[conspire] Tidbit about the state of Java on Linux

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Aug 10 12:17:53 PDT 2011

Quoting Adrien Lamothe (alamozzz at yahoo.com):

> It appears there are enough proprietary components in the garden
> variety JVM, that Oracle could go after JVM based SAAS websites in the
> same manner they are now suing Google over proprietary pieces of Java
> in the Android phone.

I wouldn't be quite that hasty.

Oracle's lawsuit alleges both patent and copyright violation, but the
copyright claims haven't really been specified, yet.  The seven patent
claims are cited specifically.

Speaking specifically of IcedTea, the fact that it's licensed under GNU
GPL with a linking exception gives a pretty decent legal defence against
hostile patent claims.  By contrast, one of Google's problems with Dalvik
(Android's independent substitute for a JVM) is that their use of Apache
Licence 2.0 for it means they don't get that patent defence.

> Someone recently told me the only patented pieces of JVM are in the
> "mobile" edition, but that doesn't sound correct.

No, I really don't.  There might have been something the speaker was
badly misremembering having to do with Sun's patent _licensing_ on
Mobile Edition vs. Standard Edition, but I don't care enough to look up

Anyway, patents are hardly a Java-specific problem.  They're the
gasoline for the fire currently embroiling all the smartphone firms in
lawsuits against each other.  And, more generally, determining that _any_
bit of technology _isn't_ subject to patent threats is a classic hard
problem.  See:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarine_patent

More information about the conspire mailing list