, since the code was already FOSS, seems to me that Oracle is simply looking for more ammunition to hammer Google with, and this just happened to be one of the items they were able to locate in their search. "

It is Oracle's code, but it is also released under the GPL.

GPL allows for de-compiling and for re-implementation. In fact, it encourages it.

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it means that the program's users have the four essential freedoms:

The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.


De-compiling the program comes under freedom 1. Every recipient of GPL software is granted unconditional permision (under freedom 1) to study the code.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: But what about GPL?
by lemur2 on Fri 29th Oct 2010 02:25 in reply to "RE: But what about GPL?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I wonder the same thing. And yes, dalvik is Apache License (BSD like) and not GPL, so this is a breach of the GPL. So Oracle is actually an advocate for the GPL and this is a GPL violation!?


GPL allows anyone to study the code, and to use it internally. Only-redistribution of the GPL code invokes the conditions within the GPL, permission to do anything else is granted unconditionally.

I would presume this means that it is perfectly permissible to de-compile GPL code, and then re-implement it so that the re-implementation is not a copy of the original.

Names of API entry points and the like are not protectable under copyright law, for reasons of interoperability.

You could end up with very similar-looking code that was not a violation of copyright, given the provisions of the GPL license.

Edited 2010-10-29 02:26 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2