Oracle Might Want to Read This - Google Might Not
posted Friday Jan 21, 2011 by Scott Ertz
Google seems to be a disaster lately. Between nearly useless search results, the failure of Google Wave, their interactions with China and Android's Java lawsuit, Google is quickly becoming the joke of the tech world. Today, Google's defense against Oracle's copyright infringement suit was severely damaged when blogger Florian Miller published an article revealing somewhere between 37 and 44 files copied directly from Oracle with only the licensing altered.
So far, the evidence seems to suggest that the files are merely test code and probably never shipped on a handset. In theory, that would mean that there was no copyright infringement involved. The problem is, this code WAS distributed at the very least in test versions of the operating system. Add to that the fact that Google replaced the Java GPL licensing documentation with the Apache Open Source License, which is not compatible licensing, and you have a major problem for Google.
To read how this might play out down the road, hit the break.
Oracle seems to be 100% set on seeing this lawsuit through and if it goes their way, which this type of evidence suggests it will, they will be owed a royalty for each device running the operating system. Google's in a situation, though, because they offer Android free to device manufacturers. Google will be paying a royalty per handset on a product they don't charge for. Not a great way to keep their stock out of the toilet.
While I enjoy tech law, my opinions on the matter are not necessarily the way it will go. A judge is the only one who can settle this, but if Psystar's Apple OS X lawsuit is any indication, this is an open and shut case. We'd love to hear your opinion on the matter, though. Do you think this could be the nail in the Android coffin or will Google continue to trudge through? Let us know in the comments section below.