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Google's Andy Rubin: Java APIs were copyrighted

updated 06:05 pm EDT, Mon April 23, 2012

Rubin hints Google had few choices on Android

Google's mobile VP Andy Rubin gave testimony on Monday in Oracle's lawsuit that Java was likely copyrighted, raising the possibility Google owed royalties for Android. He wouldn't link the copyrighting to Sun, but he agreed with an Oracle attorney that a 2006 e-mail had said the java.lang app programming language (APIs) "were copyrighted," according to CNET's account of the conversation. Rubin did acknowledge a statement earlier that same day that he didn't think Google could go ahead without permission from Sun.

However, the executive thought Oracle was overreaching when it interpreted July 2005 comments on starting Android development as a sign it would inevitably run into trouble with using Java in the platform. Rubin had said that a "clean room" version of Java's virtual machine, or one which didn't directly draw on original Java code, was unlikely. In testimony, however, he added that the company hadn't actually decided on whether or not it would go that route or use existing code and talk to Sun about a deal.

While Rubin was clear that he didn't need a license for general programming, the responses come after attempts by Google engineer Tim Lindholm to deny talk about licensing trouble and create a difficult situation for Google. Although the trial for Oracle's lawsuit against Google is divided into three phases, the seemingly damaging statements could see it already facing damages owed to Oracle before the patents and general damages segments are complete.

Oracle has been pressing to have Google face a possible ban that would stop Android until it agreed to whatever terms the court deemed necessary. Google has succeeded in having the penalty reduced from the billions to the tens of millions, but may still face stiff costs to keep Android on the market.

The defending company's argument to date has been that Java's programming languages are free to use for those parts it uses in Android.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969



    an honest man, unlike Lindholm's and Page's weasely statements.
    Andy you may lose your job sooner or later and I hope Apple picks you up!
    It's no wonder most tech people despise Google.

  1. cashxx

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Already did

    He already did work for Apple....he is a liar and should go to Microsoft if anywhere.

  1. davester

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Once a thief

    Always a thief

  1. Jubeikiwagami

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Yeah. The truth comes out!

    Comment buried. Show
  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: Once a thief

    Well at least he did not commit the most despicable crime of all - steal from his friend/business partner. We'll leave that honour to Steven P Jobs.

    Yeah, once a thief...

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I thought his name sounded familiar...

    But still I say he at least told what actually happened while Page acted like he didn't know anything about anything. As to being thief, and all the copycatters, what did he steal that we can't lay at the former CEO's feet, Eric Schmidt?

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Google doesn't need Android

    Re: "...but may still face stiff costs to keep Android on the market."

    You pay to play in the big city. Rubin and company tried to weasel their way out of paying Java licensing fees, but it didn't work. And now it's going to cost them.

    Last Wednesday, Larry Page himself testified that "he was 'not sure' if Android was a critical asset for Google." He's already backing away from Android and all of its catastrophic problems. And now Rubin admits that the Java API was copyrighted after all. So much for that line of defense.

    Ironic that out of all the forking, fragmentation, and failure in the pad computing space, they could have avoided this expensive mistake by simply doing the right thing in the first place. By paying the licensing fee.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    @ chas_m

    I said nothing that was untrue. Look up Breakout Game Development.
    Even the Woz get's upset when he talks about it. I would too if my good friend and business partner stole from me.

    >>>The original deadline was met after Wozniak did not sleep for four days straight. In the end 50 chips were removed from Jobs' original design. This equated to a US$5,000 bonus, which Jobs kept secret from Wozniak, instead only paying him $375.

    Spin your case however you want to. It is STEALING.

    As someone already said, Once a thief.

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