Will OpenJDK never contain other GPLed code?

David Herron David.Herron at Sun.COM
Wed Aug 15 23:25:37 UTC 2007

Volker Simonis wrote:
> 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?
> Volker

Does the SCA FAQ answer any questions?

In particular the SCA has the contributor assign joint rights so that 
both Sun and the contributor own the contributed code. 

- David Herron

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