updated 06:00 pm EDT, Thu April 19, 2012
Lindholm says Google didn't mean it owed money
Google engineer Tim Lindholm used testimony in Oracle's ongoing lawsuit over Java in Android to deny claims that form a cornerstone of the complaint. He denied that a potentially incriminating 2010 e-mail where he said "we need to negotiate a license for Java under the terms we need" was an acknowledgment that Google knew it had violated Oracle's copyrights and patents. He instead claimed that was "not a license from anybody," not Oracle or anyone else.
Doubts have existed over the sincerity of the statements. The full message, between Lindholm and mobile VP Andy Rubin, had Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin asking if there was an alternative to avoid using Java entirely in Android and Chrome. If not under legal pressure, Google would have had little incentive to look for a wholesale replacement.
Regarding a 2005 e-mail, now-CEO Page had previously denied knowing for certain that a "Tim" copied on a Java-related message was Lindholm. The engineer also said he didn't recall details of a meeting with Rubin over Java. Lindholm had joined Google in 2005, coming from a then-active Sun as one of its core engineers behind Java.
The e-mail won't necessarily determine the outcome of the lawsuit. Google has been contending that it doesn't need a license as the components of Java it used didn't require a paid license. Oracle has disagreed, although it has had to significantly lower its damage claims to tens of millions, which would ultimately mitigate the threat to Google's business as long as it doesn't lead to a ban on Android. [via CNET, image via Java in the Box]