Jamie McCracken (jamiemcc) wrote,
Jamie McCracken

Own goal

If you ask me, Oracle has scored a massive own goal by suing Google. Not least because if it expects to wrest back control of Java and make billions from it, it will surely be in for a massive disappointment. Heres why:

Despite Oracle's motivations (which I interpret as total disrespect/disregard for FOSS at best and pure malevolence at worst), its attacks are destined to fail. The copyright claim looks bizarre especially as everything is open source and publicly viewable and for all purposes consists of clean room stuff and the Harmony open source stuff. If there was any dispute here why wasn't examples provided? To me it smacks of wishful thinking and is surely a long shot. Worst case scenario is Google rewriting the offending code (if any) which should not be a big deal

The 8 salvo patent broadside also looks like a hit and miss approach and as they are more based on optimisation techniques rather than on restricting running of Dalvik code, it seems unfathomable that there's anything there that could not be coded around. Oracle would need to land a killer hit that would prevent execution of Dalvik code to have any chance of bringing Google to its knees and I cant see that happening. Chances are that one or two salvos may hit but they look like causing only minor damage which is easily repaired

So when the dust settles, what will oracle have achieved? I sure hope Google will fight and the end result could hurt Oracle big time

Oracle no doubt expects the following:

1) Google to concede and license Dalvik for billions

2) Oracle to pursue all manufacturers for similar license deals and loads more cash

3) Force Dalvik to comply with Java standards and put itself firmly at the helm of future java development

Here's what I think will happen instead:

1) Instead of billions it may only get a few tens of millions in damages due to the odd patent sticking and no license deal

2) Google will armour plate Android by coding around any weaknesses thus Android will become invulnerable to further attack and so Oracle will not be able to go after anyone else - the only damages it will receive will be for previous violations and not present or future ones and there's no hope of any license deal or further revenue. And there's plenty of time to do this as patent disputes take years to resolve if they go to court

3) Dalvik could become the new Java standard. If Microsoft proved anything, its that anyone with a half a brain steered clear of getting involved with them and Oracle is likely to develop a similar feared and loathed reputation that will drive Java adopters into Google's arms. On technical merit it also looks like Dalvik is way ahead of any other Java implementation too so its really bad news for Oracle here

So to sum up I would like to offer my congratulations to Oracle - you have lost big time!

And please Google go for it and make 'em suffer!

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