But in publicly portraying itself as the Luke Skywalker of open source (and Larry Ellison as Darth Vader) Google is taking a risk. That's right, someone might find out Oracle is its father. That would be a real disturbance in the force.
Java on the web doesn't seem to have the problems that Google built into Android, its users can stay within the patent grant without trouble.
Oops. Instead, Android implements the Dalvik Virtual Machine, recompiling the Harmony class libraries on Apache's version of Java SE. It then targets the new version at the same markets Oracle has identified.
Or, as Charles Nutter notes in his excellent summation of the issues, "Dalvik is not a JVM...it just plays one on TV." Google made Java better, which is technically a good thing. But it did so in a legally questionable way.
One point even the fiercest open source advocates will insist on is that your rights to change code are not unlimited. They are defined by a license. If Google tweaked a proprietary version of Java it may lack the commercial rights to what it has done.
In other words, as painful as it may be admit this, Oracle may indeed have a case even Richard Stallman is bound to respect.