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More evidence shows Google may have copied Oracle in Android

updated 10:40 am EST, Fri January 21, 2011

Discovery shows Android may have copied more Java

Oracle's claims that Google copied Sun's Java code without permission in Android may have gained fuel on Friday. A separate search by Florian Mueller of the code (ZIP) has found more files than Oracle itself cited that appear to lift code directly. Among them, six files attached to Android 2.2 and 3.0 appear to have been extracted from Sun's Java source code using a decompiler and simply grafted into the just-in-time Dalvik engine Android uses at its root.

About 37 files were even marked as "proprietary/confidential" Sun files, and a separate file included in the code served as a copyright notice from Sun urging users not to distribute the material. Google has since claimed that Oracle was hiding code to make it look like more copying was involved, but Mueller noted that even open-sourced, GPL 2 parts code could have violated Sun (and now Oracle) rights after the latter's code was distributed without its consent. He suggested that Oracle not only had a case but may have been conservative in presenting its evidence.

"It seems to me that Oracle has not even presented the tip of the iceberg in its amended complaint," Mueller said. "The discovery process could be very fruitful for Oracle, and may become dreadful for Google."

While Google has accused Oracle of being opportunistic and arguing for proprietary Java code rights only after it bought Sun and could profit from licensing, the discoveries could have significant ramifications for Android. Google has regularly tried to claim the high ground over Apple by touting Android's openness. The findings nonetheless imply that it took code it either knew was closed-source or that was improperly taken when while open.

by MacNN Staff



  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    what happened to 'don't be evil'?

    outright copying code... that's pretty doosh-y

  1. tfmeehan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Interesting take...

    on Google's part:

    Oracle is being opportunistic and arguing for rights only after actually owning the rights in order to benefit opposed to Google opportunistically lifting large sections of code it NEVER owned the rights to in order to create a product that eventually benefits them financially.

    I'm going with Oracle on this one.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Foolish move on Google's part

    They could have easily bought Sun, instead of Oracle.

    They could have easily positioned this phone without Java - it wasn't that bad of a decision, but they could have done it.

    They could have given Sun a little cash, when they were desparate for it, and got a long term license.

    Argh, they were foolish, and this is looking bad for them. And what's Oracle going to do?
    Extract some money, short term, but I doubt anything good. Oracle isn't good at selling to the consumer.

  1. JuanGuapo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Google says "Don't be evil" so they can't be doing anything wrong, right?


  1. prl99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oracle is not a consumer-based company


    Your comment about Oracle not being good at selling to the consumer is correct, because they don't. Oracle sells enterprise products that are used to support consumer-accessed systems. Their purchase of Sun was to get what was left of Sun's enterprise market. Sun never really tried going after the typical consumer (this doesn't include government or enterprise consumers).

    As for what Oracle could do to Google, they could do a lot, including forcing Google to rewrite their software and force them to take current software off the market. This would have a major impact on the Android system. They could do this for money or just because Larry E. doesn't like Eric S. (now Larry Page) and wants to stick it to him. These guys do get personal.

  1. facebook_Robert

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2011


    Open Source!

    It's free because it's stolen!

  1. Eccent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    another salvo...

    Thus Google should drop Android because it's engine is not a truly "open source technology".

  1. dscottbuch

    Joined: Dec 1969


    If true the solution is simle

    1) Google pays Oracle some 'market price' for each android phone out there.
    2) Google sends closes off all branches of Android and send cease and desist letters to those that branched it.
    3) Google continues to pay Oracle per device sold

    This is what should happen if Oracle's claims are upheld. The only problem for Google is this DESTROY's their business model in the mobile space!! Oh Well (wrings hands)

  1. facebook_Arif

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2011


    But Google doesn't make phones


    Google doesnt make android phones. They even dont know who, besides major brands, builds android phones.

  1. imactheknife

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Love It

    I hate to have a lack of competition per se but I can't honestly stand Google and their goblins. They are the tasteless and tackless like another company I know...starts with M by the way.

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