Two former Sun chief executive have given conflicting opinions in court over whether Google needed to license Java when developing its Android smartphone operating system.
Both Jonathan Schwartz and Scott McNealy have testifying as part of the courtroom battle between Google and Oracle – which now owns Java.
According to multiple court reports, Schwartz testified that Google did not need a licence for Java application programming interfaces.
“These are open APIs, and we wanted to bring in more people,” he is reported to have said. “We wanted to build the biggest tent and invite as many people as possible."
But that view was dismissed by McNealy, who had been Sun's chief executive before Schwartz and served as chairman during Schwartz's tenure.
McNealy told the court that Sun charged for licensing Java APIs, which he compared to an architect's blueprints.
“This licence would allow you to use the architectural drawings, but you could build your own house,” said McNealy.
Under cross-examination from Oracle's lawyers, Schwartz also admitted that there had been disquiet over Google's use of the Java APIs.
He was read emails from Sun's senior management team in 2008 that complained about Google building Java without making attributions to Java.
"We didn't like it but we weren't going to stop it by complaining about it," Schwartz said.
Oracle has alleged that Google infringed on more than three dozen Java APIs in the development of Android.
Google has consistently argued that the only parts of the Java stack that were used in developing Android did not need licences.
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