OpenJDK and JNI -- licensing

Kevin Regan galabar at
Tue Jul 7 22:44:32 UTC 2009

I'm not asking licensing issues about demo or sample code.  I'm asking for samples explaining how the license applies to JNI and pure Java applications.

This certainly is not a flight of human imagination.  Most developers are going to want to know (a) if their pure Java class files fall under the GPL and (b) if their JNI code falls under the GPL.  I might agree if we took it further than that.  There is no need for lawyers here.  You know the answer to this and can provide it directly.

I think it is telling that you have yet to say that "yes, JNI code falls under the Classpath exception and does not become subject to the GPL."  We could have avoided many emails if this was your original response (along with a link to the FAQ).

Maybe we could end this discussion with you agreeing to the quoted portion above? :-)


> Date: Tue, 7 Jul 2009 23:16:50 +0200
> From: Dalibor.Topic at Sun.COM
> Subject: Re: OpenJDK and JNI -- licensing
> To: galabar at
> CC: volker.simonis at; discuss at
> Kevin Regan wrote:
> > It would be great if Sun could give some specific examples in the FAQ to allay our fears. 
> It does, actually:
> There are plenty of examples in the demo and samples sections of the OpenJDK
> source code covering all kinds of use scenarios, with or without JNI.
> What the FAQ can't do is to provide an answer for any arbitrary scenario 
> someone comes up with -  as human imagination knows few boundaries, that's 
> ultimately what professional legal advice is for. You won't find it here, 
> though, in case that's not been obvious from all the replies so far - this 
> is a mailing list for developers.
> What the FAQ also can't do is to explain the basics of the GPL, software
> licensing, etc - there are plenty of resources that can explain the 
> mechanics of all that, in particular there are legal professionals who 
> can offer such advice where necessary. As you'd expect, that's all mentioned 
> in the FAQ, too:
> Finally, my answers are linking to the FAQ because it saves me the effort 
> to type paragraphs like this one that point out the obvious.[1] ;)
> cheers,
> dalibor topic
> [1] I wrestled with myself for a bit trying to figure out whether to include 
> this joke paragraph or not - but given that it's late in the evening over here
> in Germany, I'll pat myself on the back for managing to sneak in a 
> self-referential paragraph into the discussion ;)
> It'd be cool if replies to this post were haikus - licensing discussions tend 
> to produce boring prose without some concentrated effort to make them fun.
> -- 
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