IDG News Service - An intellectual property expert has uncovered 43 instances where it appears that Google copied Java code without permission in the most recent versions of the Android operating system.
The discovery could challenge Google's defense in a dispute with Oracle over Java patents and copyright material in Android.
"The discovery process could be very fruitful for Oracle, and may become dreadful for Google," wrote Florian Mueller, who has been closely following the case and founded the NoSoftwarePatents campaign, in a blog post.
Mueller has closely examined the Android code and found six files, in addition to one that Oracle pointed out in its complaint, that are nearly identical to Java files. The files are found in Froyo, which is Android 2.2, and Gingerbread, Android 2.3.
In addition, Mueller points to 37 files in the Android code that include notices that say the code is proprietary to Sun.
"No matter what Google says, that copyright header is anything but a permission to relicense the file under the Apache Software License," Mueller wrote. Google licenses Android to users under the Apache license. "Even if one claimed that Oracle/Sun later made the file available under the GPL (for which I haven't found any conclusive evidence), that wouldn't allow such a license change either."
While there are some minor differences between the code that Google is using and the original Java code, Mueller found that the differences come from the use of a decompiler. When he used a Java decompiler called JAD and decompiled seven different Java files, he found that the result was nearly identical to files found in Android.
Google did not reply to a request for comment about Mueller's allegations.
One developer who writes for ZDnet, Ed Burnette, argued in a blog post that some of the code Mueller points to wouldn't be shipped in devices and has been deleted. Seven of the files are test code, which doesn't get shipped with the product, he said. In addition, those files were deleted from Android either late last year or in January, he said.
The remaining files are in a directory used for native code audio drivers for one kind of chip set, Burnette said. Those files also don't ship with Android, were probably uploaded by accident and should be deleted, he said.
However, Mueller says that the code in the test tree actually contains code related to security and that there are many Android devices that shipped with that code, as well as with the code from the remaining files.
Though the files are not in the current Android code tree, they were used in the two versions that currently make up more than half of the Android phones in use, he noted.
This pilot fish is a contractor at a military base, working on some very cool fire-control systems for tanks. But when he spots something obviously wrong during a live-fire test, he can't get the firing-range commander's attention.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Reduce federal infrastructure risk with compliance management and situational awareness
- IBM continuous monitoring and management solutions deliver real-time situational awareness to help federal agencies understand vulnerabilities, and protect the infrastructure.
- SANS: Next-Generation Datacenters = Next-Generation Security
- This whitepaper takes a look at some new technology that may allow security teams to implement more flexible and capable protection models in...
- SANS: Protecting Virtual Endpoints with McAfee Server Security Suite Essentials
- SANS review of McAfees Server Security Suite Essentials that address some of the emerging challenges of securing virtual platforms and cloud environments.
- Safeguarding the Next-Generation Data Center
- Use of virtual and cloud servers has exploded. Unfortunately, security often lags behind. McAfee recommends looking at innovative solutions in order to erect...
- Aberdeen: Securing the Evolving Datacenter
- This report highlights ways security technologies and services are evolving to provide the visibility and control needed to deploy workloads flexibly in the... All Government IT White Papers
- Is SQL Server AlwaysOn really as powerful? Tips and Tricks from the field With the introduction of AlwaysOn, Windows Clustering Services is now more critical than ever.
- What Does it Take to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience? The Two Top-Rated Online Retailers, B&H Photo and Crutchfield Electronics, Share Their Secrets Discuss practical CX tools and service methods such as contact center agents and the use of realtime speech analytics to help contact center...
- Keep Servers Up and Running and Attackers in the Dark An SSL/TLS handshake requires at least 10 times more processing power on a server than on the client. SSL renegotiation attacks can readily...
- On Demand: Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed, and it continues to escalate. IT must answer to users who demand access to their...
- DevOps with PureApplication System: Reduce cost and speed delivery with an integrated IBM Cloud solution Join this webcast to hear what ING Netherlands has been able to achieve while deploying DevOps tools from IBM Rational. An ING executive...
- All Government IT Webcasts