Google victory over Oracle could destroy GPL and user privacy (erm no)

You’ve all heard about the Google v Oracle Java API battle, and (what you haven’t, well ok)… and how the latest ping-pong left Google victorious on the basis that their use of the Java API (while copyrighted) was “fair use”.

This would appear to mean that any software offered on a free and open basis could be used without restriction on the basis of “fair use” - hence the “end of GPL” claim in this article. “Erm no” number 1 IMO is: in the case of MaidSafe for example, they own the copyright, so while it would be true that much of the GPL falls apart, the claim to which the article relates does not fall apart. Because MaidSafe (or any other copyright holder) can issue their code under a new license (as now) as they please. So I think its fair to say that while anyone else could indeed use the GPL’d code without restriction, it doesn’t mean that the copyright owner can’t create new code based on it that is fully copyright protected. Anyone could breach this through reverse engineering, but that’s no easy thing if you don’t have the source to the extras. So certainly it has a massive impact on the raison d’etre of GPL, but it doesn’t destroy the dual licensing open source business model.

The second point, that privacy will be lost as a result is based on the idea that facing the first catastrophe, all existing software businesses will race to the cloud so as to offer only services while being able to protect their code and not release the source. “Erm no” number 2 is IMO (even ignoring no. 1) that the SAFEnetwork business model is unaffected, especially if things like PtP work out, but even if they don’t it will be possible for business to operate on SAFEnetwork and turn a profit, while preserving their source and not destroying user privacy.

All good then. Well, maybe not (there’s the question of how to prove apps are secure without releasing source, for example, and many others), but it certainly isn’t clear cut, nor is it obvious how it will all pan out. Anyway, here is the article with its gloom and doom:


But in the case of SAFE this wouldn’t apply right? This stuff is nonsense generally because the intent behind FOSS much more than open source is not profit oriented it commons oriented. Its about keeping markets from destroying the public interest which is what they do without stuff like this. Its checking the incredibly flawed mechanism known as the market.

This business about going to the cloud also seems like BS. When we go server-less the telco, cable model is dead. SAFE will be a tipping point in a way, we’ll see how much it suffers with latency under G5, but for many things it will lock out the telco/cable/NSA out of their own lock out game on their own network, but on SDR which implies mesh and doesn’t need the Artemis Pcell back haul, I’d predict the overnight death of the telco and cable industry at the hands of quick Skype like change over going server-less. The model of the telco-cable-NSA complex is that it is basically a spy cloud as above. But it is set to become obsolete and obvious pure artificial scarcity with just a couple of inevitable tech developments. We know that G5 is SDR based. We know that it essentially eliminates latency, power usage, bandwidth and spectrum/interference issues. It also eliminates the need for cell towers and telco/cable back bone save for the long haul or possibly the very long haul.

Job himself speculated on the day when Apple could switch off the business model of the telcos. It would happen lightening quick. Apple puts an uncompromising set of SDR circuits into its phones for a couple generations and then introduces multipeer 2 and the public can just switch off the telco and cable in all or most uses cases before it becomes all. Apple could have signed contracts saying it would but it could just as easily breach them in the public interest or even pay a fee, it would be great and great for Apple or another big handset maker that did it. It would be over quicker than ending the pure parasitic long distance artificial scarcity scam. It would be acting in the public interest and it would be taking us server-less. For the very long haul transoceanic there would be Google’s satellite net. But even then there might be enough planes and ships to make the link.

It reminds me of the transition in petrol. Based on petrol’s economic efficiency its just completely strategically and tactically obsolete. Its become technologically obsolete giving any nation that ditches it a huge insurmountable economic advantage. But simultaneously this has cast a light on its environmental and political externalities. Overnight petrol has become a economic, political and social loser and desperately trying to ring the bell on the bribe based media and consequently bribe base election politics to reverse this. But its a case of irreversible technological obsolesces that will put ownership and control of much or almost all of the means of the concerned production back in the hands of end users. That is what will happen with server-less, you get rid of the TV stations,and and the spy cloud and the cell towers and all the points of centralization and control and the means of production of information goes back in the hands of end users, they control it and they own it, it will be the death of sponsored media. With a digital commons where cooperative models work better we can then kill of the corporation and hopefully outlaw it globally.

But let me digress, all of this stuff shows how important a SAFE browser is, even in the short term. Because apparently (recent pro opinion offered on the forum- I don’t he he want’s the link in this post) we do things in the browser server-less or in the cloud, with the implied spying.

Article comes from Arstechnical- they’re awful, highest bidder shill media. They are almost always on the oppressor almost evil side of things. Note this quote “Royalties from licensed commercial exploitation fuel continued development and innovation of an open and free option.” Note the word exploitation. Note their claim that Google is an advertising company. More and more Google will be a business broker (not as in selling businesses) but brokering between buyer and seller, and if they can do it right they can do it in a non conflict way, they don’t need ads, and they’ve been killing the ad industry.

Not saying Google is honest or even good, just saying this Ars tripe needs to be contrasted against what others like Richard David Steele have said on the subject. The point of FOSS is not to make money, the point of society is not making money, to me FOSS is about getting away from the business first nonsense. What if it was Football first or Baseball first in everything we did or tried to think, business first is on that kind of level. Trade is fine, but it is not the solution and its place is at the back of the line not the front, the people who think otherwise have been politically and intellectually defeated. Note the recent results in Austria, despite the terror based advertising the fear based approach couldn’t be revived, this stuff is moribund, greater terror and bigger bombs won’t save it. We don’t want the mediocre business type of mind things its not even remotely qualified (quite the opposite.) we want the people running things, not people who hide behind trying to coerce with money running things.

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But does SAFE even have effective mesh capabilities yet or is it still dependent on the telco based internet in order to run?


I’m sure we’ll be able to once they roll out maid safe for phones:

The iOS app uses iOS 7’s Multipeer Connectivity Framework, meaning that iOS 7 devices “[use] infrastructure Wi-Fi networks, peer-to-peer Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth personal area networks and subsequently [communicate] with those services by sending message-based data, streaming data, and resources (such as files),” according to Apple’s developer site.

“The ability to use two transport layers is just more reliable,” Open Garden chief marketing officer Christophe Daligault told VentureBeat about doubling up on Bluetooth and peer-to-peer Wi-Fi.


As long as we are using any of their system its not serverless or won’f fulfill the vision. So its implied, and MaidSAFE was even a few years back anticipating it and in discussion with a Chinese or Taiwanese supplier, so the see its logical necessity.

At the start SAFE on Teclco/cable will be undermining any toll road anti neutrality network by reducing it to a dumb pipe with content black boxed, in effect locking out the manipulators and taking a piss on their shareholder value delusions. This puts the end user ahead of their normal extractive malice. They won’t even be able to effectively spy if some combination of secret law and parasite executive requires it.

Security and the actual server free vision requires mesh and mesh has improved unbelievably/exponentially in every way since we first started discussing this on this forum. We got glimmers of the improvement with pcell but it has a back haul to keep the telcos in the loop even as it reduces their stupid spectrum scarcity licensing games to non existence. But G5 level software defined radio with the right kind of new antennas and chips and of course software add the pcell characteristcs and more to general mesh and none of this stuff seems to add any cost. Seems like backwards compatible adapters would be dirt cheap, and actual transistor counts and complexity may decrease. It seems like even the design of the new antenna was driven by the capacity software opened up. Its like Tesla’s approach to autonomous driving, its not the sensor suit, it relying on the computer and software. No one though pixel streaming for games would work but it did. This stuff seems lije the analog of SAFE in the radio space.

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That is legally not true (and it isn’t really surprising that arstechnica isn’t able to tell the difference, as already pointed out earlier). The GPL has won various court cases in Europe and the US and proven time and time again that you can’t just take the source code and run with it.

The case in question here (Oracle vs. Google re JAVA API) was finally won because google didn’t actually use any of the Oracle code but implemented their own version of the same API. Oracle claimed that this was a misuse of their inherit copyright on that API. That’s already something that many people (especially in OpenSource) disagree on: the reason being that an API by itself doesn’t provide enough creative substance to claim a copyright on by itself. Especially considering how many constraint are forcing you to do it a certain way rather than another. Anyhow, the judge disagree on that and let the case continue but finally said: even though an API might fall under the copyright, the way in which Google used it falls under fair use.

Now fair-use is a vastly complex problem because what is considered fair-use is only defined by courts. Which is why the Oracle Attorneys now claim such bullshit. The claim that the judge basically said you can use all available code and don’t have to follow the license because that falls under fair use is reading something in that verdict that simply hasn’t been said. And I doubt even those would be willing to defend you in court, when you use a GPL licensed code without proper attribution and the FSF catches you. You will loose that court case – as have many other before – as the claim of fair use from this trial quite clearly only falls under the API spec itself.

Thus if you’d take any GPL code and then implement the same API and use that, then you’d be fine (in the US only though!), but no one in the OS community would even consider that a problem in the first place. You are free to do that, you just can’t take the code that actually implements them.

Or to quote (highlighting by me):

Another option for a developer is to do what Google did when it created Android, and create replacement code libraries that are compatible with the existing code libraries, but which are new copyrighted works. Being “compatible” in this context means that the new libraries are called in the same way that the old libraries are–that is, using the same APIs. But the actual copyrighted code that is being called is a new work. As long as the new developer didn’t actually copy code from the original libraries, the new libraries are not infringing. It does not infringe on the copyright of a piece of software to create a new piece of software that works the same way; copyright protects the actual expression (lines of code) but not the functionality of a program. The functionality of a program is protected by patent, or not at all.

In the Oracle/Google case, no one is arguing that code libraries themselves are not copyrightable. Of course they are and this is why the Google/Oracle dispute has no bearing on the enforceability of the GPL. Instead, the argument is about whether the method of using a code library, the APIs, is subject to a copyright that is independent of the copyright of the code itself. If the argument that APIs are not copyrightable prevails, programs that are created by statically-linking GPL’d code libraries will still be considered derivative works of the code libraries and will still have to be released under the GPL.

IP Law is highly complex and not solved (and I recommend that article I just quoted). And though cases like this – in an ideal world – are supposed to define the boundaries, lawyers like that make it only more confusing. I consider this case a victory on all counts, because of that verdict: even if you could claim copyright on an API, implementing it falls under fair-use! And I recommend anyone else the really great 7-Part-Crash-Course-Series on IP Law (in the US) get the basics in place to not be fooled by such BS.


Wow, such a simple concept, and staggering that journalists can’t research the case (or at least to crib from more knowledgeable journalists) enough to grasp it.

EDIT: I should put “staggering” in quotation marks since, as you say in regards to Arstechnica, it isn’t surprising.

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Safenet to my knowledge is currently a complex workaround that doesn’t touch the bare network metal like proper mesh network protocols like B.A.T.M.A.N. I imagine that maidsafe could be iterated into a proper mesh protocol, through I’d question the usefulness of that since Maidsafe is so inconveniently overkill for general internet usage.