As seen on hacker news linking to an Arstechnica article, this little tidbit.
This is the money quote:
In a sense, then, the damage is already done. But the upcoming trial is still relevant. If Google can’t win on fair use, it would be a second blow to the old notion that code should be re-usable. The enormous damages figure can’t be ignored, either. Oracle has suggested it should get $8.8 billion worth of profits from Android, as well as another $475 million in actual damages. That’s not chump change, even to Google. For smaller companies, a big Oracle win will make it clear that if they lose a lawsuit over unauthorized use of APIs, they could suffer an extinction-level event.
I know it seems obvious now to Google and to others, but mebbe … mebbe … they should rethink building a platform in a non-open language?
I’ve talked about OSS type systems in terms of business risk for well more than a decade. OSS software intrinsically changes the risk model, so that you do not have a built in dependency upon another stack that could go away at any moment. Most people view OSS as a way to reduce costs, but really, the de-risking part is critical.
Like it or not, Java is not OSS. It is not even close to OSS. You can’t use it without importing risk into your platform.
As Google is learning, to the chagrin of everyone everywhere, this risk can be not simply substantial, but could potentially be existential. Not that I think Oracle will dismantle Google. But that the risk to continue with any form of Java is now so much more than any conceivable benefit … and this has got to be true now for each and every single Java developer, whom may need a license from Oracle to use Java APIs.
How about them apples.
Unfortunately, this isn’t simply restricted to Java as the article notes. Any ‘proprietary’ API, or copyrighted API is now subject to similar actions. At least in the US.
Think about that in terms of the software development and delivery model in the US.
/shakes head in disbelief at the incredibly short sighted nature of the legal actions, and its long term implications across the industry
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