updated 02:10 pm EDT, Thu April 26, 2012
Former Sun CEO Schwartz supports Google view
Oracle may have run into an obstacle in its lawsuit against Google during testimony by former CEO Jonathan Schwartz. Despite Oracle's own CEO Larry Ellison being unsure if Java was free to use for Android's framework, Schwartz said the programming interfaces were always cleared for free use and weren't proprietary. Sun didn't sue Google over its early Android use as it didn't feel it "had any grounds" to take action, he testified.
"You have open APIs [application programming interfaces], and then compete on implementations," Schwartz said at trial.
Plaintiff attorney Mike Jacobs tried to challenge the claim by arguing a disjunction between what Sun should have done and what Schwartz was doing. The CEO was making decisions about the company's business strategy but not paying attention to Sun's own legal rights, Jacobs said. Schwartz partly defended himself, saying he was "there to define our business strategy" at Sun and not to "write our contracts."
The statements have been supported outside of court by known company blog posts from Schwartz that openly embraced Android as promoting Java. Oracle tried to hide the posts as they underscored that the legal threats only began after Oracle bought Sun.
If found persuasive by the jury, Schwartz's testimony could undermine the core of Oracle's lawsuit. Most of its arguments have centered around e-mail between Google executives and engineers between 2005 and 2010 that talked about possibly needing a paid Java license. Schwartz's statements could make these irrelevant by arguing that no paid license was needed in the first place, as Google has argued.
In separate argumentation, Google has also submitted claims that Oracle's copyrights on Java 2 SE are invalid due to bad registration. As seen by The Verge, Google noted that one of the discs with source code was now blank, while there was no record that the other disc had gone to the Copyright Office. Oracle has claimed to have records, but Google insists that data must be readable for the copyrights to be valid. [via Caleb Garling as well as Dan Levine and Ginny LaRoe]