OpenJDK and JNI -- licensing

Florian Weimer fweimer at
Wed Jul 8 10:53:22 UTC 2009

* Andrew Haley:

> Volker Simonis wrote:
>> Yes, I understand that conflict. But the HotSpot library
>> itself is build mostly from files which are pure GPL and some files
>> (in particular "jni.h") which are GPL + class path exception).
>> So how can "jni.cpp" (which is GPL only) include "jni.h" (which is GPL
>> + class path) and finally be statically linked with other GPL only
>> files into a GPL-only ""???
> Why not?  GPL'd code can use GPL+exception code.  What makes you
> think otherwise?

It fails the common sense check.  If GPL+exception code relies on
GPL-only code for execution, the code isn't GPL+exception, really, but
rather GPL-only.

(IIRC, OpenJDK also contains some Apache 2.0 code, so there is a
licensing inconsistency there.  It's not just that the end result
isn't GPL-only instead of GPL+exception.)

Florian Weimer                <fweimer at>
BFK edv-consulting GmbH
Kriegsstraße 100              tel: +49-721-96201-1
D-76133 Karlsruhe             fax: +49-721-96201-99

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