Oracle Sues Google

The only certainty on this one is that some lawyers are sure to make money.

Lets see if I explain what this is all about. Sun Systems created Java, and released it to the world under the GPL license, GPL says the software is free, but after modifying it, it must remain free. and it must have the official GPL license attached to it.

The GPL is the first and foremost copyleft license, which means that derived works can only be distributed under the same license terms. Under this philosophy, the GPL grants the recipients of a computer program the rights of the free software definition and uses copyleft to ensure the freedoms are preserved, even when the work is changed or added to. This is in distinction to permissive free software licenses, of which the BSD licenses are the standard examples.

Google decided to use Java and to modify part of it called the run time virtual  machine to use in their Android mobile operating system. They licensed it under  the Apache License agreement. Which allows software developed using the new VM to be less than free and open sourced.

Like any free software license, the Apache License allows the user of the software the freedom to use the software for any purpose, to distribute it, to modify it, and to distribute modified versions of the software, under the terms of the license.

The Apache License, like BSD licenses, does not require modified versions of the software to be distributed using the same license (in contrast to copyleft licenses). In every licensed file, any original copyright, patent, trademark, and attribution notices in redistributed code must be preserved (excluding notices that do not pertain to any part of the derivative works); and, in every licensed file changed, a notification must be added stating that changes have been made to that file.

If a NOTICE text file is included as part of the distribution of the original work, then derivative works must include a readable copy of these notices (again, excluding notices not pertaining to any part of the derivative work), in at least one of three places: within a NOTICE text file distributed as part of the derivative works, within the source form or documentation, or within a display generated by the derivative works (wherever such third-party notices normally appear). The contents of the NOTICE file do not modify the license, as they are for informational purposes only, and adding more attribution notices as addenda to the NOTICE text is permissible, provided that these notices cannot be understood as modifying the license. Modifications may have appropriate copyright notices, and may provide different license terms for the modifications.

This breaks GPL agreement. Sun knew this but decide not to act, I believe they just didn’t see any reason too. Google must have realized they exposed themselves to litagation.  Red monk speculates:

In estimating the risks of such action, Google could have reasonably assumed that the probability of Sun suing them was near zero. Sun may have been unhappy, and may even have suspected that Google’s cleanroom reimplementation was anything but. The Vegas line would still have been decidedly tilted against Sun turning to legal action.

Maybe Sun’s reluctance to sue was financial. I’m personally skeptical of this claim – companies with failing financial fortunes in my experience are generally more inclined to seek legal remedies to their problems, not less – but Shankland’s sources are always good. Even if this were the case, however, Google couldn’t have assumed that would suffice as a shield. Instead, the search giant would have expected Sun to behave consistently with its past behavior and future interests. …

Sun, in other words, was not going to sue Google. And Google knew it.

After a while Sun who has been in financial trouble for years was bought up and taken over by Oracle. Oracle decides to sue. Why is  not exactly clear. Oracle is going to lose of confidence with Java users , who are likely top shy away from using Java at least until this is settled Oracle isn’t going to win any good will. Maybe there is some kind of arrangement with Apple hinted at by SiliconANGLE :

In developing Android, Google knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle’s Java-related intellectual property. This lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies for their infringement…”

This unexpected move by Oracle sends a strong and threatening message to Google and the entire Android community—specifically that Oracle will use its intellectual property rights to get compensated for innovations around the exploding mobile marketplace. Oracle’s CEO Larry Ellison is inserting himself in the middle of an ever-evolving battle between Google CEO (and former Apple Director) Eric Schmidt, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, a long-time friend of Ellison’s.

Like they say, “I am not a lawyer.”, and I don’t even begin to understand all thats going on.

Righthaven Victims Organize for Support

Website operators  are being sued for copyright infringement. They aren’t getting cease and desist letters no warnings just a suit.  Blogs and other websites will often cut and paste portions of an article from news sources and expound on it to make a point or inform their readership.  It is legal with permission or under provisions of “Fair Use” Fair use allows the usage of small portions of   copyrighted material that is clearly identified as quoted and sourced, or to use content for parody, or review.

The Las Vegas Review Journal, a newspaper located in Las Vegas, Nevada, has hired lawyer group Righthaven LLC, to basically sue any and all web site owners who they accuse of copyright infringement over improper use of their news articles. These lawsuits are being issued without ANY previous contact or cease and desist orders as far we know. This is a blatant money making venture, not simply an attempt at copyright protection.

Many web content providers love being quoted and linked to. Links and quotes are what drive the search engines and is what ultimately drives traffic.  The term the “Web” is a visual of how links are the connecting threads that tie it all  together.

The defendants and victims of Righthaven LLC have found support and advice by uniting and sharing resources.

Fortunately, its seems that the victims and those opposed to RightHaven’s tactics have started to organize. Realizing that information is key, a new website has been established called RightHavenLawsuits.com. They say their mission “is dedicated to gathering together and posting for the public information about Righthaven LLC.” They have links to some of the lawsuits as well as articles on RightHaven LLC.

Another website called RightHaven Victims lists every individual, business, and blog that has been sued by RightHaven LLC for copyright violations. It encourages those sued to work together to share information and to unite to form a collective front against RightHaven LLC. They realize that one of the keys to RightHaven’s success will be the use of a “divide and conquer” strategy. This website is also sharing defense strategies being used by the defendants.

BTW: I don’t care how much I’m quoted as long as the context isn’t changed. Of course links are appreciated, but not always expected. 😉

Texas over Illinois for new Caterpillar factory

In this economy the competition for Jobs is tough, This is true on a larger scale, company’s find that different places and different states all have something to offer.Victoria TX has  hot steamy summers and  work force that doesn’t rely on unions.  Chicago has Unions and their bosses, a corrupt political machine, cold nasty winters, high taxes and a high cost of living.  Caterpiller made their decision,

The new plant will employ about 500 when it opens in mid-2012. Aurora isn’t expected to lose jobs, however, because of Caterpillar’s recently announced plans to build hydraulic mining shovels there.

It’s the second time Caterpillar has shuffled some work from Illinois to Texas. Two years ago, the company chose Seguin, Texas, to make engines that previously were manufactured in Mossville, near Cat’s Peoria headquarters.

Government takes oversight of Texas City Refinery

Texas City Explosion Kills 15

BP is getting tagged by OSHA for a 50 Million dollar fine, and OSHA will be taking  oversight of its process safety management. I would love to see  Feds in charge bunker up and charge at BP’s next fire.   The Galveston Daily News explains.

TEXAS CITY — BP will pay $50 million and must allow more direct oversight of its process safety management in an agreement with federal regulators for failing to correct safety problems at its Texas City refinery, Occupational Health and Safety Administration officials said.

BP will also spend $500 million over the next six years to improve process safety systems at the Texas City facility, company spokesman Scott Dean said.

The record fine was issued today after an OSHA investigation last year found BP had failed to correct hazards it had agreed to fix after a March 2005 explosion that killed 15 people at the Texas City refinery.

While this isn’t related to the oil spill in  the gulf, one is reminded of BP’s less than sterling safety record, while we also wonder if the government isn’t just bent on destroying a powerful oil company.  Us Labor Secretary Hilda Solis isn’t shy about telling how she feels.

OSHA will also have direct access to BP’s Process Safety Management System and will conduct regular inspections of the refinery, Solis said.

Much of the expanded oversight would include the United Steelworkers Union, which represents the bulk of the BP workforce. BP will also spend $500 million by 2016 to make the safety improvements required by OSHA.

“The size of the penalty rightly reflects BP’s disregard for workplace safety and shows that we will enforce the law so workers can return home safe at the end of their day,” Solis said.

Without Respect.

We in Texas understand that Obama really doesn’t like us. We cling to our guns, balance our budgets, and all kind of other reprehensible things.  Greg sums it up pretty well:

Gov. Rick Perry’s meeting at the Austin airport with President Barack Obama on border security lasted a mere 34 seconds, and Perry had to hand a letter on the issue to presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett because Obama declined to personally accept it.

I do think this says everything that Barack Obama was more than willing to accept a book from the hands of banana republic dictator Hugo Chavez — but he won’t accept a letter from the hands of the governor of one of our own states.

President Obama has stopped pretending to care, and has attempted to hurt us in any way he can, by attacking the oil and gas industry, having us subsidize the the poorly run states, and letting the illegal aliens overrun us with their drugs and criminals.

Galveston Judge lay’s out a few F bombs.

Justice of the Peace Jim Schweitzer, in a speech before the school district laid it all out with on obscenity laced speech before the Galveston School district. His complaint being the reduction of security in the public schools.  Galveston Daily explains:

GALVESTON — A judge’s F-bomb outburst left Galveston Independent School District officials scratching their heads.

Justice of the Peace Jim Schweitzer, who also presides over Galveston’s municipal court, stunned members of the district’s board of trustees and senior officers when he used the obscenity during the public comments section of their budget-workshop meeting Wednesday.

Members of the board later told Interim Superintendent Ann Dixon they had differing ideas about the judge’s intent in making his speech.

Schweitzer said Friday his primary criticism was there was too few security personnel at Ball High and the district’s middle schools because of vacancies and he worried that Dixon wanted to cut the police department budget.

“Fewer officers and guards translate into less safety forstudents and teachers,” he said.

“If security is not high on the superintendent’s agenda, then let someone else judge the cases that make it through the system.”

Meanwhile, the team that records board meetings for the island’s public-service television channel had to work out how to show the whole program without breaking rules on foul language.

That language came just after Schweitzer began his several minutes long address, in which he told the board that, fromAug. 31, he would no longer accept cases involving GISD students in his court unless they were filed by police department personnel.

My Problem is that they will be editing out this foul language. The JP Jim Schweitzer is an elected official and Galvestonians deserve to hear his speech unadultrated.

Meanwhile, the district’s communications specialist, Johnston Farrow, said he thought the television service did not have the ability to “bleep out” bad language but airing the confrontation unedited could earn the district a fine from the Federal Communications Commission.

As a result, it took almost 48 hours to remove the sound track from the offending part of Schweitzer’s speech before the meeting video could go on air.

Someone needs to explain to Mr. Farrow, that the FCC doesn’t regulate content that doesn’t get transmitted over the air.

it’s not over yet

Pelicans on the oil Boom

The leak has been stopped, and BP is planning on scaling back, but there styill is oil in the marshes and out in the gulf. While there are reports that the oil just went away its still smearing birds, favoring fish and drowning turtles. While things are looking better, and no where as bad as it looked a few ago. We aren’t there yet.

More than three weeks after BP capped its gushing oil well, skimming operations have all but stopped and federal scientists say just a quarter of the oil remains in the Gulf of Mexico.

But wildlife officials are rounding up more oiled birds than ever as fledgling birds get stuck in the residual goo and rescuers make initial visits to rookeries they had avoided disturbing during nesting season.

Before BP plugged the well with a temporary cap on July 15, an average of 37 oiled birds were being collected dead or alive each day. Since then, the figure has nearly doubled to 71 per day, according to a Times-Picayune review of daily wildlife rescue reports.

The best news for us in Galveston is that so far not much oil or tar has shown up in Texas 🙂

Michelle goes on Vacation.



Michelle Antoinette

Michelle seems to be enjoying her European vacation on the Mediterranean, and just because hubby has screwed up the economy doesn’t mean she can’t take a little time off.

Michelle Obama today faced a fresh wave of attacks over her lavish break in Spain with 40 friends, which could easily cost U.S. taxpayers a staggering £50,000 a day.

The First Lady has been lambasted for her extravagance at a time when the economy is still struggling. One blogger went so far as to brand her a modern-day Marie Antoinette.

And her critics will be further annoyed when they learn that the president’s wife had a Spanish beach closed off today so that she, her daughter and their entourage could go for a swim.

Spanish police cleared off a stretch of beach at the Villa Padierna Hotel in Marbella after the Obamas had finished a busy day of sightseeing.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1300852/Spanish-police-close-public-beach-Michelle-Obamas-250k-Spanish-holiday.html#ixzz0vwYeWPad

Court Strikes California Prop. 8

Judge Vaughn Walker, the openly gay chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

Judge Walker based his ruling on the following:

An initiative measure adopted by the voters deserves great respect. The considered views and opinions of even the most highly qualified scholars and experts seldom outweigh the determinations of the voters. When challenged, however, the voters’ determinations must find at least some support in evidence. This is especially so when those determinations enact into law classifications of persons. Conjecture, speculation and fears are not enough. Still less will the moral disapprobation of a group or class of citizens suffice, no matter how large the majority that shares that view. The evidence demonstrated beyond serious reckoning that Proposition 8 finds support only in such disapproval. As such, Proposition 8 is beyond the constitutional reach of the voters or their representatives. He concluded that religious perceptions are not constitutionally significant and that “religious leaders may determineindependently whether to recognize a civil marriage or divorce” but that recognition or lack thereof has no effect on the relationship under state law. In addition, “marital status affects immigration and citizenship, tax policy, property and inheritance rules and social benefit programs.” However, individuals do not generally choose their sexual orientation and “marrying a person of the opposite sex is an unrealistic option for gay and lesbian individuals.”

Although I don’t have a problem with who marries who, It seems odd that a case like this gets decided, by an openly gay judge. We all know that this will go to the Supreme Court and proposition 8 will ultimately approved by a 5-4 vote. What ever happened to deciding a case on what the constitution says. Is there a clause there, about gay rights? Over at Rhymes with Right, Greg thinks the judges opinion is tainted.

The judge in the case had an actual conflict of interest. After all, as a gay man in a long-term relationship living in California, striking down Prop 8 benefits him personally, as it allows him to marry that partner if he chooses and thereby accrue the benefits of marriage otherwise unavailable to him. In short, he had a personal interest in the outcome of this case that went beyond the mere question of “do I agree or disagree with Prop 8?” The equivalent would be a black judge with school-aged kids living in Topeka deciding Brown v. Board of Education. Even if his reasoning in the decision were unassailable, his personal situation would be loaded down with personal interests at odds with those of one side of the case — and the appearance would be so improper as to argue against his presiding in the case even if he were a paragon of judicial impartiality capable of setting aside those personal interests.

It would be nice if our courts actually started ruling on actual law rather than just personal morality opinion.

Radio Free Galveston