Google present their case

Oracle vs Google – Google Executive Chairman Schmidt details negotiations with Sun for Android

Chris Mayer
Schmidt

Oracle rests their case and lets Google take the ball in copyright proceedings. Andy Rubin makes his third appearance in two days sparring over fragmentation plus Google exec chairman Eric Schmidt has his say

After six days without really having a chance to present their
side of the case, Google now hold the baton of power in the Android
trial against Oracle.

Andy Rubin was everpresent on Day 7 bookending the testimony of
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.

Firstly, he
finished up his testimony
from the day before, fending off more
questions from Oracle’s lead attorney David Boies and once again
the two sides clashed over those emails. However, this time the
exchange was about the email headers and whether the people at the
top of the email actually refer to which parties are involved.
Petty legal nitpicking seems to be en vogue in this case

Tension overflowed from Monday after Rubin had admitted the
java.lang APIs were Sun property. As Boies pressed Rubin on Android
fragmentation, more disagreements occurred with Rubin saying that
his definition was different to Sun’s and that he hadn’t asked them
for a definition at any point.

He said:

It’s hard for me to say what other people are thinking…I know
that Sun had a definition of fragmentation that Sun used over and
over again.

After a nudge by Judge William Alsup, Rubin clarified his
definition of fragmentation in this case as being an ‘incompatible
implementation of Java.’

Rubin returned later on as Google’s second witness adding in
some more useful information, although mostly clarifying things
from the day before. When questioned by Google counsel Robert Van
Nest, Rubin confirmed that other languages (JavaScript, Python and
Lua) were options that Google could have used to build the Android
platform, but Java remained the No.1 choice given that in 2005,
Java was the only feasible choice for any phone.

Rubin confirmed discussion had taken place with Sun saying:

We saw this as an opportunity to open up Java, and we
asked Sun to contribute to the open source
community. 

Yet Rubin insisted that Google were completely cool about moving
forward without a licence, with the clean room implementation of
Java for Android comfortably in the background. He also stated that
the Android developer team were given clear instructions what parts
of the Java language they couldn’t use (i.e from the Sun
website).

The main course of the day was served up by Google Executive
Chairman,
Eric Schmidt, as he was first up in Google’s line of
questioning.
Schmidt gave us a history lesson on how Android
came into existence and also his CTO role at Sun building Java
saying

We used to say it was building a new religion, a new way
of thinking.

Put the software out there and let the people modify
it any way they want.

You could simply make your own version of Java. You
couldn’t call it Java, but you could do whatever you wanted with
it.

Schmidt was adamant throughout that the use of Java in Android
was ‘legally correct’. He affirmed Google’s talks with Sun over
Java, but they broke off after Sun’s hesitancy to give Google too
much control when it came to open sourcing Java. Sun wanted $30-50m
for the licence, which Google were willing to pay according
Schmidt, but weren’t comfortable with the restraints in place.

He also said he would meet with Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz on a
regular basis and this issue of Google’s Java use was never raised
between the two and their relationship was very cordial.

After talks broke down, Schmidt confirmed Google went for the
clean room approach. When interrogated over the trial’s most
important talking point, APIs, Schmidt firstly confirmed no one at
Sun referred to the APIs as ‘blueprints’. He added:

The Java language is not useful without the ability to
make something happen, and what the API does is allow you to make
something happen.

So Google remain steadfast in their opinion that APIs can
be used creatively to make something bigger and better. Andy Rubin
is set to make yet another appearance on Wednesday, as well as the
creator of the Dalvik virtual machine, Dan Bernstein. The case
continues.

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