Quoted: Google engineer on Java-licensing email

“It was not specifically a license from anybody.”

Timothy Lindholm, the Google engineer who wrote an email to Android chief Andy Rubin that said in part “we need to negotiate a license for Java under the terms we need,” testified Thursday in the Oracle vs. Google trial in San Francisco that he was not referring to Oracle or any other company in that email. Lindholm, a former Sun Microsystems employee and reportedly one of the original developers of the Java programming language, had been assigned by Google to seek alternatives to Java for use in Android. In the same email — which Google unsuccessfully sought to keep out of court — Lindholm wrote that the alternatives “all suck.” Google CEO Larry Page testified Wednesday that his company did not negotiate a license for Java because it used parts of it that were available in the public domain after failing to reach an agreement to use Oracle’s version of Java on Android. Google has portrayed Oracle’s suit, which alleges that Android infringes on Java patents and copyrights, as an attack on open-source. (See Quoted: Google says Oracle’s Android suit is Java flavored with a hint of hypocrisy.) Tuesday during Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s testimony, Google showed a deposition video in which Ellison answered “that’s correct” when asked whether anyone can use Java without paying royalties.


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