Online Row over Google's use of Oracle Code

An online row has broken out over whether Google Android handsets contain code belonging to Oracle.

On Friday, software patent blogger Florian Mueller claimed to have discovered 37 files marked "Proprietary/Confidential" in Android that had been lifted directly from Sun's Java code.

Sun's new owner, Oracle, was already suing Google for seven instances of directly copying copyrighted material in Android.

However, over the weekend, reports have dismissed Mueller's claims. ZDNet's "expert developer" Ed Burnette claimed that the report of stolen files "just isn't true", adding that the 37 files were "tucked away in a directory used for native code audio drivers for one particular type of chipset" and "were not shipped with Android".

Mueller has hit back at Burnette's claims, arguing that "simply because code is not in the make file for the default Android build does not mean it isn't being used by an OEM somewhere".

He then claims to have found the files in Android source code published by handset makers Motorola, LG and Samsung, although he concedes that he hasn't "been able to check whether the relevant code is also shipped with the devices themselves".

Burnette suggests the handset makers "probably relied on the presumed legality of the Android codebase".

Other vendors, such as HTC and Dell, have omitted the files in question from their source code.

Google has declined to make any official comment on the allegations at the time of publication.

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