|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Re: [Hangout of NYLXS] Fair USe
|From hangout-bounces-at-nylxs.com Sat May 13 22:03:27 2017
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From: Ruben Safir
Date: Sat, 13 May 2017 22:03:22 -0400
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Subject: Re: [Hangout of NYLXS] Fair USe
List-Id: NYLXS Tech Talk and Politics
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On 05/13/2017 09:46 PM, Ruben Safir wrote:
> On Fri, May 12, 2017 at 04:05:17PM -0700, Rick Moen wrote:
>> Quoting Ruben Safir (ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com):
>>> I liked it better when the court ruled that there was no copyright
>>> violation whatsoever. Instead they are now relying on a fair use
>>> argument about APIs and that is a moving target.
>> I'm sorry, but I'm unclear on what you're saying the court's reasoning
>> is. Can you be more specific?
> No I can't. If you don't want to talk about it then don't. =
This article might have some problems. It does point out the real
copyright issues that exist inside the java code. The conclusion about
the fair use arguments, though, I think are crooked. Free Software
itself depends on the language code itself being protected under
copyleft. The implementation of C, for example, should be free end to
end. Now if the court comes back and says that the C API is not free
and is copyrighted, we are fucked right there.
Google's legal war with Oracle could undermine a core pillar of the
May 21, 2016, 12:00 PM 8,960
Larry EllisonOracle founder and executive chairman Larry Ellison.Oracle
A guy accused of harassing a female developer gets rejected from a
Microsoft is following in Amazon's footsteps with a new service to steal
40 TV shows that have been canceled
On Monday, the jury will hear the closing arguments in the latest trial
in Oracle v. Google =E2=80=94 the $9 billion lawsuit that has the whole tech
industry on edge.
Oracle alleges that Google violated its copyright when it put pieces of
the crucial Java technology into the Android operating system, which now
ships on 80% of smartphones sold. Google's defense hinges on "fair use,"
the idea that it was legally allowed to use Java as it did.
At the core of the conflict is a fundamental culture clash over "open
source," or code that's made freely available, under a far more
permissive copyright, for any use people can find for it.
Open source is a pillar of the software industry, with a huge and
thriving community of developers and companies who rely on it to various
extents. Even Microsoft, which spent a long time opposing open source,
has come around to embrace it.
But depending which way the jury goes here, Oracle v. Google could have
huge ramifications for the way software is built and marketed. It could
mean a big payday for Oracle, and a total shift in the industry.
What is open source?
The core concept of open source, as former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
once infamously noted, is akin to communism. Developers, including teams
of employees at companies like Google, Netflix, and Apple, share code
that they've been working on with the world. In return, they reap the
benefits when the community improves it.
If you hang out with open-source people long enough, you'll end up
hearing some variation on "all of us are smarter than any one of us."
Because successful open source projects have dozens, hundreds, or
thousands of programmers improving the same code from different angles,
the software can get way better, way faster than any proprietary tool.
siriApple's Siri uses the open source Apache Mesos to answer people's
That's why open source is increasingly in vogue with tech companies who
find themselves in a race to improve their products as fast as consumers
get bored with them. Apple uses the open source Mesos software, a tool
first pioneered at Twitter and Airbnb, to manage the huge number of
requests Siri gets every day.
It's also extremely common for companies, especially startups, to take
open-source software and use it as the basis for a real commercial
product that they'll actually sell. Open source presents the opportunity
to avoid reinventing the wheel, and instead focus on building a viable
For instance, a scientific paper that Google wrote in 2003 became the
genesis of Yahoo's Hadoop data-analysis software in 2006. When Yahoo
released Hadoop as open source, it became the foundational technology at
a string of hot startups that include Hortonworks, Cloudera, and Platfora.
Which brings us back to Oracle v. Google.
Where Google got into trouble
The testimony in this lawsuit tells the whole story.
When Google was first building Android around 2005 and 2006, it knew
that Apple was building something good with what would become the iPhone.
To get their operating system out the door faster, Google decided that
instead of building certain crucial pieces itself from scratch, it would
use Java =E2=80=94 a well-established technology that lots of would-be Andr=
app developers were already familiar with.
Alphabet chairman and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt testified in this
case that he went to Sun Microsystems (now owned by Oracle), the
original developer of Java, to try to properly license Java for $30
million to $40 million. Those talks fell apart, apparently because Sun
was worried about giving up control of the mobile space.
Eric SchmidtAlphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt.REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach
Google cofounder Larry Page testified that Google did use a whole bunch
of Java code in Android, skipping the bits that they thought Sun alone
had the rights to and rewriting what they couldn't take in-house.
But Page says that Google only did this because Java was available as
open source. Android cofounder Andy Rubin further testified that Google
didn't believe that the parts of Java that they used were copyrighted
(though he's in hot water over an email he sent that suggests otherwise).
Originally, Google was claiming that Oracle could not copyright APIs, or
application programming interfaces, which are the "hooks" that lets
software and websites talk to each other. An API is how, say, "Candy
Crush Saga" logs you in with a Facebook account.
But a court decision ruled that the pieces of the code that Google used
were in fact Oracle's intellectual property under the law. So now Google
is invoking a "fair use" defense =E2=80=94 admitting that Oracle owns the
copyright to those pieces of Java, but claiming that Google should be
allowed to use the code commercially.
Between the lines
If Google's fair-use defense doesn't work, it could set an alarming
precedent for the tech industry.
Open source is the way of the world for many, many technology companies.
And the kinds of API code that Oracle has taken issue with here are of a
kind that makes their way into many, many pieces of software. It's not
quite ubiquitous, but it's close.
Safra CatzOracle CEO Safra Catz.Oracle
A ruling against Google here would mean that established tech companies
like Oracle could have a new source of revenue: Finding startups and
developers that use Java or other technology that could be found to be
copyrightable, and claiming damages.
If Google couldn't mount a successful defense, it's unlikely anyone else
would have better luck.
That's not great news for software innovation. A big part of open source
is free and open communication and collaboration. If developers are
worried that they might get sued, the next great open-source software
project may simply never get built.
Get the latest Google stock price here.
So many immigrant groups have swept through our town
that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological
proportions in the mind of the world - RI Safir 1998
DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS - RI Safir 2002
http://www.nylxs.com - Leadership Development in Free Software
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