Android Faces Massive Lawsuit at Hands of Oracle

January 21, 2011
11

No, not the one in the Matrix, the one that owns Sun Microsystems, a group whose Java codes Google appears to have been using without proper authorization in both Android 2.2 Froyo and 2.3 Gingerbread. This case appears to have definite footing as IP expert Florian Mueller brings forth 37 files discovered in Android 2.2 and 2.3 that were labeled “PROPRIETARY/CONFIDENTIAL” by Sun, and had a copyright notice file saying “DO NOT DISTRIBUTE!” This could be big, big trouble for Android and Google.

Furthermore, Mueller found a few more files in Android which look very likely to have been decompiled from Sun's original Java code. Earlier in this case Google has argued that Oracle omitted copyright headers from several of these controversial Java files - it not appears that the company may have replaced the original proprietary license with a GPL 2 header even though Oracle may not have authorized such an action.

Mueller writes:

“Google said in its formal response that Oracle had omitted “copyright headers”. That is correct, but now that I have seen two versions of the original file, I don’t think that the missing parts are favorable to Google. Actually, the opposite is true. Whether under a proprietary license or the GPL, the related code could not be legally relicensed under the Apache license by anyone other than the right holder (Oracle/Sun)”

Looks like this could be a gigantic bummer for Google, and not only just for Android - for the groups using Android to sell massive amounts of phones, aka manufacturers, distributors, mobile service carriers... everyone has a chance to get hit really hard by this, including the webpage you're reading this on right this second, Android Community. No more Android, no more fun.

[Via SlashGear]


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  • rich

    Does this mean Google might have done some evil after all?

    Say it ain’t so…

  • jay

    I really hope this can be solve out of court.

  • Douglas Ford

    I don’t trust Oracle at all, since Oracle took over Sun Microsystems there has been much bad done towards the open source community. Look at what is currently happening in regards to Apache versus Oracle for example. I got my certificate in Oracle database operations, but have since moved away from using Oracle products.

  • http://twitter.com/cl2eep cl2eep

    First of all, the original lawsuit from Oracle took place before 2.2 and 2.3 dropped, so I don’t see why they are even being included, second of all, Sun wouldn’t have gave two craps either way, all of this is Oracle’s doing. Either way, there is absolutely no way this lawsuit would result in the death of Android. Android is too big, on too many devices. The worse case scenario would be Google having to shell out a bunch of money to Oracle, or having to write their own code for the offending sections. Best case scenario would be Google buying Oracle then telling them to shut up.

  • funnypurple

    “google buying Oracle then telling them to shut up.” is the quote of the year people! i almost fell off my chair reading that last line!! ROFLROFL

    but really.. google could cut a cheque and move on from this.. android is here for life, no worrys. keep on droidin

  • http://azzlsoft.com Rich

    I’m looking forward to Google writing a check for 160 Bn dollars.

  • eclipse

    ((*yawn*)) This is a licensing dispute, not a platform killer. It will be in court for a long time, then settled with a check.

    Next drama, please.

  • Joe

    Ars technica has a break down on this supposed end of android. This site needs to stop hyperventilating. Basically the files were part of some third party zip file that has nothing to do with Android.

  • Jeff
  • http://www.zdnet.com/blog/burnette/oops-no-copied-java-code-or-weapons-of-mass-destruction-found-in-android/2162 SlidVendetta
  • JCandroid

    This is obviously another way to get more money, eventually. They will come to an agreedment because android and Google are real big now. If oracle takes over if they have the advantage they will change alot of things. If Google did some evil? Who hasn’t? In the corporate world everyone is evil more money more greed. Lol