Public open specs
mark at klomp.org
Fri Nov 14 07:01:48 PST 2008
On Fri, 2008-11-14 at 15:05 +0100, Dalibor Topic wrote:
> Mark Wielaard wrote:
> > Yes, getting these things published without any click-through licenses
> > would indeed be really good.
> Great, than I'll continue poking around there, and report back as I hear
> more. Thank you for your patience, and
> continued friendly reminders, I really appreciate them.
No worries, I'll keep reminding.
> > There are currently restrictions on the JSRs that prevent
> > reusing any Sun OpenJDK code for implementations because they aren't
> > considered "independent" because of clause 5 ('"Independent
> > Implementation" shall mean an implementation of the Specification that
> > neither derives from any of Sun's source code or binary code
> > materials, ...').
> That does not seem to be a GPL compatibility issue to me.
It explicitly says that the license is only for implementing an
Independent Implementation, and that code derived from Sun's source code
is not considered an "Independent Implementation". Since we are talking
about OpenJDK (Sun's source code), which is distributed under the GPL
that seems an conflict. Unless Sun declares that accepting this JSR
license agreement does not in any way take away any rights that were
granted under the GPL for OpenJDK and that even after accepting the JSR
license you are allowed to publish any derivative work of OpenJDK
without any restrictions following the GPL.
> > clauses 2
> > (a - c) limit the scope of the code you can publish, which conflicts
> > with the rights granted under the GPL, which doesn't limit the scope
> > ("does not modify, subset, superset, etc.").
> If what you have is your personal non-lawyerly opinion, than that's
> cool, too - but in that case I'd suggest
> focusing the argument for spec license changes on more promising aspects
> - the GPL incompatibility
> argument is not really a great tool for me to work with in face of a lot
> of GPLd code successfully
> implementing JSRs showing the opposite.
I am somewhat puzzled by your reply. For years we have known that the
restrictions mentioned in these JSR licenses are incompatible with the
way our communities work. You have been a very good spokesperson for the
community explaining why these kind of restrictive licenses used by Sun
are just nuts. I have read and laughed a lot about blog posts you made
in the past explaining such things in simple, direct words. That you now
suddenly don't see how these restrictions on what code you can publish
are incompatible with the whole spirit of the GPL is somewhat strange to
That we as a community have never accepted these restrictive licenses to
implement GNU Classpath, GCJ, Kaffe, etc. and still managed to create
such a volume of code that was to a high degree compatible with the
proprietary reference implementations is a big compliment to the
dedication of the community. It does not however in any way make the
restrictions written down in clauses 2 (a - c) less true.
I had hoped that now that Sun itself is publishing code under the GPL
and now that you, who in the past understood the bad effect of these
restrictions all too well, work for Sun, would mean we could make
progress in getting these documents finally published in the open. In a
free way, so there are no restrictions on the code that people can
publish who just want to read these JSRs.
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