'Oracle is wrong to use its patents to attack Android' say FSF

FSF Respond to Oracle Lawsuit

Jessica Thornsby

The FSF encourage the community to help them build a End Software Patents wiki.

The FSF has posted a response to the news that Oracle is suing Google, stating that “Oracle is wrong to use its patents to attack Android.”

In the statement, the FSF present the lawsuit as a threat to the future of Java, as programmers might decide to play it safe and avoid Java all together, rather than risk being sued if Oracle takes a negative view of their project. In the FSF’s opinion, the greatest benefit of open sourcing software, is that it gives developers free reign to experiment and combine source code, to come up with new and exciting solutions. “Oracle is signalling to the world that they intend to limit everyone’s ability to do this with Java…….An aggressive infringement suit over software patents is a clear attack against someone’s freedom to use, share, modify, and redistribute software,” is the FSF’s bleak view of Oracle’s actions. The FSF encourages Google to make the lawsuit a stand against software patents.

However, the FSF do not view Google as blameless: in their opinion, Google’s Android software is geared towards facilitating proprietary software development on Android. If Google had built Android on top of the IcedTea Java implementation based on Sun’s original code, then IcedTea’s GPL licensing could have been used in Google’s defence during the lawsuit.

The FSF is currently calling for the community to help them collect information about prior art that could be used to attack the patents, at the End Software Patents wiki. They envision this wiki becoming a tool for other parties that Oracle may sue in the future.

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