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Free Software Foundation slams Oracle

Asks users to help defend Google
Fri Sep 10 2010, 14:36

THE TARGET is Oracle for the open source community, according to the Free Software Foundation (FSF), which is calling on the community to take on Oracle over its patent infringement lawsuit against Google.

In a blog posting Brett Smith of the FSF Licensing Compliance Lab called on open source users to start adding information relevant to the case to its End Software Patents wiki, in order to build up a repository of prior art evidence that can be used in the upcoming legal wranglings in court and before the US Patent and Trademark Office. A letter writing campaign to Oracle's CEO, Larry Ellison has also been proposed.

"An aggressive infringement suit over software patents is a clear attack against someone's freedom to use, share, modify, and redistribute software - freedoms that everyone should always have," Smith said.

Google could have avoided the legal action by using the GPL'd Java runtime environment IcedTea for Android, which would have provided patent protection.

Google is not above defending its own patents and, in testimony at the Bilski patent hearings at the Supreme Court, Google didn't oppose software patents. µ


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