Report: Android code identical to Java

Florian Mueller, a free-software advocate, has found files that appear to back up Oracle's claims that Google infringed Java copyrights.

Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.
Tom Krazit
2 min read

Updated 1:20 p.m. PT with additional analysis that comes to a different conclusion.

Did Google take code from Java when it built Android? Oracle sure thinks so, and now an expert on software patents seems to agree.

Florian Mueller, who writes the blog FOSS Patents, posted a lengthy examination today of 37 files within the Android 2.2 source code. Those files match files found in Oracle's Java technology, and were even marked "PROPRIETARY/CONFIDENTIAL" by Sun Microsystems, the inventor of Java which Oracle acquired last year.

Oracle sued Google in August alleging that Android and the Dalvik virtual machine used in Android infringed copyrights and patents that Oracle now held after buying Sun. It later amended its complaint to include a line-by-line comparison of code between the two technologies, which Google later claimed was misleading.

Mueller took Oracle's complaint and compared it against Android 2.2, which anyone can download and examine. In addition to the code outlined by Oracle, Mueller found an additional 37 files in Android that he said were identical to those found in Java2 Standard Edition version 5.

"Whether under a proprietary license or the GPL, the related code could not be legally relicensed under the Apache license by anyone other than the right holder (Oracle/Sun)," Mueller wrote in his post. It doesn't look good for Google (it declined to comment to IDG News Service), but the matter will have to be hashed out in a courtroom before all is said and done.

UPDATED 1:20 p.m. PT: Ed Burnette over at our sister site ZDNet looked at the some code that Mueller did and came to a different conclusion. Burnette points out that the files in question actually didn't ship with Android: instead they were unit test code and another set of files had been uploaded to the Android code repository but didn't actually ship with devices.