[conspire] Tidbit about the state of Java on Linux

Adrien Lamothe alamozzz at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 10 13:15:47 PDT 2011

Pamela Jones' initial impression is that Oracle's case is not without 
merit. Since then she has been following the case closely. The current 
shenanigans in the discovery process (which ends this week) are highly 
entertaining and anyone who hasn't should take a quick look at groklaw.net.

 personally don't use Java, so the legal outcome doesn't directly and 
immediately affect me. The outcome could conceivably drive some 
users/clients/server developers to migrate to Ruby on Rails (which is 
starting to displace Java in some areas of "enterprise" software,) which
 is what interests me about the case. But in the end, Oracle just wants 
money; hard to imagine a judge ordering every Android handset shutdown.

 about the top posting, I should find an email account with a service 
that more easily facilitates the polite response method.

--- On Wed, 8/10/11, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:

From: Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>
Subject: Re: [conspire] Tidbit about the state of Java on Linux
To: conspire at linuxmafia.com
Date: Wednesday, August 10, 2011, 12:17 PM

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

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