Google fighting to suppress evidence Android willfully infringed upon Oracle's Java

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  • Reply 101 of 353
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    I do not believe, however, that there was any uncertainty in Google's use of Java.



    More than is generally acknowledged. For starters Google is certainly using the Java language but that's not the problem, as far as I'm aware Oracle isn't claiming that the use of the language is an issue.



    There are two issues here, one of copyright and one of violating some software patents on Java that relate to such things as the internals of a runtime. Leaving the copyright issue aside, the patent infringement is far from clear cut, as is evidenced by the fact that a lot of the preliminary rulings on oracles patents have been negative.



    http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011...e-patents.html

    http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011...dates-entire?



    Now these preliminary results don't mean that Oracle has lost by any stretch, but they do surely indicate that Google can justifiably claim that there is doubt about the validity of these patents, and that the infringement of them, even the wilful infringement of them is thus hard to categorize as 'evil'.
  • Reply 102 of 353
    I'm not sure how the Google Books thing became a topic, but I think the issue that publishers and authors had was that even if the books in question were out of print, they would have the opportunity to have a reprinting based on audience demand. If Google digitizes them and people could get information based on those, then there is little to no incentive to request a new edition. I'm not saying whether that is right or wrong, but I can understand that particular position.
  • Reply 103 of 353
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    I believe you'll find that google's claims of rights applied to the digitized images, not to the underlying content. This is akin to a performer recording a piece of music, the performer has the rights to the recording but it doesn't interfere with the composer's prior rights to the music.



    The disagreement between Google and the publishers essentially created new law - as such it's unreasonable to claim that they should have behaved differently, there simply was no precedent to determine what 'fair use' meant, or what Google could reasonably claim over the images.



    The music/recording analogy is not necessarily a good one -- there are situations where an artist can record a "cover" of someone else's recording and copyrighted music. This has limitations -- the "cover artist" cannot sell the material without "permissions" and, likely, "royalty payments" -- but the material can be freely played without violating anyone's rights. YT is full of such "covers"



    Here are some YT covers of a friend:



    If I Were A Boy - Beyoncé - ( SheenaMelwani )





    Sheena is free to post these covers -- but she cannot record them as a "for sale" CD or Music Video without "permissions".



    But, Sheena is certainly benefiting from the exposure that the "covers" give to her and her music.
  • Reply 104 of 353
    orlandoorlando Posts: 601member
    Even if Google loses I'm struggling to see what would actually change. Google can easily afford to pay a multibillion dollar settlement.



    Also unlike Microsoft or Apple, Oracle does not have a product that competes with Android. The best solution for Orale is Android becomes even more successful whilst paying them a license fee. Android could become Oracle's golden goose. But if they kill off Android or make the terms bad enough that Google switches to another language they lose out on future license fees.
  • Reply 105 of 353
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Orlando View Post


    Even if Google loses I'm struggling to see what would actually change. Google can easily afford to pay a multibillion dollar settlement.



    Also unlike Microsoft or Apple, Oracle does not have a product that competes with Android. The best solution for Orale is Android becomes even more successful whilst paying them a license fee. Android could become Oracle's golden goose. But if they kill off Android or make the terms bad enough that Google switches to another language they lose out on future license fees.



    I think the issue would be how much is Google willing to pay to continue android. Google has been a bit vague on how much it actually profits on android. I've seen $1 billion dollars in 6 mos. and I've read that they HOPE to make $10 per handset, but I've never read any solid numbers each and every quarter. If it begins to cost Google more than they expect to earn AND it costs handset makers more on already razor thin margins, then what would be the incentive for them to continue. It's not like Google has never killed projects before.
  • Reply 106 of 353
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    I don't necessary disagree with you, but those Humphrey Bogart clips at the beginning of rented movies provided curtesy of the MPAA would like you to believe something else. The RIAA and MPAA certainly liken copying of their content as theft, which in most cases the copyright code would actually disagree with that sentiment. I also think the founders of Pirate Bay will disagree with you regarding not going to jail for infringement.



    Evil is a very strong word, so in my mind Google has not been evil. However, Google is the one who set the standard for what qualifies as evil by essentially defining how it intends to act. It is hard to see how willing taking somebody's IP meets the highest ethical standard. So, if Evil means something akin to Dr. Hannibal Lecter, then I think Google is OK. However, if it means failing to meet the highest ethical standard, then I think Google has fallen into the abyss.







    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    But infringement isn't stealing, which is why one can't be arrested and imprisoned for it.



    The argument that Google has failed to meet 'the highest ethical standard' is a much better one, but that's a far cry from being evil. Even then it's not an open and shut case, because one has to ask if it is inethical to knowingly infringe a patent which you do not believe is or ought to be valid.



    Why do people feel the need to bring ethics or morality into what is a purely legal issue? Google is potentially infringing a patent owned by a huge and determined software firm. It has gone to the courts and there will be a big legal bun fight at the end of which one of the two will come out a winner. It makes no more sense to paint Google as evil here than it does to paint Oracle as evil. It's hard to think of a time when an IT firm was uncontrovertibly inethical, MS destroying netscape perhaps?



  • Reply 107 of 353
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    But infringement isn't stealing, which is why one can't be arrested and imprisoned for it.



    The argument that Google has failed to meet 'the highest ethical standard' is a much better one, but that's a far cry from being evil. Even then it's not an open and shut case, because one has to ask if it is inethical to knowingly infringe a patent which you do not believe is or ought to be valid.



    Why do people feel the need to bring ethics or morality into what is a purely legal issue? Google is potentially infringing a patent owned by a huge and determined software firm. It has gone to the courts and there will be a big legal bun fight at the end of which one of the two will come out a winner. It makes no more sense to paint Google as evil here than it does to paint Oracle as evil. It's hard to think of a time when an IT firm was uncontrovertibly inethical, MS destroying netscape perhaps?



    Your wrong here.



    First, you are making an irrelevant distinction between criminal illegality and contract breaking or infringement, when in the colloquial sense of the term (the way most people use in every day), both are "illegal." So while your distinction is technically accurate it is also irrelevant to what's being discussed. You are just doing your usual thing of running people over the coals for inaccurate speech.



    Secondly, morals, ethics, and law are all inextricably intertwined. In many cases, things are made "illegal" expressly because of the fact that many people find the behaviour immoral. While I personally would agree that just because something is immoral (a necessarily subjective assessment), it doesn't have to be also illegal, the fact is that most of the time it is.



    As to the substance of the argument, what we are talking about here is clear evidence of wilful infringement. Google did what they did intentionally, and for clearly stated reasons that fail your standard. The evidence indicates rather clearly that Google knew they should develop their own language, but "didn't have the time" in their view to do so. That's not a legal defence and basically amounts to saying that they just couldn't be bothered to follow what they knew was the law. They've also shown evidence of guilt in terms of the machinations they performed to cover things up.



    Finally, your argument that supposes (without any evidence I might add), that the Googler's were coming from some moral high ground where they eschewed patents altogether, and were thus okay doing what they did because they did it in light of their belief that patents shouldn't exist, is just silly. In the first case there is ample evidence that they did not in fact believe this in the way they handle their own patents, and in the litigations they have been in in the past. Secondly, "wishing the laws were different" is not a defence, just as ignorance of the law can never be a defence either.



    The only legal or historical precedent for that kind of thing is civil disobedience, wherein it is the duty of a citizen to oppose a "bad" law. But to equate stealing Java and re-branding it as your own, with the lofty goals of the civil rights movement is distasteful at best. The idea that there is some kind of equivalency between "patent law is screwed up" and people being killed and tortured for their beliefs is just abhorrent. At least it is to me.



    Google is also deeply involved in shady practices around the world, and has it's own army of lobbyists fighting *for* the very patent system that we are (mostly you) are assuming they have some kind of moral distaste for.
  • Reply 108 of 353
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Google merely was digitalizing the books to allow people to search through the books. It didn't give people access to the whole books (unless the books were in the public domain).



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post


    I'm not sure how the Google Books thing became a topic, but I think the issue that publishers and authors had was that even if the books in question were out of print, they would have the opportunity to have a reprinting based on audience demand. If Google digitizes them and people could get information based on those, then there is little to no incentive to request a new edition. I'm not saying whether that is right or wrong, but I can understand that particular position.



  • Reply 109 of 353
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    The music/recording analogy is not necessarily a good one -- there are situations where an artist can record a "cover" of someone else's recording and copyrighted music. This has limitations -- the "cover artist" cannot sell the material without "permissions" and, likely, "royalty payments" -- but the material can be freely played without violating anyone's rights. YT is full of such "covers"



    As I explained in an earlier post, there is definitely a requirement to pay the songwriter/composer a license, but there is generally no requirement to get permission to record - even for sale, though it does depend on jurisidiction. Back in the 60s and 70s Burt Bacharach would write songs for Dionne Warwick, and before she could get them released in the UK, Cilla Black would have released a cover.

    Warwick famously said 'I honestly believe that if I'd sneezed on my next record, then Cilla would have sneezed on hers too.',



    Now as it happens I think Cilla Black is evil, but that's more to do with her voice than copyright issues



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykd71...eature=related



    See? Now that's evil!
  • Reply 110 of 353
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBell View Post


    Google merely was digitalizing the books to allow people to search through the books. It didn't give people access to the whole books (unless the books were in the public domain).



    Oh I know that. My point was that if a person can get whatever information s/he needs via Google's digitized version, then there is no need to for them to request a new edition be printed. This is why I didn't say whether Google's position in that matter is right or wrong because IMO it equates to the olden times where you had to buy a whole CD for a couple of songs that you like.
  • Reply 111 of 353
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,586member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Orlando View Post


    Even if Google loses I'm struggling to see what would actually change. Google can easily afford to pay a multibillion dollar settlement.



    Also unlike Microsoft or Apple, Oracle does not have a product that competes with Android. The best solution for Orale is Android becomes even more successful whilst paying them a license fee. Android could become Oracle's golden goose. But if they kill off Android or make the terms bad enough that Google switches to another language they lose out on future license fees.



    "A finding that Google willfully infringed upon Java would also enable Oracle to demand triple its actual damages. Such a ruling could also help establish that Google has a history of willful infringement of rival companies' intellectual property, a finding that would make it easier for others, including Apple and Microsoft, to seek damages from Google and potentially its Android licensees."



    It's the last part of this quote from the article that addresses your point. Google can afford it, but it's licensees--who actually make and sell the vast majority of the phones themselves--who will be killed off. Maybe Google will become the single manufacturer of the Googlephone, just like Apple and the iPhone?
  • Reply 112 of 353
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    It is interesting to compare on what Google's thoughts were regarding Microsoft's innovative way of improving its search results using Google's own search results and Google's taking Java for its own use. Google lambasted Microsoft saying it should do its own work. Apparently what is good for the goose isn't good for the gander.
  • Reply 113 of 353
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBell View Post


    Evil is a very strong word, so in my mind Google has not been evil. However, Google is the one who set the standard for what qualifies as evil by essentially defining how it intends to act. It is hard to see how willing taking somebody's IP meets the highest ethical standard. So, if Evil means something akin to Dr. Hannibal Lecter, then I think Google is OK. However, if it means failing to meet the highest ethical standard, then I think Google has fallen into the abyss.



    I absolutely agree with you... as I stated earlier... Google's own Code of Conduct states:



    "measured against the highest possible standards of ethical business conduct"



    Not the highest ethical standard... but the highest possible standards of ethical business conduct. Google itself has said that anything that falls outside of that, for itself, is evil.



    Is willfully infringing upon ip of the "highest possible" standard of ethical business conduct? Of course it isn't. Therefore Google, by its own standard, is evil.



    Can Apple, IBM, MS or any other company be included as "evil" doers in this same context... in my mind, no, but by Google's standards... sure.... but the other companies never wrote "Don't be Evil" in their code of conduct... maybe they're not quite that stupid (or naive).
  • Reply 114 of 353
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    There's an author who posted on the last page that he was screwed over. Just go back to that page. A LOT of authors were screwed. Estimates are in the thousands.



    In addition, Google was stating that they had exclusive rights to whatever they scanned, and that they were going to charge for the use of the material. Those two things were also a major problem, and Google has been changing the terms, but no one seems to be happy with them.



    Let's understand one thing. Google never does anything that doesn't benefit Google in some way.



    If living authors were screwed over in regards their own works, that is indeed a bad thing but the law is crystal clear and they should be able to seek restitution from Google.



    I haven't (yet) seen any evidence that this actually happened though. I've heard "copyright holders" complain, but to me the only thing that really matters is the actual creators/authors.



    The entire problem with copyright today is that the interests of the buyers and sellers of the IP are treated as if they are the same as the creators of the IP when in fact they are all leeches of one kind or another. The only thing that really matters is the people who actually create the stuff IMO.
  • Reply 115 of 353
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    First, you are making an irrelevant distinction between criminal illegality and contract breaking or infringement, when in the colloquial sense of the term (the way most people use in every day), both are "illegal." So while your distinction is technically accurate it is also irrelevant to what's being discussed. You are just doing your usual thing of running people over the coals for inaccurate speech.



    The problem is that the inaccuracies build up. Once you accept infringement as theft, then it is indeed immoral and indeed criminal rather than merely illegal. I'm not running anybody over any coals, I'm just trying to keep some pretty significant distinctions clear.



    Quote:

    Secondly, morals, ethics, and law are all inextricably intertwined. In many cases, things are made "illegal" expressly because of the fact that many people find the behaviour immoral. While I personally would agree that just because something is immoral (a necessarily subjective assessment), it doesn't have to be also illegal, the fact is that most of the time it is.



    Things that are immoral are often illegal, things that are illegal are often immoral, some things are universally considered immoral, some things are universally considered illegal. I would agree that things that are universally considered immoral are also universally considered illegal - murder is the obvious example - but trying to take it further you get into very very sticky territory. There are too many exceptions for it to be a good argument.



    Quote:

    As to the substance of the argument, what we are talking about here is clear evidence of wilful infringement. Google did what they did intentionally, and for clearly stated reasons that fail your standard. The evidence indicates rather clearly that Google knew they should develop their own language, but "didn't have the time" in their view to do so. That's not a legal defence and basically amounts to saying that they just couldn't be bothered to follow what they knew was the law.



    Ok, there are some key points here. First off the problem isn't that Google didn't develop their own language. As far as I am aware there is no legal issue with the fact that the language front end to Dalvik is identical to Java, any more than there is an issue that Objective-C is a superset of C. The problems are more subtle than that.



    The evidence definitely indicates that Google knew that they were infringing Sun/Oracle's patents, and if the patents end up holding up then that will indeed constitute wilful infringement, but we're not at that stage yet. The patents may well be invalidated in whole or in part, the rulings on them so far have not been in Oracle's favour. Can we really call wilful infringement of a patent which the USPTO has issued a preliminary ruling against inethical let alone evil?



    Quote:

    They've also shown evidence of guilt in terms of the machinations they performed to cover things up.



    They have a legal right to counsel, and they have a right to attorney client privilege. Whether or not the letter is admissible, Google's attempt to claw it back will almost certainly not be admissible as evidence of guilt. Their 'machinations' are entirely legal. By the way Oracle deleted a SUN executive's blog posting that had a potential negative impact on their case, but I didn't see any cries of cover-up from you then. Does that deletion indicate that they really did grant Google permission? Of course not, any good lawyer would have sought to remove it from view to avoid muddying the waters. Good legal tactics should never be mistaken for nefarious machinations.



    Quote:

    Finally, your argument that supposes (without any evidence I might add), that the Googler's were coming from some moral high ground where they eschewed patents altogether, and were thus okay doing what they did because they did it in light of their belief that patents shouldn't exist, is just silly. In the first case there is ample evidence that they did not in fact believe this in the way they handle their own patents, and in the litigations they have been in in the past. Secondly, "wishing the laws were different" is not a defence, just as ignorance of the law can never be a defence either.



    No, my argument only supposes that they felt that these particular patents were plausibly invalid. Given the USPTO's recent first office actions, that's not an entirely unreasonable argument now is it?



    I don't think that there's any way that Google can claim that they've a historic opposition to software patents, though I would certainly like it if in future they lobbied hard against them. However I also don't think that one can ever call infringement, even wilful infringement of a patent immoral - because infringing - even wilfully - is often a reasonable legal tactic in the modern patent minefield.
  • Reply 116 of 353
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post


    Oh I know that. My point was that if a person can get whatever information s/he needs via Google's digitized version, then there is no need to for them to request a new edition be printed. This is why I didn't say whether Google's position in that matter is right or wrong because IMO it equates to the olden times where you had to buy a whole CD for a couple of songs that you like.



    Yes, and it's also akin to going into the library to read that bit of the book, which is a classic fair use exception. The fact is that there are far too few books are available as print-on-demand, and the vast array of out of print books represent a kind of cultural vandalism.
  • Reply 117 of 353
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    Yes, and it's also akin to going into the library to read that bit of the book, which is a classic fair use exception. The fact is that there are far too few books are available as print-on-demand, and the vast array of out of print books represent a kind of cultural vandalism.



    The problem with using libraries in your example is that not only have libraries paid for the book, but they are a source for new edition requests. If the out of print book has been damaged or not returned, they are the majority of customers who request reprintings. Google would never need to do that. Don't get me wrong. I'm not lamenting the publishers' loss of revenue on issuing new editions of books with zero new information at all. I just see both sides.
  • Reply 118 of 353
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post


    In your example, it isn't so cut and dry. If the email copies someone else in the company (Google) then the email would still be privileged because the client is Google and both parties are employed by Google therefore it is still attorney/client privilege. If the email copied someone outside the company, then you'd be correct.



    Unfortunately for Google, none of that matters because the email was a draft and it's original content wasn't sent to the attorney. If I started a letter to my attorney saying I killed someone but didn't send it but sent another letter with similar information, privilege doesn't cover the original letter because I never sent it. This is why discovery is so crucial in these cases and why you see defendants "burying" the plaintiffs in discovery. In that strategy, you send any and all documents (relevant or not) in the hopes that the billable hours start to ratchet up for the plaintiff to the point where they get nervous about the litigation costs or their attorneys miss crucial info. This pressures the plaintiff into either settling the case quickly or dropping the suit altogether.



    That's not correct. Not every statement to your lawyer in a corporate setting is privileged. In this case, google screwed up, because this e-mail was apparently a response to a question from the CEO, so even if it were to the lawyer as well, it wouldn't be privileged.
  • Reply 119 of 353
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    Evil is indeed a discussion of morality, but patents are a matter of law, as is copyright. It's ludicrous to suggest that patent infringement is evil - I invite you to find a major religion with an injunction against it, or a moral philosopher with a cogent argument for it as 'evil' or immoral.



    Evil is definitely used to mean extreme immorality. When George W Bush railed against the Axis of Evil, even americans didn't think he was including people who cheated on their spouses or double dipped their chips.



    If Google is evil, then Apple is evil and no doubt even Ben and Jerries were evil. If everybody is evil then nobody is evil. A little sense of proportion would go a long way.



    Theft is evil in every religion, as far as I know. It doesn't matter whether it's criminal or civil. The people doing it are still stealing property that isn't theirs, and they are doing it willfully.

    And has been brought up a couple of posts ago, Google has their own definition of evil, and their actions should be measured against the standards they set up for themselves.
  • Reply 120 of 353
    hunabkuhunabku Posts: 55member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


    Steve in 2012: iCloud, not our finest hour



    You need to correct your signature - Steve in 2012: iCloud, not our finest hour - He was referring to mobileme not icloud. You don't want to googlize reality do you?
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