|Google's Unmerited Damage From Oracle v. Google -- The FOSSPatents Factor ~pj
Tuesday, July 24 2012 @ 10:41 PM EDT
Today, Florian Mueller of FOSSPatents writes1:
In connection with Oracle v. Google, some malicious individuals as well as
some gullible people (who parrot lies without fact-checking) later claimed that
my purely factual reporting on what a public Google filing said Oracle demanded2
(which Oracle later corrected anyway) was a prediction of the outcome. Strong words, indeed. Let's take a closer look, not only at the article he links to, but to a broader slice of his body of work. Let's see if it's "purely factual reporting", shall we?
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Here's more detail from an article he published on June 1st of 2012, linked to in his article today, after Google won at trial:
Out of the 700+ blog posts I've done so far (which as per today, June 1, 2012, have been read well over 5 million times (see the real-time counter, courtesy of Google, in the right-hand column) and been mentioned in articles that in my estimate have collectively been viewed many billions of times, only a couple dozen posts related to copyright, while almost all other posts were about patent disputes. ... The point isn't the amount, $2 billion or $6 billion. It's the emphasis over and over, as I'll show you, that it could be *any* kind of billions. In the end, after the trial, Google didn't have to pay so much as a penny.
I never claimed that the decision was going to be predictable....
In the meantime, there are also some things that those debating the issues can do to have a more reasonable, facts-focused discussion -- not only but especially on software copyright issues which are controversial enough all by themselves.
For example, while I stand by what I actually say, no one should have to accept responsibility for things he didn't even say. I could provide a long list of examples. I will give just one example because it's both simple and representative. In recent weeks I have been repeatedly accused of having "speculated", "claimed" or "predicted" that Oracle was going to receive billions of dollars -- or, more specifically, $6.1 billion -- in damages. There are lies, damn lies, and there are lies as nefarious as this one. Apart from the fact that I said on numerous occasions that damages were a secondary consideration in this case to the possibility of Oracle winning an injunction, all I did was that I read a publicly accessible filing by Google's lawyers and quoted from it. Here's Google's filing3, and here's my blog post on it4, entitled "Oracle expert says Google owes between 1.4 and 6.1 billion dollars". A few days later, Oracle contradicted5 this representation and said that the 6.1 billion figure was just the upper end of a hypothetical range while the actual demand was $2.6 billion at the time. Why did the $6.1 billion figure become known? Because Google itself wanted it to get out. Google's lawyers could have redacted the figure, or they could have referenced it without stating it in a public filing. But they opted to put this information out. My reporting on those filings was just factual. The filings said what they said. And I wasn't even first to pick this up: here you can see that Reuters picked up the information before me. No one can blame them either. If Google says that Oracle allegedly says it wants a certain amount, or an amount from a certain range, it's legitimate to report on it. For Reuters, for me, and for everyone else. Obviously, a damages claim by a party is not an outcome, or even a likely outcome -- but I trust that most of my readers don't need to be reminded of that again, and again, and again.
Did you notice how he claims that what he wrote has been repeated in the media and read maybe billions of times? If all he did was factual reporting, that wouldn't be such a problem, although I'll have more to say about that at the end. But is it the case that his reporting was purely factual? Let's see.
What Does the Record Show?
I wrote earlier today that I thought Oracle should have to pay at least some of Google's costs from the trial, if only because I didn't think Oracle should be allowed to cause so much unmerited damage and then just walk away. Let me show you what I mean by unmerited damage that shouldn't be ignored by reviewing some of what FOSSPatents wrote about the case.
By my reading, FOSSPatents at least implied repeatedly that Google was a willful infringer, going so far as to assert that the judge held that suspicion himself, along with presenting multiple gloomy analyses of what the bad outcome for Google as a result could be. Mueller, who announced he was hired by Oracle to advise it on FRAND patents and other issues, published article after article on this litigation both before and after the announcement, so let's look at just a few of them:
FOSSPatents, July 20, 2011,
"Google blinks in Oracle patent case, indicates willingness to pay"6:
Absolutely none of that happened. Google wrote what it wrote, that Oracle should reduce its claims, in harmony with the judge's opinion, and maybe then it would be possible to settle some issues. Some were settled that way, incidentally, but this was by no means an "admission" of guilt, as the ultimate outcome demonstrated so clearly.
Oracle and Google just filed their joint reply to the judge's request for input7 on "the extent to which" that lawsuit should be stayed.
As I expected, the common and agreed-upon part of their response is confined to undisputable facts: a summary of the five first Office actions that have been issued so far8 as a result of Google's requests that the USPTO reexamine all seven patents-in-suit. But (unsurprisingly) they disagree completely on what impact those preliminary rejections should have9. Oracle wants the trial to begin on October 31 as scheduled; Google wants a complete stay or, failing that, pressure on Oracle to narrow its assertions now.
Before I start my more detailed analysis of that update on the ongoing reexaminations, let me quote and comment on the two most interesting tidbits from the filing:
The biggest news is that Google, which has so far dismissed Oracle's assertions as if they had no merit whatsoever, has for the first time indicated in public (i.e., in a public court filing) its willingness to settle this case with Oracle. In a fundamental departure from the positions it previously articulated in its public filings and its public statements, Google clearly blinks. Here's the sentence I mean -- it makes references to Google's proposal to require Oracle to narrow the case for the sake of efficiency (unless it's stayed, which Google would prefer):
"Such a narrowed case will also eliminate the need for those efforts specifically directed at the claims rejected through reexamination, including motion practice, expert reports, and other trial preparation, as well as make it more likely that the parties could reach an informal resolution of the matter."
The last part about "informal resolution of the matter" can be interpreted in only one way: Google is prepared to settle with Oracle and make one or more payments in that event, but apparently the parties' positions are too far apart at this stage because Oracle is too confident of its ability to command a high royalty rate (presumably a high per-unit royalty).
In principle, it's constructive if a party indicates a willingness to settle. But there's a fundamental difference between negotiating in private and letting the court (as well as the public) know -- more than three months before the scheduled trial (!) -- that one isn't so sure of one's defenses anymore. This stands in clear contradiction to Google's past positions and declarations, and it looks increasingly like an admission all by itself. Discovery is almost complete, and it probably didn't go too well for Google.
Theoretically, an "informal resolution" could be a lot of things. But no one would seriously think that (after all of what's happened) Oracle would let Google off the hook for free. According to its own representation10, Oracle wants a $2.6 billion damages award (which might even be tripled due to willful infringement). Google even claims Oracle's demands constitute a range of up to $6.1 billion. When you start from that kind of amount, you can't settle for a small amount of money.
FOSSPatents, July 21, 201111, "Oracle wants to increase its $2.6 billion claims based on Android's effects
on Google's non-mobile business:
Google ended up owing nothing. Nothing. Nor was wilfulness ever demonstrated at trial. Nothing. $0. All the various possibilities mentioned turned out to be thin air. If wishes were fishes.
The latest filing in Oracle v. Google12-- not long before a court hearing that is taking place as I write these lines -- reveals that Oracle seeks to increase the damages claims it previously presented. Those claims amounted to
2.6 billion dollars according to Oracle13 and to a range between 1.4 and 6.1 billion dollars according to Google14, and whatever the base amount may be, it could yet be tripled if Google is found to have infringed Oracle's patents willfully15 (a scenario that "appears possible" to the judge).
The hypothetical royalties that represent the largest part of those claims are based on Google's mobile business, but it now turns out that Oracle additionally wants to be paid for the positive effect of Android on Google's non-mobile business.
FOSSPatents, July 22, 201116, "Oracle gets to depose Google CEO Larry Page for two hours on willful patent infringement, value of Android":
But Google did convince the judge and the jury that there was no willful infringement. So when he wrote, "It's pretty clear now that Google is going to have a hard time to convince the judge and the jury of there being no infringement (and especially no willful one)," was that just "factual reporting" with no predictive element? More importantly, did it prove accurate at all?
Late on Thursday by local time, magistrate judge issued an order according to which "Oracle may depose [Google co-founder and CEO] Mr. Page for a maximum of two hours, excluding breaks, solely on topics relevant to the willfulness of Defendant's alleged patent infringement, and the value of Android to Defendant". When I reported17 on Oracle's related request, I already said that Oracly had a "pretty good chance" because the judge is very interested in the question of willful infringement and has strong suspicions in that regard.
Willful infringement is hugely relevant because it leads to triple damages under U.S. patent law. Even prior to a potential tripling, Oracle's damages claims are staggering and still increasing: the previously claimed amount of
2.6 billion dollars18 (according to Oracle) -- or range between 1.4 and 6.1 billion according to Google's portrayal of what Oracle wants19 -- is not even the total bill. As I reported yesterday20, Oracle now wants to ask for additional money based on a network effects theory, claiming that Android has positive effects on Google's leadership in search even in connection with its non-mobile business. I am familiar from a business, policy and antitrust angle with network effects, and I think Oracle has a point in principle, though the question is exactly what the additional damages amount should be. At any rate, with so much money at stake, Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu apparently felt that it wasn't unduly burdensome to ask Mr. Page to take the witness stand….
It's pretty clear now that Google is going to have a hard time to convince the judge and the jury of there being no infringement (and especially no willful one). Google can hope that maybe the judge is willing to stay the case in whole or in part pending reexaminations. But they really are under pressure to settle now, and I believe Oracle is increasingly likely to develop new strategies and work according to new timelines should a stay be granted.
FOSSPatents, July 22, 201121, "Judge orders overhaul of Oracle's damages report", another article that day: You can't write that "Google has a serious problem" and not call it predictive or mere "factual reporting", particulary because it wasn't true.
The jury did see that email, and others that Oracle and its mouthpieces heralded far and wide in the media, and they meant nothing to the jury at all, in the end. Nor did the judge even consider an injunction. If there is no patent infringement, and the jury so held, you can't even ask for an injunction. So all that "analysis" about injunctions was totally based on an assumption that Google was caught and would have to suffer the consequences. But Google was found 100% innocent of any patent infringement.
Even though Google achieved a lot with its Daubert motion, it lost the strategic battle over the inclusion of Android-related advertising revenues. Perhaps even more importantly, Google faces the problem that the judge appears increasingly suspicious (if not already convinced) of Google having committed willful infringement because of a problematic attitude toward other companies' intellectual property rights.
Judge suspects of Google of having preferred "to roll the dice on possible litigation rather than to pay a fair price"
In connection with the theories Google presented, the judge refers to one (even in a headline) as "Google's Soviet-style negotiation", defined as "What's mine is mine and what's yours is negotiable". In that context, the judge suspects the following attitude:
"Google may have simply been brazen, preferring to roll the dice on possible litigation rather than to pay a fair price."
That kind of statement reflects extremely unfavorably on Google. It's exactly the kind of basis on which the judge might consider an injunction a highly appropriate remedy, and a tripling of the base damages amount, too.
One of the most interesting passages in today's order quotes from an October 2005 email by Google's Android boss Andy Rubin back in 2005:
"If Sun doesn't want to work with us, we have two options: 1) Abandon our work and adopt MSFT CLR VM and C# language - or - 2) Do Java anyway and defend our decision, perhaps making enemies along the way"
If a jury sees that statement (and if there is a trial, then the jury will see it for sure), Google has a very serious problem. And "very serious" may be an understatement. Moreover, a statement like that showing up in publicly accessible court documents now may cause significant concern among many of Google's Android partners (including, but not limited to, device makers).
FOSSPatents, July 26, 201122, "Google's new anti-patent stance has four credibility issues":
Now he seems to be asserting that the judge not only *might* be suspicious but that he definitely suspected Google of "reckless, willful infringement". Where did he get that? Maybe he misunderstood what the Notice he uploaded meant. Here's the Notice [PDF] he uploaded to Scribd, here on Groklaw, and it reads:
The same judge previously raised the question of Google's suspected willful infringement of Oracle's Java-related intellectual property rights. I
uploaded the related formal notice to Scribd23.
That's a circumstance that casts serious doubt on Google's implicit assertion that Android's intellectual property problems are just due to the shortcomings of the patent system (combined with Android's success). It seems more likely to me that those problems are a combination of various factors, and some of those are Google-specific. That doesn't mean that there aren't also very general problems with software patents -- it's just that a company suspected by a judge of totally reckless, willful infringement is not in the best position to advocate intellectual property reform.
In reading the Daubert briefing, it appears possible that early on Google recognized that it would infringe patents protecting at least part of Java, entered into negotiations with Sun to obtain a license for use in Android, then abandoned the negotiations as too expensive, and pushed home with Android without any license at all. How accurate is this scenario? Does Google acknowledge that Android infringes at least some of the claims if valid? If so, how should this affect the damages analysis? How should this affect the questions of willfulness and equitable relief? Counsel should be prepared to address these issues at the hearing. In other words, it was a list of questions he asked the parties to address at an upcoming hearing. It doesn't mean the judge assumed it was the case. In fact, when Mark Webbink wrote about this very same notice, he wrote:
Of course, Google has to answer this for themselves. However, I can tell you as an experienced licensing attorney that parties frequently have discussions over possible patent licenses while specifically avoiding any discussion over whether the patents are believed to be infringed. Google may well have been simply testing the waters to see if it was worth buying an "insurance policy" from Sun just to avoid later problems. Given that Google walked away from those negotiations, it is far more likely that they decided (a) Sun was asking too much and (b) the likelihood of infringement was relatively low. However, like everything else in this case, you shouldn't be reading the tea leaves too early. See the difference in approach? Here's the transcript [PDF] of the hearing, if you are curious. You will see Google's explanation, and you'll see the judge say that he's *not* saying there was willfulness. I don't know if Mueller uploaded that to Scribd or not. Perhaps he should, and maybe also update that article to highlight what the judge actually said, that he was explicitly not saying there had been willfulness.
In any case, it turned out to be untrue in the end. There was no willfulness found, because there was no infringement found, except for what was, as the judge himself said, a mistake that was immediately corrected when pointed out, which Google argues is de minimis anyhow.
FOSSPatents, April 18, 201224: As you can see, Mueller not only wrote about the litigation, he spoke with journalists personally to further spread his take on the litigation. And they printed it too, but was it true or fair? Did it come true? -- that's probably an even better question. And this was the same article where he announced that Oracle had hired him to consult with them, speaking of personal involvement, where he wrote: "We intend to work together for the long haul on mostly
competition-related topics including, for one example, FRAND licensing
terms." So, not just FRAND issues, evidently.
Oracle's opening statement presented ten documents indicating willful
infringement, from a five-year period in the middle of which Google
Certain Google-internal documents indicate in no uncertain terms an
awareness of a need for a license at different points in time during
the five-year period from Google's decision to use Java to the eve of
the filing of this lawsuit....
During those 20 months of litigation, I never saw documents or reports
from public hearings according to which Judge Alsup would have
described Google's references to Jonathan Schwartz' applauding blog
post and support-offering email as extremely powerful, but he said
some important things about certain evidence of willful infringement.
For example, in July 2011 the judge noted, in light of item #2, that
Google engaged in "Soviet-style negotiation" (defined as "What's mine
is mine and what's yours is negotiable") and "may have simply been
brazen, preferring to roll the dice on possible litigation rather than
to pay a fair price". When he became aware of the Lindholm email, he
told Oracle's counsel that it's "a pretty good document for [Oracle]"
that "ought to be, you know, big for [Oracle] at the trial". He warned
Google's counsel that a legendary San Francisco trial lawyer "needed a
document like [the Lindholm email], and the Magna Carta, and he won
every case", so in the judge's opinion, Google was "going to be on the
losing end of this document, and with Andy Rubin on the stand". He
then encouraged Google to "think about that"....
(There are other great reports from the third trial day, but I picked
the three above because of what they say about Page's evasiveness.)
As I told the L.A. Times, I believe the problem for Larry Page is that
he was personally very much involved with the decision to use Java
without a license. Now he's the CEO of the company and particularly
afraid of making a concession: in that case he would be blamed not
only for the outcome of the litigation but also for the original
decision. I don't mean to say that his denial of recollection was
dishonest (considering that he must have received huge numbers of
emails over the years), but it certainly does contrast with some
evidence of his personal involvement.
FOSSPatents on Twitter, April 19, 201225: As you see, Mueller not only wrote about the case on his blog, he also used Twitter to spread his views, and his view was, that day, that Google looked like a willful infringer from the evidence he saw at trial. Unfortunately, that analysis of the trial evidence was as misguided as his blog posts, given the outcome of the trial.
My take on the first three Oracle v. Google trial days http://t.co/OItQeGEh
Evidence of willful infringement spans 5 years, looks strong
FOSSPatents, April 20, 2012, 26
"The Lindholm testimony and the reality of Java licensing options": Except Google still doesn't have a license, it doesn't need one, and it's not going to pay for one, so his analysis was wrong. Also, the jurors did believe Mr. Lindholm. So his opinion that they were unlikely to be convinced was also wrong.
Yesterday was day 4 of the Oracle v. Google trial, and all observers were particularly interested in the testimony of Tim Lindholm, author of the Lindholm email. It appears that the testimony fell far short of meeting the expectations that this "smoking gun" piece of evidence had raised. Lindholm, who may have spent more time with lawyers recently than with fellow software developers, wanted to downplay the significance of the email and of his own involvement with Android.
Three facts appear particularly interesting to me. I'll comment on two of them quickly and then talk in more detail about the third item, licensing.
All of the reports I read indicate that Lindholm was extremely evasive. He tried to deny everything he possibly could deny, and to downplay the remainder. In particular, he didn't want the jury to think that he had too much to do with Android. However, Oracle presented a whole collection of Lindholm emails, spanning a period of more than five years and indicating that he was involved with Android, from a Java angle, at different points in time during that period. I guess he was primarily concerned about not saying anything stupid that would make things even worse than his most famous email, but whether he convinced the jury of anything is at least doubtful....
In short, Lindholm's denial of his most famous email having referred to any particular licensor comes down to this: Google needed (and still needs) to negotiate a license with Oracle or with Oracle.
FOSSPatents, April 22, 2012,27,
"Andy Rubin knew that a clean-room implementation of Java was 'unlikely' to
happen at Google": Oh really? Not clean? The judge and the jury disagreed. They needed a license? Nope. Now ask yourself: was this just reporting the facts, with no hint of a prediction of an outcome or do you notice some spit on this ball? He followed through and wrote about the copyrightability of APIs.
Having watched /Oracle v. Google/ closely from the outset of the litigation more
than 20 months ago, I can say that at least the trial serves to satisfy my
curiosity. None of the material that has shown up is entirely surprising, but
this trial adds many pieces to the puzzle. So far, this has been the case
especially in connection with the fact that Google knew at all stages of Android
development about the legal risks it was taking. For example, there isn't just
one Lindholm email but a whole collection that spans a period of more than five
years, a fact that neither his evasive testimony nor his victory signs in the
The "prior knowledge" of Java on the part of Google's Android development team
was clearly an issue, and Rubin knew that they were _unlikely_ to steer clear of
intellectual property infringement. One of Oracle's opening slides also pointed
to the fact that some key Googlers previously worked on Java while they were at Sun.
At the time, Rubin didn't say "APIs aren't copyrightable" or "this is fair use".
If there are no IP issues, it's still a "clean room". It only gets unclean if
there's an infringement of sorts.
The word "clean" isn't a question of whether something is 90%, 95%, 99% or maybe
99.99% clean. It's binary. It's clean or it's not. Android's implementation of
Java is not....
There's still going to be quite some talk about Google's management decisions
and internal processes. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Andy Rubin are on the
list of Oracle's next ten trial witnesses. But this isn't just about how Google
knowingly and willingly used Java without the license it needed. A particularly
outcome-determinative issue is the copyrightability of the 37 APIs at issue in
this case, and the judge asked the parties a number of questions relevant to
that issue. The answers are due today at 3 PM local time. In my next blog post
on /Oracle v. Google/ I'm going to (finally) get to the important question of
API copyrightability. I will also review and comment on the parties' answers to
Judge Alsup's copyrightability-related questions.
FOSSPatents, April 22, 101228, "The pragmatic approach to the copyrightability of API packages:
"Such conduct" indeed. A little spin on the ball? Just the facts? The judge disagreed with his opinions, of course, ruling that the APIs at issue were not protectible by copyright, so it wasn't even a question of defenses like fair use. Maybe it'd be a good thing if Mueller did avoid predictions and opinions on legal issues, if his batting average is so low.
It's even possible that the judge concludes that neither patents nor copyright
can protect those APIs, but I think he believes in the rule of law and in
intellectual property and will be hesitant to deny all protection for an
important contribution to innovation....
I'll be frank: I think there are far more reasons to consider those Java APIs --
also at the level of selection, structure and organization -- deserving of
And I'll voice my opinion again on how
I view these case-specific issues in /Oracle v. Google/: I just can't see how it
would be good public policy to let Google get away with reckless infringement,
hijacking an entire platform and fragmenting it, and ultimately getting, as a
Twitter user told me yesterday
[https://twitter.com/#%21/remaerdyaD/status/193466379544969216], to have its
Java and drink it.
Even if the approach chosen was to adjudicate Google's defenses such as the
merger doctrine at the stage of evaluating copyrightability, one need look no
further than at what is happening in this present case to see, from a public
policy point of view, a need for protection against such conduct.
FOSSPatents, April 23, 2012,28
"Oracle Java patent rises like Phoenix from the ashes, can still be
asserted at trial": That didn't happen either. The judge refused to let Oracle go back on its earlier stipulation regarding the patent, that it would drop it in return for an early trial, which it got. "Oracle will be required to stand by its word and live with the dismissal with prejudice," the judge ruled. So, Mueller struck out again. No third patent.
It looks like we will see three, not two, Java patents at the /Oracle v. Google/
trial. The trial is currently in the copyright phase, and phase 2 will deal with
patents. Just in time, the patent office reconsidered its "final" rejection of a
patent. That patent is now set to come back with a vengeance since patents
surviving reexamination are particularly powerful.
[Update: Another one:
FOSSPatents, May 29, 2012,32 "The answer to API competition concerns is neither uncopyrightability nor fair use -- it's FRAND": Well, the judge didn't. But notice the prediction? This is, after all, the same person who declared on FOSSPatents, after creating a chart of two patents that Android allegedly infringed, and was then quoted by PCWorld as saying the following: "Florian Mueller, an expert on intellectual property, explains in a blog post, 'Those patents are apparently infringed by code that is at the core of Android.'
Mueller has created a table that walks through the two patents and compares the patented concepts against the HTC/Android implementation. Reviewing the information on the tables, Mueller exclaims, 'It's hard to see how any Android device could not infringe them, or how companies could work around them.'"]
There's a significant probability that Judge
Alsup and/or an appeals court will hold the SSO of these particular APIs
(as opposed to the SSO of all APIs out there) copyrightable.
I could go on and on, but isn't this enough? What does this body of work tell you? What *should* it tell you?
If you were Google, how would you feel?
If you were Google, how would you feel, being described the way Google was by FOSSPatents day in and day out, and then seeing him quoted in the media, who I guess didn't know any better but to assume he knew what he was talking about. Otherwise, why would Oracle and Microsoft hire him to consult, they might have thought.
Well, in the Emperor's New Clothes sense, let me just point out an obvious possibility, maybe for propaganda value?
Do imagine you are Google -- how would you feel, if you believed that you had not infringed and yet were described like some scofflaw in the press for about two years on an almost daily basis? In the end, Google was exonerated in court, but by then, Google had been painted as a "reckless, willful infringer" from one end of the Internet to the other. That kind of smear sticks, because there is so much of it, compared to one day of vindication.
That's just the tip of this iceberg, by the way. I haven't even listed all the articles. Mueller is nothing if not prolific.
Can Litigation Be Used to Trash Opponents?
The problem stems from this, in my view: that a party can say things in court filings without being sued for defamation. If others then repeat them, claiming all they are doing is reporting what the filings say, and yet implying they are true, it can do real damage to an innocent party.
You can go too far in court filings if the party spreads the claims too widely in the press, but it's hard to cross that line. And if others -- analysts or journalists -- do the job of spreading the news, what is your remedy?
Companies sometimes file complaints with outrageous claims, specifically hoping to embarrass the defendant into an early settlement. It's a known technique, sadly, and one that I despise. We saw it in the SCO saga, where SCO thought IBM would quickly settle. And in that saga, you saw Rob Enderle, Maureen O'Gara, Daniel Lyons, and Laura DiDio publishing articles or putting out statements presenting SCO's position as plausible and predicting that it could or would win or even in some cases that it *should* win. But did it?
Incidentally, you'll probably enjoy reading Ms. O'Gara sing29 Mr. Mueller's praises, back when the litigation was still in discovery, and he came up with the billion figure:
That reverberating scream you hear, the one that sounds like a wounded water buffalo beset by a pack of rabid hyenas, is Google after it saw how much Oracle expects in damages from its patent and copyright suit over Android’s alleged misuse of Java.... Did she misquote him, or did he make some predictions of Google's doom? Let's see.
The all-important royalty base that Boston University School of Management economics professor Iain Cockburn used has been censored but not the 50% royalty rate he applies against it.
There’s also the little matter of willful infringement and treble damages so 50% times three equals 150% and, yes, that can happen.
The letter confirms rumors that Google might have cut a deal with Sun before Oracle came on the scene but rejected the terms offered. The lawyers say that deal “would have included far more than the patents-in-suit.” The sum Sun wanted has been blacked out but it couldn’t have been more than Google’s staring at right now. It may come to rue the day it didn’t bite the bullet then.
We owe discovery of the letter to Florian Mueller who’s been tracking this suit as well as the 43 other suits currently lodged against Android like a hound dog after a fox.
It’s the first time in the 10-month-old case that the industry has gotten even a glimpse into Oracle’s demands and Florian figures that – worst case – the infringement damages alone would “exceed any money Google has made with Android so far” and could amount to “even more going forward.”
Besides if Google loses it may have to change the Dalvik virtual machine that’s at the bottom of the whole argument – Oracle doesn’t have to grant it a license – and that could impact all existing Dalvik-based applications. A defeat is also likely to impact Android’s “free” business model. Google might have to start charging significant per-copy licensing fees unless, as Florian hazards, it turns the thing into a loss leader....
Florian’s analysis of where he thinks Google’s case is weak and contradictory and where he thinks Oracle may not be a shoo-in is at http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011/06/oracle-wants-huge-cut-of-googles-mobile.html.
FOSSPatents, June 7, 2011,30 "Oracle wants a huge cut of Google's mobile advertising revenue plus compensation for fragmentation of Java": Rather breathless prose for a "purely factual" report, don't you think? But that's not all:
One of the best-kept secrets in the patent dispute between Oracle and Google is what Oracle demands in terms of compensation for past damages and on which terms (monetary and other conditions) Oracle might allow Google to continue to distribute its Dalvik virtual machine as a result of a settlement or, alternatively, if Oracle prevailed in court and obtained an injunction.
The details of those demands are still not known. It was always obvious that Oracle wanted a lot. They wouldn't sue for chicken feed, and if their demands were very limited, this would have been settled a while ago. But for the first time in this entire lawsuit (which began almost ten months ago), a publicly accessible document provides, despite some blackened passages, a pretty good indication as to how demanding Oracle is.
I have analyzed the situation and I can tell you up-front: the word "demanding" is an understatement. The position on damages for past infringement taken by an Oracle expert appears to be such that Oracle would want Google to pay damages for past infringement that would in the worst case far exceed any money Google has made with Android so far -- and would likely expect Google to pay even more going forward.
The two companies are not just miles but light years apart, and it could very well be that a defeat in court would require Google to make fundamental changes to its Dalvik virtual machine -- changes that would likely affect many if not all existing Dalvik-based (.DEX) applications. But even in purely financial terms, there's serious doubt as to whether Google would be able to meet Oracle's requirements while continuing to make Android available without charging a per-copy license fee.
This lawsuit has the potential to bring about a restructuring of Google's Android business in economic as well as technical terms. Interestingly, Google itself admits that it could have done a license deal with Sun (apparently before it was acquired by Oracle) but rejected its terms. That refusal could now prove one of the worst mistakes in Google's 13-year history as a company. In connection with Google's recent hiring of a third law firm to defend it against Oracle's claims, I explained that this litigation is indeed comparable to a make-or-break case. http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011/05/google-hires-third-law-firm-to-defend.html
The first important thing to understand here is that the Cockburn report itself is exclusively about damages for past infringement. Assuming that Google is found to infringe Oracle's intellectual property, the court (with the help of the jury) has to determine how much Google has to pay for that -- from whenever the infringement began until the date of the trial. But whatever Cockburn believes or whatever the court may ultimately decide in that scenario is still a separate issue from the terms on which Oracle may or may not grant Google a license going forward. In its complaint, Oracle asked for an injunction. If Oracle obtained that injunction, Google would have to cease all infringement unless the parties agree on a licensing deal for the future. That deal would not be set by the court: it would be negotiated. There could be a separate court case if Google claimed that Oracle had obligations to grant a license on terms meeting certain criteria, and I'll discuss that further below.
Or the judge either. He tossed out most of this report and had Dr. Cockburn try again. That report was also mostly tossed on a Google motion in limine, and then again. The court let Dr. Cockburn try once more, but he struck out again in all the significant areas, and then adjusted again, downward. Before the adjustment, the top limit to damages was set at $561 million, half from copyrights and the other half from patents. It ended up with both sides arguing details, but neither predicting anything close to a billion under even the worst case scenario for Google, more likely less than $100 million. No billions. No billion. In the end it was all a lot of effort for nothing, because there never was a damages phase of the trial, since there was nothing to discuss when Google won. There are more zigs and zags regarding the Cockburn reports, if you can stand it, in a long list here, where I took the time to actually try to chronicle it all. Here's one of Mark's article on some of Google's objections to the way Dr. Cockburn calculated damages, if you are curious to see all the flaws that Mueller missed.
The distinction between past damaages and a license deal for the future is really key. Let us firstly look at what Google's filing reveals about the Cockburn report's take on past damages and subsequently analyze what this suggests for Oracle's possible and likely expectations the terms and conditions of a possible license agreement.
Criteria for damage computation
Google accuses Cockburn of failure to properly "separate out and define the value of the patented technology to both Google and Oracle." He certainly did separate out and define, but not in a way that Google could agree with.
Getting back to Mueller, he wrote about the first Cockburn report with some gusto:
But it's also key to consider that Oracle doesn't ask for merely compensatory damages. In Oracle's original complaint, prayer for relief E demands a "[t]rebling of damages under 35 U.S.C. § 284 in view of the willful and deliberate nature of Google's infringement of the patents at issue in this litigation." I'm sure that Cockburn was not tasked with any analysis of that aspect. As an economist, he was certainly just asked to determine compensatory damages. But whatever the court establishes as compensatory damages could still be tripled if the infringement is deemed to have been willful. So when Cockburn considers a 50% royalty rate on a particular royalty base to be a reasonable rate, the worst-case scenario for Google is not 50%, but 150% (yes, it can be more than 100% -- there's no ceiling in statutory law at 100% or any other percentage, just some case law that argues in favor of certain de-facto ceilings).... Would you call that just the facts? Or does it look like more predictions of potential doom and gloom for Google, spread just as thickly as possible? Did any of it come true?
Another interesting detail in Google's letter is the claim that in its settlement with Microsoft, "Sun demanded and received $900 million to cover the risk of fragmentation to Java."
The amount itself is not new. The total settlement between Sun and Microsoft was even far greater, but I also recall announcements that suggested that $900 million was the Java-related part. Should Oracle really have attributed the entire $900 million amount to "fragmentation", that would be a bit narrow. The settlement probably included a far-reaching license to various intellectual property rights.
But the fact that Oracle brings up this kind of amount in its litigation with Google indicates to me that Oracle is, as I recently already figured, looking for a settlement with Google that would be similarly big as its recent damage award in the SAP case. We're talking about, potentially, billions....
Assuming this case goes to trial and Oracle obtains an injunction, I think Google will have to do two things (short of rewriting its entire virtual machine to steer clear of infringement of any Oracle intellectual property):
Pay a very significant per-copy royalty to Oracle -- possibly higher than all of Google's current Android-related revenues, in which case Google would have to change its Android business model and start to charge device makers per-unit license fees (assuming, of course, that Google wants to operate Android in an economically viable way and not just turn it into a "loss leader" in its portfolio).
- Formally recognize Oracle's control over Java and make at least some reasonably significant modifications to its code in order to reduce or eliminate the "fragmentation" issue Oracle complains about.
Google in the end was vindicated as to being a "willful infringer", there were no treble damages, and in fact no damages at all, and it ended up with the jury ruling that Google was 100% innocent of *any* patent infringement, so no injunction, no license royalties, no adjusted business model, no doom and gloom. Would you have even thought that was conceivable as an outcome, if all you read was FOSSPatents?
All those lists of possible or probable doom did not come true. But look at the repetitive implications that doom would befall Google, that it deserved it, that were put out there in public and repeated by journalists over and over as if they were credible, so much so that when Google won, many journalists were totally astonished. Smears can leave a mark on the victim, sometimes long after a victory in the courtroom.
I mean, where does Google go to get its good name back after a torrent of articles like that, repeating over and over how much money it might have to pay in damages, maybe tripled for willfulness, and how even the judge suspected it of wrongdoing, etc. and so forth? People tend to think if there's smoke, there must be some fire somewhere. So real damage was done.
Was it just factual reporting? Like I say, you be the judge. But when I read him frothing at the mouth about being misquoted or misunderstood or whatever his rant was about, all I could think was, what about Google? Imagine what it was put through, and for what?
I made the links footnotes for a reason. I wanted you to be able to check that the articles are accurately quoted if you are inclined, but because we have a lot of readers of Groklaw, I didn't want to add to his stats by just casual linking.
|Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, July 24 2012 @ 10:49 PM EDT|
|Does anyone take Florian Mueller seriously anymore?|
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: ankylosaurus on Tuesday, July 24 2012 @ 10:52 PM EDT|
|It can be useful to have 'wrong --> right' in the title.|
The Dinosaur with a Club at the End of its Tail
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: Tufty on Tuesday, July 24 2012 @ 10:57 PM EDT|
|Do a little sowing|
Linux powered squirrel.
[ Reply to This | # ]
- News of the Weird: 1st Canadian SHARK ATTACK - ya, really - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 04:14 AM EDT
- Stand and Deliver (Moore Microprocessor Patent portfolio) - Authored by: betajet on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 10:58 AM EDT
- Samsung: Apple wouldn’t have sold a single iPhone without stealing our tech - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 01:10 PM EDT
- Gates reacts to M$'s first quarterly loss - Authored by: jplatt39 on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 02:12 PM EDT
- MacOS 10.8 released, and ... - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 03:51 PM EDT
- Microsoft inks patent deal with service provider using Linux servers - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 04:32 PM EDT
- NTP extracts more danegeld - Authored by: SpaceLifeForm on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 06:24 PM EDT
- Windows 8 driving Valve to Linux - Authored by: Gringo_ on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 07:04 PM EDT
- Remove the barriers to innovation with an Open Source Tool Chain for MSP430™ MCUs - Authored by: tiger99 on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 07:18 PM EDT
- 2 Raspberry Pi or not 2 Raspberry Pi? - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 11:16 PM EDT
- Old Prophet Jefferson - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 12:28 AM EDT
- Rambus loses ITC case against chip makers - Authored by: betajet on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 12:44 AM EDT
- What is that Windwos EULA again? - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 03:57 AM EDT
- Samsung removes local search function - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 04:06 AM EDT
- regarding at&t - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 11:32 AM EDT
- RIP Andre Hedrick: The engineer who kept the PC open - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 11:43 AM EDT
- Gnet - $70/month for Gigabit service - Authored by: SpaceLifeForm on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 01:08 PM EDT
|Authored by: Tufty on Tuesday, July 24 2012 @ 10:58 PM EDT|
|pick it or pick it apart|
Linux powered squirrel.
[ Reply to This | # ]
- Yes, Government Researchers Really Did Invent the Internet - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 03:03 AM EDT
- Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 04:40 AM EDT
- lodsys: no interest - Authored by: designerfx on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 10:36 AM EDT
- London says no to 3G hot spots for the Olympics - Authored by: JamesK on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 12:04 PM EDT
- Apple TV sales vs XBox - Authored by: Gringo_ on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 06:01 PM EDT
- Microsoft unfurls patent lasso, snares Linux servers - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 05:47 AM EDT
- Microsoft unfurls patent lasso, snares Linux servers - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 05:52 AM EDT
- Microsoft unfurls patent lasso, snares Linux servers - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 06:27 AM EDT
- Microsoft unfurls patent lasso, snares Linux servers - Authored by: PJ on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 07:22 AM EDT
- undisclosed Redmond patents - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 09:35 AM EDT
- Microsoft unfurls patent lasso, snares Linux servers - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 01:08 PM EDT
- Microsoft unfurls smoke screen, hides Linux servers - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 04:10 PM EDT
- powerful pro-internet lobbying group in the US - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 11:36 AM EDT
- Black Hat: 6 Lessons To Tighten Enterprise Security - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 11:36 AM EDT
- Apple Wins Delay on Web Notice That Samsung Didn’t Copy IPad - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 12:29 PM EDT
- Nokia scraps software - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 07:50 PM EDT
- Not much left - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 08:10 PM EDT
- In that case - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 27 2012 @ 01:23 PM EDT
|Authored by: Tufty on Tuesday, July 24 2012 @ 10:59 PM EDT|
|We've recently seen how much these are worth|
Linux powered squirrel.
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, July 24 2012 @ 11:27 PM EDT|
|It always gladdens my heart when a "BESCI" gets his head handed to|
himself with the shining light of the "Truth".
Thank you PJ.
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, July 24 2012 @ 11:54 PM EDT|
|Florian is an established, known, bald-faced liar--at least to those who have |
paid attention over the years. Unfortunately, there's not that many of us who
have been paying attention, and to answer an earlier poster's question: yes, I
know from personal experience that there are indeed people who listen to him.
Without the benefit of history and deep industry knowledge, his lies are well-
enough constructed and seemingly-plausible to take in a lot of people.
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: calris74 on Tuesday, July 24 2012 @ 11:59 PM EDT|
|This is what really gets up my goat with FM - He'll bang on |
and on and on about how "certain" 'biased', 'bigotted',
'misguided', 'lying', blah, blah, blah "un-named bloggers"
should not be trusted, don't know what they are talking
about etc, etc, etc.
But as soon as he is wrong he just whistles sweet dixie into
And try to correct his mis-statements on twitter and BAM!
onto the block list for you!
And then there is the ole 'Hey, check out how I am one of
the 50 most influential people in tech - Oh, and I you send
me a congrats I'll bless my Twitter feed with a bashful
thanks straight back at ya'.
Come on Florian, admit it (just once) that you read it wrong
and someone else read it right. Oh, I get it - 'experts'
can't be wrong and to admit as much would dilute your value
as an influential blogger...
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: David665 on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 12:14 AM EDT|
|The thing that stood out to me during the entire "Debacle From Oracle"|
was Larry E wanted mobile ad revenue. They wanted a percentage of all of it. The
Java thing was nothing more then a ploy to get at Google's main source of
Neither Oracle nor Sun could produce a phone. And Sun wouldn't bend on their
standard agreement by insisting that Google could ONLY use the entire Java API
or they couldn't call it Java. If Sun had bent to that simple request then
Android phones would be called Java Phones.
That and if I recall correctly there was a bit when other Sun patent attys were
after Google during this period. That pushed Google out the door and they
implemented only the API they needed for mobile.
Oddly enough FM only commented on the ad revenue and claiming it was
justification for fragmenting Java.
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 12:41 AM EDT|
|Would be for Google to sue Oracle for defamation. After all, FM |
was an employee/contractor hired in that area whose views
were well known prior and he continued all the way to the end
to state that Google was guilty and needed to pay. In fact he
still continues on.
Then, Google could sue him for the ones prior. Maybe
Germany's legal code is stricter if SCO was any indicator.
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 12:46 AM EDT|
|From what I recall the judge *did* appear to think willful infringement was|
possible based off that email (there was a comment about "only needing that
email and the magna carta" or something to that effect). Obviously he
changed his mind when he had a better idea of what was really going on and who
Lindholm was (wasn't?), but I think saying he considered willful infringement
possible is still factual based on that. In any case, good luck proving he
thought it was impossible I guess.
Clearly FM is ah... interested in putting forward a certain viewpoint, but a
couple of your FM quotes are more or less just factual (there's a lot of pure
"speculation" in others/on the site in general for sure though). Take
your FM quote:
"The latest filing in Oracle v. Google12-- not long before a court hearing
that is taking place as I write these lines -- reveals that Oracle seeks to
increase the damages claims it previously presented. Those claims amounted to
2.6 billion dollars according to Oracle13 and to a range between 1.4 and 6.1
billion dollars according to Google14, and whatever the base amount may be, it
could yet be tripled if Google is found to have infringed Oracle's patents
willfully15 (a scenario that "appears possible" to the judge).
The hypothetical royalties that represent the largest part of those claims are
based on Google's mobile business, but it now turns out that Oracle additionally
wants to be paid for the positive effect of Android on Google's non-mobile
I'm really not seeing anything unusual there. Oracle seeks to increase damages
- probably true. Oracle says Oracle is claiming billions - true. Google says
Oracle is claiming billions - true. Damages can be tripled on willful
infringement - true. The judge thinks willful infringement is *possible* -
arguable I guess, but I'd consider that true at the time (and the reverse - that
he thought willful infringement was *impossible* is very unlikely). Oracle
wants to be paid for everything they can (can't) concievably claim, not just
mobile royalties - true.
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 04:07 AM EDT|
These days, it's pine tar.
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: Steve Martin on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 06:33 AM EDT|
[...] assuming, of course, that Google
wants to operate Android in an economically viable way
Why does it seem so hard for him to grasp that Google
isn't "operating Andoroid" for profit? It's FOSS. Google doesn't make a dime
"When I say something, I put my name next to
it." -- Isaac Jaffe, "Sports Night"
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 08:09 AM EDT|
Except Google still doesn't have a license, it doesn't need one, and
it's not going to pay for one, so his analysis was wrong. Also, the jurors did
believe Mr. Lindholm. So his opinion that they were unlikely to be convinced was
A probabilistic statement like "unlikely to be
convinced" can't be refuted by the factual outcome, only by an analysis of the
basis for such a statement, and correlating the basis with the statistics of
earlier outcomes in comparable cases.
If I tell you you are unlikely to win
the lottery, and then you go on and win the lottery, does that mean that my
statement was wrong? No, it doesn't.
If you receive a voucher "you may have
won a free gizmo-ball key pendant" and I tell you that you are unlikely to have
won, then I am quite more likely to be wrong. Because there is good reason to
suspect that the probability of "winning" is high.
But as long as the
prediction was not "inevitable" or "impossible", a different outcome does not
invalidate the prediction.
Figuring out prediction bias of "likely/unlikely"
statements is a matter of statistics and confidence intervals.
I consider it
quite likely the FM's predictions will be biased against subsequent happenings
in court, and biased in a somewhat consistent manner.
But "he said likely,
and it did not happen" is not exactly "proof". At best, it is part of the
evidence needed for constituting proof with a reasonable confidence margin.
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 11:05 AM EDT|
|I usually do not read anything authored by him.|
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: hardmath on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 11:42 AM EDT|
|While in some narrow context FM may well argue that he's |
only put out "factual reporting", often he' making
predictions of broad sweep.
If it be necessary to multiply examples:
In his current article on Nokia v. RIM, he has a factual
report of an amended complaint that adds three new patent
infringement claims. But he then adds a sweeping opinion
that Nokia's patent portfolio is "hugely stronger" than
RIM's, and tops that off with the prediction that as a
result, Nokia will "win this sooner or later".
My guess is, if FM's prediction goes wrong, he'll only ever
admit that he did factual reporting of that lawsuit.
"Prolog is an efficient programming language because it is a very stupid theorem
prover." -- Richard O'Keefe
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 02:36 PM EDT|
|The dishonesty of Mueller is apparent, but this type of thing is not new. |
Certainly we have seen this before in the SCO v Novell and SCO v IBM cases.
We should not be suprised. This type of thing has been going on for centuries.
If you read any American history, you know that opponents of some of the
greatest Americans such as Washington, Adams, Hamilton, and Lincoln were victims
of the same things. Many times falsehoods were may up from whole cloth and
published as fact.
Even today in the political environment, we see many, many spots on TV and the
Internet where statements are taken out of context or completely false
assertions are made.
The calling out of falsehoods done here is very important. Integrity is earned.
PJ has earned it. Muckrakers like Mueller have not.
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: mcinsand on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 02:40 PM EDT|
|Thank you, PJ, for such a careful, thoughtful analysis. And, perhaps we should|
thank Flo, as well, for providing so ample of a collection for us, so that we
need not guess where the real source of maliciousness and afactuality might be.
In Flo's complaints, I think we can safely use the psychological term of
'projecting.' He is malicious, he strays from the facts, so he sees others as
doing the same; he sees others as being likely to take his path.
This is also where Groklaw's efforts to be objective pay off, which is only one
way Groklaw and FOSSpatents are diametrically opposed. The ability to analyze
and stick to actual facts might be why Groklaw is rich in credibility, and Flo
is effectively bankrupt. Oh, he's still be able to support himself. His
history shows that he has no dignity to preserve nor, more importantly, no
hesitation to take a position no matter how riduculous, as long as he's paid.
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: albert on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 04:09 PM EDT|
|I won't pile on Florian (it's probably getting a little hard |
to breathe under there). The thing is, people want to hear
from 'experts'; they want 'analysis'. For jernalists, it
saves having to do a lot (or any), research. Citing
references is _required_ in serious papers. 'References'
are nice because you're not responsible for them, so you get
your point across without personal liability.
If you work in a pro-Microsoft shop, you most certainly will
use Florian, Laura, Maureen, etc.
Oh, and be sure to turn off comments.....
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 05:35 PM EDT|
|This is similar to the Fox News way of "journalism" and how politics|
is done these days - ask a question that is damning in its assumptions, and the
more effort that is required to prove that the question is based on false
assumptions, the better for the asker/accuser.
And since it's just "merely asking questions" it's not flat out
statements, and thus not libel or slander in a legal sense, but in every other
way it is.
I saved this post because it illustrates the stark issues with what has been
going on in the last 20 years or so. It was originally about the "critical
thinking" plank of the Texas GOP platform, but it is apropos here, because
what Oracle, Fox, and everyone else with propaganda to sell, like Florian, they
depend on peoples' lack of critical thinking skills, and even "truth
-------------------cut here ------------------------------
Re:critical thinking (Score:1)
by Greguar (1225686) Alter Relationship on 13:53 Thursday 19 July 2012
There's a feedback loop of critical thinking failure at the heart of this.
Part of the problem with a lack of developed critical thinking skills is that in
such a cultural environment the mere act of questioning something makes that
something look bad. Defective questions are often taken to be equivalent to good
questions. Questions can be left unanswered but still carry dire implications
that become accepted as truth. A question is then a tool to make a statement
without requiring any evidence to back it, and without exposing liability for
slander or libel.
In such an environment, where the questions themselves have significant negative
impact, the act of questioning something becomes quite harmful. Wholesale
thought control can be achieved through the direction of carefully-crafted
questions designed to instill emotional response. This leads to questioners in
turn being attacked by questions of their political propriety, patriotism or
moral character as a riposte in the duel for control of the message. The end
result is a disastrously adversarial political system paralyzed by continual
assaults of defective questions and information media that value impact and
sensation more than truth or substance, reinforced by a public that lacks any
objective tools to discern questions from truths, much less judge quality of
questions or evidence.
What a lot of people fail to realize is that values and truths can be reinforced
by answering questions. A leader can be proven to have integrity by withstanding
criticism and scrutiny. An idea can be proven to have merit by having its
results measured, and the idea can be refined by diligently seeking its
When children are taught to unquestioningly believe what they're instructed by
the "appropriate" authority, what happens when a megalomaniacal
politician, con artist, cult leader or abusive partner manages to establish
grounds for seeming appropriate? One insular creed can be supplanted by another,
even one in diametric opposition, given the right emotional impetus or illusion
of authority. A healthy dose of critical thinking may result in more fluid
interpretations of values that are inclined to wander and evolve over time, but
if that foundation incorporates reason then it is less likely for an emotional
event or charismatic individual to induce a sudden and dramatic—potentially
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 25 2012 @ 11:20 PM EDT|
|PJ quotes FM's June 1, 2012 article:|
Why did the $6.1 billion
figure become known? Because Google itself wanted it to get out. Google's
lawyers could have redacted the figure, or they could have referenced it without
stating it in a public filing. But they opted to put this information out. My
reporting on those filings was just factual.So, Google wanted the
information out, and FM was just helping them do that? That wasn't the way he
spun it originally. In a June 16, 2011 article (http://www.fosspatents.com/2011/06/oracle-is-open-about-wanting-billions.ht
ml), he said that Google tried to file them under seal, so it wasn't
Google's choice. Because it was Oracle who wanted the information unsealed, FM
tried to make Oracle look open and Google look secretive. Some
Oracle opposes a Google motion to file its précis regarding
damages under seal. Oracle "requests that the Court deny that motion and file
Google’s précis in the public record." [Update] Oracle's opposition was
successful and the relevant document is now in the public record. It's now known
that those damages claims are in the range between 1.4 and 6.1 billion
Oracle's demand for transparency is
very important. After all, Google based its request for sealing the relevant
document on its obligations to protect Oracle's secrets. But Oracle now
advocates transparency. Openness.
Oracle demonstrates a
whole lot of confidence by advocating transparency and openly stating that this
is about "billions of dollars." Google apparently doesn't want that information
to be debated publicly. They probably fear that this could have the Android
ecosystem concerned. They may also fear that this could influence the future
jury before this case goes to trial (which is tentatively scheduled to begin on
October 31, 2011).Ooh! Google is being
secretive because Google is scared! One year later he saying that Google wanted
him to do the scaremongering. I would say that neither is true.
But this is a case that inevitably draws a lot of
interest. [Update] That's why I'm glad that the judge agreed on this
transparency issue with Oracle. [/Update]
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: symbolset on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 04:10 AM EDT|
|Because you only get dirty, and the pig enjoys it.|
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: jrw on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 10:18 AM EDT|
|Sadly I confess to having read the article. I noted the folowing:|
"Indeed, we are talking about features that make an iPhone an iPhone and
set it apart from a feature phone or from what today's Android phones would be
like if Google had not decided at some point to abandon its original plans for a
more BlackBerry-style device and copy the iPhone operating software."
Forgive my ignorance as I'm not one of those lawyer things that seem to live
around here, but in the absence of a mealy mouthed and slimey
"allegedly" or "arguably" or "in my opinion",
isn't this libel?
Can I recommend the UK as a particularly fine place to find out?
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 07:47 PM EDT|
|Please link to it whenever you see a journalist use any FM sourced data in an|
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 09:26 PM EDT|
|I quote Tycho from Penny Arcade re: a similar target:|
"It's like trying to make fun of a clown. What, are you going to make fun
his tiny car? His floppy shoes?"
Does anyone take Florien seriously anymore?
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: calris74 on Thursday, July 26 2012 @ 10:47 PM EDT|
|TUESDAY, JUNE 7,
But the fact that Oracle brings up this kind of
amount in its litigation with Google indicates to me that
Oracle is, as I
recently already figured, looking for a
settlement with Google that would be
similarly big as its
recent damage award in the SAP case. We're talking about,
Oracle has brought up a figure which
extrapolating out to billions...
Having analyzed Google's latest filings in the
I have no more doubt that Oracle's damages expert
calculated damages that
would, at least if tripled due to
willful infringement, amount to a
billion-dollar figure. And
that's just damages: if Oracle wins, Google will
an injunction and need to negotiate a license deal (in the
alternative, all existing Dalvik-based apps would have to be
ported to a new
The court and the parties know the
Oracle's expert calculated. I don't. But I can deduce that
expression "several times that amount" is far more
likely to mean "several
times $900 million" than "several
So there are some great unknowns here.
Yesterday's filings added enough pieces to the puzzle to
know for sure that
this is -- in a worst-case scenario for
Google -- about billions, not millions.
But I don't know yet
whether it's billions even without a tripling based on
willful infringement or only after that. Prior to tripling,
the amount could
be "only" in the hundreds of millions. At
the same time, just "fragmentation of
Java" could amount to
billions even prior to a possible
Hmmm, so after reading Google's filing, Florian is not
sure about the $6.1B figure. So if Google had deliberately
let the cat
out of the bag, this is the day he should have
seen the cat
THURSDAY, JUNE 16,
Yesterday I concluded from a Google filing that
Oracle seeks a billion-dollar amount in damages. Today
Oracle filed a document
that confirms this position in no
So Florian has
guessed billions and Oracle not
Google have confirmed it in a
public filing. So, prey tell,
who is letting which cat out of which
According to Oracle, Google wanted to hide from
view:...and -- lo and behold -- "[a]ny and all
references to the fact that
Oracle’s damages claims in this
case are in the billions of
"and -- lo and behold --" hmm, methinks Florian is
giving himself a little pat on the back. An any case, Oracle
are the very
first to publicly state a billion dollar figure
in a non-redacted
I was right when I wrote yesterday that this was
to be about a billion-dollar amount. But I want
filings that really tell the
story, and I don't want to be
And another little pat, just
for good measure
SATURDAY, JUNE 18,
Finally the cat is out of the bag and the
numbers are on the table: the Oracle expert report on
vehemently opposes arrived -- according to a
Google filing that has now become
available in an unredacted
form -- at the conclusion that "Google, if found to
infringe, would owe Oracle between 1.4 and 6.1 billion
And now the truth emerges - Google put the cat in the
but it was Oracle who let is out
So it looks to me that 'purely
factual' reporting was, in
fact, 'pure speculation' that became
In recent weeks I have been repeatedly accused
having "speculated", "claimed" or "predicted" that Oracle
was going to receive
billions of dollars
Yes, Florian, you did 'speculate' - Unless, of
had access to information which made the above statements
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 29 2012 @ 04:28 AM EDT|
|What would be interesting is to compare and contrast what FM has written that is|
critical of or complimentary to each party - e.g. to what extent has he
criticised Oracle's case and assessed their risks of failure, and highlighted
the strengths in Google's case...
If he had been just as hard on Oracle as he has been on Google that would be OK,
On the other hand if he is only being hard on one party that's a clear sign of
As a long-time reader of groklaw, I sometimes think GL could do a bit better in
this regard, too. The difference is of course that so far GL has been much more
right than wrong...
[ Reply to This | # ]
|Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 01 2012 @ 12:45 PM EDT|
I hadn't thought about Maureen O'Gara, and her style, for a
(and happy!) interval. I think it's pertinent to
note, in regard to the
phrase in her very first excerpted
sentence, "... wounded water buffalo beset
by a pack of rabid
hyenas ...", that water buffalo naturally live at least 4000
miles away from any extant hyenas, and that,
interestingly enough, at
least some hyena species are
symptomatically immune to rabies. This seems to
be typical of
her relation to factual reality--PJ's subject, of course.
[ Reply to This | # ]