OpenJDK JRE & Embedded Devices

Mario Torre neugens at
Tue Feb 1 19:05:09 UTC 2011

Il giorno mar, 01/02/2011 alle 13.33 +0000, Stephen Colebourne ha
> On 1 February 2011 11:30, Andrew Haley <aph at> wrote:
> > All of us on this list believe that OpenJDK is free software, and you
> > have the freedom to:
> >
> >    * run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
> >    * study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish
> > (freedom 1).
> >    * redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
> >    * distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3).
> "All of us on this list believe that OpenJDK is free software". No,
> I'm afraid I unconvinced that Oracle's lawyers/managers necessarily
> agree, at least in the way that the point was phrased above:
> - Considerable efforts have been undertaken to prevent an open source
> implementation of Java SE from running on embedded devices
> (Harmony/Android)

Java, yes. We're talking about OpenJDK here, though. I know at least two
cases where OpenJDK has been put and sold on different embedded devices.

So, this is possible as soon as you *comply* with the *license*.

The corner case is hotspot, but if I remember correctly Cacao managed to
get the TCK running a mixture of Classpath and OpenJDK:

So there is at least at least an historical precedent.

> - There is an active legal case (vs Google).

I don't comment on this here, but I believe that, unfair as it is, if
Google used OpenJDK they would have avoided this. We have no proof of
this though, so it doesn't matter.

> - There are active and known patents claimed (see Google case).
> - Oracle doesn't necessarily respect legal & social agreements,
> notably when the other party is a not-for-profit (Harmony/JSPA)

Well, this is a bit exaggerating, they are not super legal entities...

> - The strength of the GPLv2 has yet to be fully tested in court IMO.

Nobody in the world ever violated the GPL so that no legal action was
ever required? Wow, so probably the GPL alone is indeed enough :)

> Some consider the above to be FUD, I consider it to be healthy
> scepticism based on how the Oracle is running the ecosystem. YMMV.

It could be legitimate fear, which I partially share, but the way you
put it is really just FUD, really.

pgp key: PGP Key ID: 80F240CF
Fingerprint: BA39 9666 94EC 8B73 27FA  FC7C 4086 63E3 80F2 40CF

Proud GNU Classpath developer:
Read About us at:

Please, support open standards:

More information about the discuss mailing list