Oracle sues Android hours after posing as open source advocate at LinuxCon

Oracle sues Android hours after posing as open source advocate at LinuxCon

Summary: Oracle's backstabbing, cutthroat legacy resurfaced last night in grand fashion, no doubt after all its execs flying back from LinuxCon cleared the runway.Oracle had a huge presence at the Linux conference this week.

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TOPICS: Open Source, Oracle
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Oracle's backstabbing, cutthroat legacy resurfaced last night in grand fashion, no doubt after all its execs flying back from LinuxCon cleared the runway.

Oracle had a huge presence at the Linux conference this week.  Wim Coekarts, senior vice president of Linux Engineering at Oracle, delivered one of the first major keynotes at the show. Did he know?

Then, just hours after the three-day conference ended,  after Eben Moglen's somber keynote about more patent litigation, the proprietary software giant violated the biggest no-nos in the open source world and filed a major patent infringement case against Google's Linux-based Android.

When I read the headline, I had to check my calendar to make sure it wasn't April 1. How rude, really.

I mean, it's sort of like being the best man at a friend's wedding and trying to kill the couple after the reception.

But perhaps I jumped to the wrong conclusion. Maybe Oracle was quietly challenging Google to get them to put their code back into the kernel -- or to give MeeGo a better prospect in the Linux mobile market? Was there some way this could be interpreted as a pro for open source? No. No.

Then I remembered that this is still Larry Ellison's company.  There's no silver lining here for open source advocates.  I covered both Oracle and Microsoft in the 90s and 00s and concluded that while both were vicious competitors that the former was far more of an evil empire than the latter.

You know, Ellison, the guy who bought up all of his rivals in the application market to kill competition? The guy who opened his heart to the channel in the mid 90s --and then after stealing their customers and clients -- showed them the door?  The one whose paid assassins way oversold extremely complicated, extremely overpriced software to corporate customers -- and left them hanging in the wind? The one who launched his own brand of Linux -- and set off a firestorm about fragmentation?

He's got tons of money, tough lawyers and ownership of Sun, Java, OpenOffice and MySQL -- and by virtue of becoming part of the community last year -- deeper insights into the entire FOSS community, that is, its Achilles heels and other less known details open source companies don't like to share with their proprietary nemeses.

Starting to feel nauseous?

We should not be surprised. Oracle is a proprietary software company whose fortune and future is heartily threatened by open source.  His deal to buy Sun -- an obvious end run around the feds to get mySQL -- has always been suspicious.

Now, armed with the recent Bilski decision, Ellison is ready to do what Microsoft has not done : take Linux to court.

And it's going to be a doozy --  far more animated than the IBM-SCO yawner.

Ironically, Google -- which has been in the doghouse with a few in the industry -- has become the de facto open source love child overnight.

I heartily agree with my colleague Dana Blankenhorn, who advises Google to stand tough against the threat of patents and not to succumb to the temptation to sign a compromise with Oracle that spells trouble for the company and indeed the open source community for years to come.

Business is business. But really, Larry, sending your guys to LinuxCon?

Miss Manners would disapprove.

Please jump in on the bandwagon and send me all your comments.

Topics: Open Source, Oracle

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32 comments
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  • Uh oh.

    Oracle takes aim that the beloved Google. Villianize big bad Oralce!
    People
    • So lot of it personnel taking aim at oracle

      Like many, from here on, I will insure that zdnet Oracle products are never again used by our companies snag or clients. They wul eventually hear its clients our the lack there of.
      Uralbas
      • RE: Oracle sues Android hours after posing as open source advocate at LinuxCon this week

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        musdahi
      • RE: Oracle sues Android hours after posing as open source advocate at LinuxCon this week

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        Juliety
      • RE: Oracle sues Android hours after posing as open source advocate at LinuxCon this week

        who advises Google to stand tough against the threat of patents and not to succumb to the temptation to sign a compromise with<a <div href="http://www.fromgaza.com/"><font color="light&amp;height"> home</font></a> of google update <a <div href="http://www.billdavisphotography.com/"><font color="light&amp;height">site</font></a> compare with linux <a <div href="http://www.logmyblog.net/"><font color="light&amp;height">contact site</font></a> from another big company <a <div href="http://www.sponsoredfan.com/"><font color="light&amp;height">website</font></a> which upgrade always <a <div href="http://www.yadiario.com/"><font color="light&amp;height">home page</font></a> is the best Oracle.
        zdnet lover
  • Larry can still do good

    if he retracts this lawsuit and gives some grants and donations to the FOSS developers to buy good will.
    Linux Geek
    • Why

      @Linux Geek

      Why should Oracle play nice?
      People
      • RE: Oracle sues Android hours after posing as open source advocate at LinuxCon this week

        @People
        because the community is the strongest ally of any tech company.
        Linux Geek
      • I don't think so.

        @Linux Geek <br><br>Really I don't. The customer is. Community and customer is not necessarily the same thing.<br><br>What you are telling me is that zealotry trumps rationality.
        People
      • RE: Oracle sues Android hours after posing as open source advocate at LinuxCon this week

        @People

        What you saying is that community equals zealotry?

        Most rational thing is not to buy anything from Oracle. This action only made this more obvious.

        Free software community can be strongest ally of technology company. To bad Oracle will not see that because they are bunch of brainless Gollums.

        They will end up like Sun. Free software competition will push them into defense, it will make them opensource everything in order to even be competitive. They will either open source everything or be obliterated. Just like Sun was forced into opensourcing by Red Hat and other competition.

        5 yeas from now, Oracle will be pure play open source company, or there will be no Oracle.
        gnufreex
      • RE: Oracle sues Android hours after posing as open source advocate at LinuxCon this week

        @People
        Because suing your developers/customers will destroy your business - just ask SCO. Oracle's monetize Java bid will kill Java use by developers worried about also being sued.
        Mah
  • Everybody loves 'their' proprietary code

    M$ loves Windows, Goog loves Search, Oracle just "protects" DB code
    harpreetsb1
  • RE: Oracle sues Android hours after posing as open source advocate at LinuxCon this week

    I think its the time for google to think about making a new database strategy and acquire PostgreSQL like company and make it as big of a competition for oracle. Oracle might have money but no support this disgusting and shameful action and for the greater good I think this is the time when we should start the debate about software patent law and get rid of that stupid system completely.
    vigya1
    • RE: Oracle sues Android hours after posing as open source advocate at LinuxCon this week

      @vigya@... <br><br>I love how everyone takes Google's side on this. If you read the claim, it is valid. Mobile Java has never been open source, only the desktop version is, and even that has some loop-holes.<br><br>We have been thinking this law suit was going to happen since Andriod came out: <a href="http://www.zdnet.com/blog/burnette/sungoogle-android-fight-overblown/469" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.zdnet.com/blog/burnette/sungoogle-android-fight-overblown/469</a><br>but people shrugged it off because Sun didn't have the money to do anything about it. Well Oracle does, and something tells me that they wouldn't go after a big dog like Google without knowing they could win.

      Here is a good article on how the creator of Java feels about the lawsuit (spoiler he is not surprised): http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Application-Development/Java-Creator-Gosling-Oracles-Android-Lawsuit-is-No-Surprise-272156/
      Shmythey
      • RE: Oracle sues Android hours after posing as open source advocate at LinuxCon this week

        @Shmythey <br>Errr.. I hate to break this to you, but Android does not use Java or Mobile Java VM. Android uses the Dalvik VM in order to avoid problems like this.

        I have read the claim - I can't see anything valid in it. It is an over broad patent claim which has plenty of prior art to invalidate it. It is different from Microsoft's J++ which broke Sun's licensing conditions. Google hasn't licensed any code from Sun/Oracle, Dalvik is clean room code and the VM differs from the Java VM.
        Mah
    • RE: Oracle sues Android hours after posing as open source advocate at LinuxCon this week

      @vigya@... <br>If Google is let go, then Oracle should pay back whatever Sun got from the Java suit against Microsoft, because whatever MS did at that time was similar to whatever Google is doing now. When MS J++ was not Java then Google's Dalvik is not Java and of course it is true, but at the same time it tresspasses "not open source Java for Embedded."
      Ram U
  • This was just stopping google from ripping them off

    yeah they have a backstabbing cutthroat legacy but that is not this. google could have bought this ip or sun entirely. they chose to take the ip (now oracles and never open source) and give it away without paying oracle for it. plain and simple.<br><br>and please stop with the google crap. they are nothing like an open source love child. they have made billions off linux without giving any of their bug fixes or perf tweaks back to the community. they are just as evil as oracle is or ever was and both are an order of magnitude beyond MS, who btw must be loving the timing of this for WP7. This will give them the opening they were looking for to do to android what they did to linux on netbooks when it started out at 100% share.<br><br>Pure greed is the only thing that could have led google to do something so bad and so incredibly stupid. now they are between a rock and a hard place. if they dont agree to pay and settle this ASAP they risk losing all their mobile search share. yes oracle timed this puuuurfectly, but its still googles fault for being both stupid and evil.
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: Oracle sues Android hours after posing as open source advocate at LinuxCon this week

      @Johnny Vegas

      Well said...
      omdguy
      • RE: Oracle sues Android hours after posing as open source advocate at LinuxCon this week

        @omdguy

        We seem to have an Oracle fanboy chorus - I wonder if it is the same person posting.
        Mah
    • RE: Oracle sues Android hours after posing as open source advocate at LinuxCon this week

      @Johnny Vegas How can you rip off something that's open source?
      ZackCDLVI