Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 16th Sep 2012 16:53 UTC
Google There's a bit of a story going on between Google, Acer, and Alibaba, a Chinese mobile operating system vendor. Acer wanted to ship a device with Alibaba's operating system, but Google asked them not to, and Acer complied. The reason is that Acer is a member of the Open Handset Alliance, which prohibits the promotion of non-standard Android implementations - exactly what Alibaba is shipping. On top of that, Alibaba's application store hosts pirated Android applications, including ones from Google.
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RE[4]: Wait a minute
by atsureki on Mon 17th Sep 2012 03:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wait a minute"
atsureki
Member since:
2006-03-12

That is not true, they didn't use Sun's Java code. And I don't think that fork means what you think it does.

Quoting Wikipedia: "In software engineering, a project fork happens when developers take a copy of source code from one software package and start independent development on it, creating a distinct piece of software."(emphasis mine)[1]

In contrast, what Alibaba did is take Android code and build their own, incompatible OS from it. So that is a fork.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fork_(software_development)



Like I said, page 81 of Oracle's opening statement slideshow contains snippets of code that were copied unmodified from Java into Android. So fork, even by that strict definition, is partially true, just as reimplementation by a strict definition is only partially true, as it wasn't done cleanly. They accessed Sun's original code to "help" them copy it. Maybe that approach wasn't strictly authorized, but the leaked e-mails in the linked PDF establish a firm pattern of looking the other way. They also establish that Google's explicit goal was to get Java technology without accepting Sun's terms, which is precisely what they're now accusing Alibaba of doing, while simultaneously maintaining the narrative that Android is not proprietary.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Wait a minute
by Laurence on Mon 17th Sep 2012 07:53 in reply to "RE[4]: Wait a minute"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


Like I said, page 81 of Oracle's opening statement slideshow contains snippets of code that were copied unmodified from Java into Android. So fork, even by that strict definition, is partially true, just as reimplementation by a strict definition is only partially true, as it wasn't done cleanly. They accessed Sun's original code to "help" them copy it. Maybe that approach wasn't strictly authorized, but the leaked e-mails in the linked PDF establish a firm pattern of looking the other way.

I don't think Oracles testimony is the best source for reference material in this discussion considering it's natural bias.

You're right that Oracle did accuse Google for directly taking code. But that wasn't the fault of Google as that particular code in question was supplied by a 3rd party. Plus the code was made available on their versioning system to try and prevent this sort of thing from happening - Sun/Oracle had every chance to contact Google to correct this mistake long before it was even bought to trial.

But anyhow, Google had since rectified this mistake with original code.

(1)They also establish that Google's explicit goal was to get Java technology without accepting Sun's terms, (2)which is precisely what they're now accusing Alibaba of doing, while simultaneously maintaining the narrative that Android is not proprietary.

Oh I completely agree with your statements here, just not with your conclusion.

(1)Google were 100% intending to use Java technology without accepting Sun's terms. But as Google reimplemented Java from the ground up, their only basis is:
a/ the language (which cannot be copyrighted - eg my French example)
b/ the bytecode / virtual machine runtime concept (which is also used by a number of other languages outside of Java).

What Google did is little worse than Next/Apples derivative of C - the key difference being that Dennis Ritchie didn't lay any claims to intellectual property.

So the Oracle vs Google case was about language and design, not about source code.

(2) Where as the Alibaba case is a clear case of software forking. So not comparable with the aforementioned trial.

Furthermore -and has been repeatedly mentioned by nearly everyone on here yet gets completely ignored every single time- Google are NOT banning Alibaba. They're not taking Alibaba / Acer to court not any other form of forced oppression. Yes, Google have Acer an ultimatum: drop Alibaba or leave the Open Handset Alliance; but Acer could easily have chosen the latter and carried on with business as usual if they so wished. Acer were given a choice and they chose to drop Alibaba - there was no litigation what-so-ever.

Quite frankly, personal views of Google, Oracle nor the rest of IT aside, it's bloody refreshing to see these conflicts resolved out of court and in a mature way.

[edit]

I hope it's not too premature to say this, but it's nice to chat to someone on a topic like this who feels passionately about their view point but is also willing to discuss it in a mature way; without lowering the tone to personal attacks nor condensation.

I may not agree with your view points, but I've thoroughly enjoyed discussing them with you ;)

Edited 2012-09-17 08:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[6]: Wait a minute
by swift11 on Mon 17th Sep 2012 10:20 in reply to "RE[5]: Wait a minute"
swift11 Member since:
2012-08-23

Quite frankly, personal views of Google, Oracle nor the rest of IT aside, it's bloody refreshing to see these conflicts resolved out of court and in a mature way.

This is a public humiliation of Acer, the worst offence in Chinese culture. Acer could have cancelled this phone a few weeks later without anyone noticing it. Google are shooting themselves in the foot. Google is a Big Brother, but China is a Giant Brother.

Edited 2012-09-17 10:33 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[5]: Wait a minute
by chithanh on Mon 17th Sep 2012 17:36 in reply to "RE[4]: Wait a minute"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

Like I said, page 81 of Oracle's opening statement slideshow contains snippets of code that were copied unmodified from Java into Android. So fork, even by that strict definition, is partially true, just as reimplementation by a strict definition is only partially true, as it wasn't done cleanly.

Indeed two instances of copying were part of the lawsuit: One was deemed so insignificant that the judge doubted even its copyrightability. The other was never part of any shipped Android device. This does not qualify as fork in any sensible way.

One commenter on Andy Rubin's Google+ post explained it through examples:

Apache Harmony is an implementation of Java
Mono is an implementation of .NET
LibreOffice is a fork of OpenOffice.org
X.org is a fork of XFree86

I hope it is more clear now.

They also establish that Google's explicit goal was to get Java technology without accepting Sun's terms, which is precisely what they're now accusing Alibaba of doing, while simultaneously maintaining the narrative that Android is not proprietary.

Alibaba using Android code is no problem, the license allows that. Amazon and BlackBerry do it too. But Acer cannot make incompatible products from Android code as long as they are member of the OHA.

Edited 2012-09-17 17:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2