As we all know, Google is neck-deep in bogus lawsuits with patent troll companies. One of those patent trolls is Oracle. The company has decided to go after Android with claims that the OS infringes on Oracle’s Java code.
Well, the funny thing is, Oracle did not own Java when Android was released in 2007. It belonged to Sun Microsystems, later acquired by Oracle in 2009. You might argue Oracle bought Sun with the sole purpose of bullying companies like Google into paying for the use of Java, but that’s a topic for another day.
So if Sun was the owner of Java when Google announced Android, how did the company feel about those “thieves” at Google “stealing” Java for their own benefit? They were pretty happy about it. In fact on a blog post in 2007, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz praised Google for their use of Java and Linux on Android. Here’s an excerpt from that blog post:
I just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of others from Sun in offering my heartfelt congratulations to Google on the announcement of their new Java/Linux phone platform, Android. Congratulations!
I'd also like Sun to be the first platform software company to commit to a complete developer environment around the platform, as we throw Sun's NetBeans developer platform for mobile devices behind the effort. We've obviously done a ton of work to support developers on all Java based platforms, and were pleased to add Google's Android to the list.
And needless to say, Google and the Open Handset Alliance just strapped another set of rockets to the community's momentum - and to the vision defining opportunity across our (and other) planets.
Today is an incredible day for the open source community, and a massive endorsement of two of the industry's most prolific free software communities, Java and Linux.Jonathan SchwartzSun CEO
Now, if that doesn’t sound like a full approval of Android’s use of Java, I don’t know what would. Sun was not only 100% behind Android, they were also the first one to build “a complete developer environment around the platform.” In typical rodent manner, Oracle deleted Schwartz’s blog post, which only resulted in even more damage to the company’s case against Google.
As with everything on the Internet, nothing is ever truly deleted. And it only took a couple minutes for somebody to pull up a copy of the blog post from the Wayback Machine. Google is now using this endorsement from Schwartz as part of their defense, and the case’s judge condemned Oracle’s actions, saying: “The big companies do not own the U.S. District Court. When it comes to a public hearing I’m not going to resort to Morse code to figure out what you are saying. This is not a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oracle. Nobody is going to put my word under seal even if I refer to your secret documents.” Ouch.
If Google can prove that Schwartz’s statement served as an approval of Android’s use of Java, they could easily win this case against Oracle thanks to something called estoppel. (Read more about here).
Hopefully, the judge will see through Oracle’s lies and deceits as we all do, and rule in favor of Google, Android and the open source community.