McNealy backs Oracle against Google

Former Sun boss Scott McNealy has backed Oracle in its claims that Google needed a license to use Sun’s Java programming interfaces in Android.

According to Computerworld, this view was the opposite of Jonathan Schwartz, who became Sun’s CEO after McNealy and was also on the stand yesterday. Schwartz said that Java was open and said that Sun never felt it had grounds to bring a lawsuit against Google.

The question then becomes who do you believe. McNealy co-founded Sun in 1982 and was its chairman and CEO until 2006, when he handed the CEO title to Schwartz. He was chairman until Oracle bought Sun.

However Schwartz moved Sun in a much more open saucy direction and the two disagreed with each other on several issues. Schwartz said his bog at Sun was the company’s corporate policy and were “the equivalent of holding a press conference.”

This is one of the reasons why a 2007 post from Schwartz congratulating Google on Android’s release has become an important piece of evidence at trial.

But McNealy said he had never read Schwartz’s bog. He thought they were personal and not corporate statements.

He also disagreed on whether companies needed a license to use Sun’s application programming interfaces for Java.

McNealy told the court that Sun licensed its APIs and compared them to “architectural drawings.” This is similar to Oracle’s argument that APIs were “blueprints.”

But Schwartz testified that companies could use Java without a license so long as they didn’t claim to be “Java compatible” or use the Java logo.

Robert Van Nest, an attorney for Google, pointed out that McNealy was a mate of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and that he had made “a great deal of money” when Oracle bought Sun.

Van Nest also noted that McNealy referred to Ellison in a speech last year as “a national economic hero” and suggested renaming a local airport after him.

McNealy countered that anyone who pays that much tax is a national economic hero.

Michael Jacobs, an attorney for Oracle, waded into Schwartz asking if he had not been “fired on day one” when Oracle took over Sun.

Schwartz said that he thought he resigned because they already had a CEO.