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Google pits the law against its open source designs

When you don't have the law on your side you argue the facts, and when you don't have the facts you argue the law, but when you don't have either you pound the table. Google is doing a lot of table pounding.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive on

Could Google's PR machine be hiding a weak legal case?

Google made its case recently to The New York Times, arguing that Oracle is trying to "take back" Java, and the Times got a law professor to call the case part of an "open source proxy war" in which open source is used as a weapon.

Bad Oracle. Nasty, nasty Oracle. (Then they play right into it by hiring Mark Hurd.)

Product is also a weapon in this war, I would argue. Google was dumping its Wave project. So how big a deal is it that it puts Wave in a box? Isn't that more of a paper-or-plastic question? It's like the rich kid who gives poor kids his old toys for Christmas.

For Google, I suspect, image is everything. This chart makes clear that Android phones are catching up with Apple's, in terms of mobile data use. But are these really Android phones? Or are they carrier phones built on top of Android?

It is telling that, on the legal case, we still haven't heard from groups like the Free Software Foundation. Some response is said to be forthcoming. But if this is as easy a call as Google makes out, why hasn't it been made yet?

I'm as big a fan of Google as anyone. I like their stuff and I like their style. But there's an old legal saying that when you don't have the law on your side you argue the facts, and when you don't have the facts you argue the law, but when you don't have either you pound the table.

Google is doing a lot of table pounding.

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