Can You Copyright a Computer Language? Google and Oracle Set to Find Out

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2012 12:45 AM GMT
    http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/04/google-oracle/

    Oracle and Google’s phalanxes of lawyers are finally set to face off in a San Francisco courtroom, after two years of pretrial wrangling in their dispute over Android and the Java programming language.

    Both sides got a friendly reminder from U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup on Friday as they set for Monday’s trial. “Counsel are reminded that they should be prepared to give opening statements on Monday immediately after the jury is sworn in,” read the quick note from Alsup to lawyers from the two tech heavyweights, adding they may even have time for the first witness.

    Oracle says that Android violates two of the Java patents it acquired in its 2009 purchase of Sun Microsystems and is reportedly asking for about $1 billion in damages.

    But in addition to the patent claims, Oracle also alleges that Android violates its Java copyright. In court filings, Oracle claims that a computer programming language is copyrightable. Google maintains that it is not.

    Now after hundreds of legal filings involving more than 75 attorneys, countless headlines, unimaginable legal fees and one angry rant by Google’s chief legal officer, the trial is set to begin.

    more on site...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2012 1:15 AM GMT
    If they can prove that computer language is intellectual property, it can be copyrighted.

    Then once they do that, whoever owns the rights to ASCII can sue everyone. icon_lol.gif
  • chi_rock

    Posts: 207

    Apr 14, 2012 1:47 AM GMT
    If a copyright is allowed, expect a major boycott of that language.
  • offshore

    Posts: 1294

    Apr 14, 2012 1:50 AM GMT
    Fuck Oracle.
  • groundcombat

    Posts: 945

    Apr 14, 2012 2:21 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidIf they can prove that computer language is intellectual property, it can be copyrighted.



    Well not exactly. I think you can get copyright for things like fonts and such. The problem with a computer language, I speculate, will be that it's hard to pinpoint and original work which was copied and you can't really have copyright infringement without some sort of copying. I don't know the odds and ends of how but I suspect Oracle will lose on the copyright claim on the ramifications of setting a precedent that computer languages are copyrightable alone. It would set into motion a nasty string of suits and absolutely wipe out Silicon Valley. If there were protection for computer language as intellectual property, I suspect that it should come from a patent rather than copyright.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2012 3:20 AM GMT
    I think we need to leave this issue to the legal system. Just ask Microsoft about C#.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Java_Virtual_Machine
    Sun, the creator of Java, sued Microsoft in October 1997 for incompletely implementing the Java 1.1 standard.

    Java was developed to allow Sun to sell powerful server-based interactive enterprise solutions, usable across multiple operating systems, requiring little more than a web browser with a Java plugin for each employee. PC crashes and power failures don't affect the server.

    This is a threat to Microsoft, as they depend on a PC on every desktop with the IT headaches that come with it(malware) That situation, if your inventory system software or email client, running on Windows, required an update, you had to copy updated software to every desktop machine.

    Microsoft developed their own answer to JAVA called ActiveX, in 1996. But, unlike Java, it only runs on MsWindows desktops.

    The bigger problem is Google engineers knew this suit would happen and they chose to ignore it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2012 5:01 AM GMT
    Java was opened sourced by Sun (acquired by Oracle) around 2006 or 2007 I think. Android Inc (later acquired by Google) created a variation of Java and the Java VM (Dalvik) to create the Android mobile OS. Google is justifying this because Java is supposed to be "open sourced". Oracle now is trying to say that their implementation of Java is copyright infringement, and violating some of their patents. This one is tough for me....but since I hate Oracle and their shaddy business practices, I hope they lose....whether they're legally right or wrong. Personally, I think they just want a piece of the pie.....as of Larry Ellison doesn't have enough money.
  • offshore

    Posts: 1294

    Apr 14, 2012 6:21 AM GMT
    SoloXCRacer saidJava was opened sourced by Sun (acquired by Oracle) around 2006 or 2007 I think. Android Inc (later acquired by Google) created a variation of Java and the Java VM (Dalvik) to create the Android mobile OS. Google is justifying this because Java is supposed to be "open sourced". Oracle now is trying to say that their implementation of Java is copyright infringement, and violating some of their patents. This one is tough for me....but since I hate Oracle and their shaddy business practices, I hope they lose....whether they're legally right or wrong. Personally, I think they just want a piece of the pie.....as of Larry Ellison doesn't have enough money.


    Yes! For all the hate towards Microsoft and Apple, they are all small fries compared tot he seedy shit going on at Oracle.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2012 6:37 AM GMT
    Our patent system is so broken.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2012 6:39 AM GMT
    SoloXCRacer said...
    Personally, I think they just want a piece of the pie.....as of Larry Ellison doesn't have enough money.


    This. Oracle eventually tries to monetize every single piece of IP that they acquire, even if it was "open source". From what I read about this issue, the licensing model for Java as "open source" did not have sufficient guarantees to make this watertight. Hence the legal dispute.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 14, 2012 7:59 AM GMT
    Well my answer being a guy into Information Tech field is

    YES

    Google is one hell of a company which has always been violating the secret & copyright laws
    Fearing a shut-down just like Megaupload , it changed it laws to be suitable enough to not have been banned
    moreover there are always reports of hacking & phishing
    Did u ever wonder why there are so many spam mails in Gmail always when yahoo hardly allows spam to your mail box ?

    Google is not my enemy but it i don't trust it

    Speaking of a Oracle ..Anyone invading its property is a subject to violation but if they violate its ethical ..Crap !

    a computer language is copyrightable just as your home is yours

    for example , you buy a House & leave it for rent & some people stay there for years & when there tenure if over ,what if they claim that the house you gave them is theirs ?
    its same with a computer language
    it was made by "someone " whom credit should be given & even the compensation over which you are making your database or whatever that is !

    Of course what u made is yours & anyone claiming their ownership is an A**H**e
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 16, 2012 12:21 AM GMT
    Manifestly not.

    Computer languages are mathematical notation, and hence not copyright-able.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 16, 2012 12:40 AM GMT
    http://www.i-programmer.info/news/83/2011-google-v-oracle-progress-at-last.html

    http://www.i-programmer.info/news/193-android/4061-oracle-v-google-are-computer-languages-copyrightable.html

    http://www.i-programmer.info/news/83-mobliephone/2647-patent-office-ruling-reduces-oracles-case-against-google.html

    Is it Ironic that I'm using Google to find this?
  • OptimusMatt

    Posts: 1124

    Apr 16, 2012 12:55 AM GMT
    I suspect if you copyright a programming language you'll probably kill it.
    It's not the language itself, it's what's written in the language.

    I.E. you cannot copyright the english language, but you can copyright a book written in english.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 16, 2012 12:27 PM GMT
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/16/oracle_google_goes_to_trial/

    Larry vs Larry: Oracle and Google in courtroom smackdown - Ellison's Java suit against Choc Factory goes to trial
    By Brid-Aine Parnell

    One of the big patent cases in tech will finally come to trial this week, as Oracle takes on Google in court over its use of Java software in its Android operating system.

    Oracle laid hands on the Java platform when it bought Sun Microsystems in January 2010 and it had filed suit against Google under the new Sun moniker of "Oracle America" by August that year.

    According to Oracle, the Chocolate Factory has infringed on its copyright by copying Java software and documentation into its Android software and documentation, as well as infringing on two patents with Android and related mobile phones.

    Google has called the suit an "attack on both Google and the open-source Java community" and said the arguments are "baseless".

    The web giant has said in court documents that Oracle has no right to enforce the copyright and patents in question against it because the Java programming language is free and open for anyone to use.

    But Oracle doesn't agree and it is hoping the court will hand over around $1bn in damages at the end of the trial, expected to last around eight weeks.

    Since the suit was first filed, Judge William Alsup has been trying to get the parties to settle and various negotiations have taken place. However, the parties were unable to agree on any deal before the set deadline of 13 April, so trial will begin today.

    Both Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Google CEO Larry Page are on Oracle America's list of the first 10 witnesses it expects to call to the stand. Judge Alsup said that it was possible the case could get to the first witness on the first day of trial after opening statements.

    As well as costing Google a whole heap of money, losing the case could force the firm to change its Android OS, which in turn will force app developers to rewrite existing products.

    While Google could survive a billion-dollar payout and an Android redesign, the developers are the ones who stand to lose most, which has put open-source advocates firmly on Google's side.

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) called the Oracle suit "unjustifiable".

    "One of the great benefits of free software is that it allows programs to be combined in ways that none of the original developers would've anticipated, to create something new and exciting," said FSF licence compliance engineer Brett Smith after the suit was first filed.

    "Oracle is signalling to the world that they intend to limit everyone's ability to do this with Java," he added.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 16, 2012 2:46 PM GMT
    Only thing I'm counting on is Google making this interesting to watch.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/13/google_adwords_rosetta_stone_case/
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 16, 2012 7:06 PM GMT
    the article's title is a bit misleading - if you take a look at the filing, oracle's suing not for google's implemention of java as a whole but for their copying of documentation and source of 37 specific packages ; it's still ridiculous and in bad taste, but under the current (utterly broken) copyright system as mentioned earlier i can see oracle easily winning this. such a wack company ; their acquistion of mysql was the final nail in the coffin for my switching over to postgres, and seeing their name all over virtualbox now is cringworthy.