Will OpenJDK never contain other GPLed code?

Volker Simonis volker.simonis at gmail.com
Wed Aug 15 23:04:05 UTC 2007

During the discussion on a different thread on this list regarding the
disassembler library for the HotSpot I realized, that although the
OpenJDK is released under the GPL, it is currently impossible to
contribute or integrate other source code, that is also licensed under
the GPL, into OpenJDK, because it would be probably impossible to get
a Sun Contributor Agreement (SCA) for such code. And SUN will probably
refuse to integrate code into the JDK that can't be integrated into
the official SUN J2SE distribution which is not GPL.

In the OpenJDK FAQ (see
http://www.sun.com/software/opensource/java/faq.jsp#n3) SUN writes:
"..when we chose the GPL as the basis for Sun's open-source Java SE
implementations, we made it easy to combine the open-source JDK code
base with other GPL-licensed code bases such as GNU/Linux, GNU
Classpath, Kaffe, GNOME, and others".

That's true, however the other way round, combine GPL-licensed
software with OpenJDK becomes impossible because of the need of a SCA.
Therefore it becomes impossible for OpenJDK to profit from GPL
software. Notice that I'm speaking about the "official" OpenJDK here,
not any branches thereof (like for example IcedTea), that don't have
these problems.

Is this intended? Any comments?


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