Android Code Copying Evidence from Florian Meuller Found Weightless

Jan 22, 2011
13
Android Code Copying Evidence from Florian Meuller Found Weightless

If you'll remember yesterday, a rather big bit of news (if proven true) seemed to be a story by the name of Android code copying evidence lends weight to Oracle suit. In that article, a man by the name of Florian Mueller provided what he saw as evidence that Android had used code written by Sun Microsystems, now owned by Oracle, without permission, this evidence thus lending itself mightily toward Oracle's current lawsuit against Google. Today there's a rebuttal written by ZDNet's Dev Connection writer Ed Burnette saying that the entire proof is bunk, primarily due to the face that most, if not all of the files in question were not included in the shipped Android product.

And as you may already know, if they weren't sold, they're not illegal. Burnette's notes begin by stating his title, that being an expert developer more than qualified to disprove everything said by Florian Mueller whom he says is indeed "neither a lawyer nor a developer although he plays one on TV."

Burnette then continues by writing that there are two sets of files that are in question in this situation. The first set of 7, those being the ones titled PolicyNodeImpl.java, AclEntryImpl.java, AclImpl.java, GroupImpl.java, OwnerImpl.java, PermissionImpl.java, and PrincipalImpl.java. Each of these, Burnette says, are part of the unit test area, and are only used internally to ensure quality in the software they're testing, and of course are not shipped with the final product (Android.)

Furthermore, this first set of 7 are identical to files published on Sun's website, in place to help developers test and debug their own code. These files, Burnette says, are odd in that it appears that either an Android or Harmony developer decompiled the rebuilt them instead of using fresh ones from Sun. These files were at some point subject to an auto-pasting of an Apache license at their tops - the solution to this puzzle? They should have simply been replaced by the original Sun files. Also, of course, again, they're not shipped with Android.

The second set of files in question is a set of 37, all of them sitting inside a file called MMAPI.zip, this zip file then sitting in a directory used otherwise for native code audio drivers. Burnette writes that he double-checked the make files here and found that not only is this zip not shipped with Android, it was (more than likely) uploaded to the location it was found by mistake, and it aught to be deleted.

At the end of Burnette's rebuttal he notes that on top of all this, Google had already taken care of all seven of the first set of files in question. One of the seven, PolicyNodeImpl.java, was deleted on 30 Oct 2010 from the source tree, while the other six files were deleted on 14 Jan 2011. A Google developer by the name of Dan Bornstein attached the note “Remove pointless tests” to the deletion as a commit comment - Florian Meuller missed all of this? Pretty big things to miss, says Burnette.

At the end of the article by Burnette, he notes his total sadness at the idea that his article wouldn't receive as much attention as the original knife-throwing post by Florian Meuller. It's super sad and I almost cried reading it, so I had to post the article you're reading now so I didn't weep my eyes out. Also it's posted because it makes a lot of sense. If this was the extend of Oracle's lawsuit, they don't really appear to have one - but it can't be, so now again, we wait.

[Via Android Community]


Must Read Bits & Bytes