It’s a perpetual case of Chico Marx’s famous line:
“Who ya gonna believe – me or your own eyes?”
The World Wide Web will quickly deliver you all sorts of ridiculous excuses from people engaged in criminal activity.
Thieves are particularly funny.
Intellectual Property (IP) thieves pretty much have a set slate of theft excuses. A selected excerpt:
“‘You’re Selfish and Conniving’:
“It’s amazing how often image users lash out once they have been caught red-handed. It’s not uncommon for them to treat the (IP rights holder) as someone you has the nerve to expect fair pay for fair work. Making character assassinations against someone when you’ve been caught breaking the law helps no one.”
No matter how much money a thieving company has – no matter how erudite the executives the company puts forward to defend its theft – we almost always only get these tread worn excuses.
To wit: Google (Market Cap: $1.04 trillion).
About a decade ago, Google stole 11,500 lines of Java code from Oracle. We know Google stole them – because before Google stole them they were negotiating for licenses from Oracle to pay to use them.
Google then suddenly stopped negotiating for the licenses to legally use the code. And then released its 11,500-lines-of-Java-code-using Android products – without licensed permission to do so.
“Who ya gonna believe – me or your own eyes?”
If I go to a car dealership and begin negotiating a price for a car – I’m tacitly admitting I need to pay these people for the car.
Google’s license negotiations – were the exact same tacit admission. They then took the car – the code – without paying for it.
Then came the avalanche of stupid Google excuses.
This is literally the argument Google filed with the Supreme Court – which on October 7 will hear Google’s appeal of Oracle’s lower court win.
This Google excuse – is antithetical to human nature:
“Why go to all the time, trouble and expense of creating – if your creations are destined to be stolen?
“You wouldn’t. No one would. Because human nature. Which remains fixed – and immutable.
“Google is asking SCOTUS to overturn a perfectly sane and rational lower court decision in Oracle’s favor.
“But what Google is really looking to dump – is reality.
“Google wants SCOTUS to rule against human nature.”
In further attempted defense of Google’s mass heist, Google Senior Vice President for Global Affairs Kent Walker recently penned the following:
Which should be more accurately entitled “In Support of our Theft.”
Or the aforementioned “(Oracle is) Selfish and Conniving.”
Or the aforementioned “This Isn’t a Burglary, We Were Told Everything Was Free.”
Google’s Walker writes:
“A decision in Oracle’s favor would limit consumers’ freedom to use technologies on a range of devices.”
No. It would limit thieves’ ability to steal technologies.
You can’t have interoperability – if people stop making things to interoperate because everyone keeps stealing them.
When Google isn’t imploring you to buy their ridiculous anti-human nature assertions – they’re attempting a ridiculous legal argument…“fair use.”
They say the 11,500 lines of code they stole – is protected theft under the legal shield of “fair use.” Except….
Here’s the legal definition of “fair use”:
“(In US copyright law) the doctrine that brief excerpts of copyright material may, under certain circumstances, be quoted verbatim for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching, and research, without the need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder.”
ALL of which has to do with the written word. NONE of which has anything to do with computer code:
“Google stole 11,500 lines of Oracle’s Java code. To call 11,500 of anything ‘brief’ or “‘small’ – or any other diminutive adjective – is absurd.
“Was what Google stole – used for ‘criticism, news reporting, teaching,…(or) research?’ Of course not.
“Because you can’t use computer code to do any of those things.
“Google used Oracle’s Java – to make what became the world’s most used mobile operating system.
“Google is using Oracle’s Java – to make money.”
There is nothing high-minded – or legal – about what Google did.
Google did to Oracle what it does all the time to all sorts of people and companies. Steal – and deal with the consequences later.
Consequences mightily mitigated – by Google’s massive one trillion dollar size. There is almost no person or company on the planet that can afford to challenge Google – let alone defeat them.
Google is a corporate bully. Stealing all the smaller kids’ lunch money – because the kids are too small to stop them.
Small kid Oracle – decided to fight back.
Here’s hoping the Supreme Court stands up for Google’s victim(s) – and the rule of law.
This first appeared in Red State.