Oracle vs Google: former Sun CEOs on opposing sides
Yesterday, the ninth day of the copyright lawsuit between Oracle and Google, was marked by divergent viewpoints on Java licensing from two former Sun CEOs who were witnesses in the case, according to US reports from PCWorld and eWeek.
Jonathan Schwartz succeeded co-founder Scott McNealy at Sun in 2006, but was the first to be questioned on the witness stand. He emphasised Java's openness and said that Sun never intended to bring a lawsuit against Google. He also pointed out that companies are allowed to use Java without a licence as long as they don't advertise Java compatibility or use the Java logo. One piece of evidence in the trial is a blog post in which Schwartz congratulates Google on Android's launch, which he says was the equivalent of a press release. Java became open source software under Schwartz's watch.
On the other hand, McNealy, who remained Sun's chairman until Oracle acquired the company, said that Sun generally licensed its APIs and didn't want incompatible versions of Java on the market. He compared APIs to "architectural drawings", just as Oracle has likened them to "blueprints". McNealy also stated that just because Java is open source does not mean that it does not have to be licensed in some cases.
Attorneys on both sides tried to discredit the former CEO heads' statements. Google representatives, for example, argued that McNealy earned a large amount from the sale to Oracle and is good friends with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, pointing out that McNealy had previously declared Ellison a "national economic hero" and suggested naming an airport after him.
In turn, one of Oracle's lawyers asked Schwartz whether he didn't have a grudge to settle with Oracle for possibly letting him go the day after the acquisition was finalised. Schwartz replied that he had resigned, since Oracle already had a CEO.
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