OpenJDK JRE & Embedded Devices
hwadechandler-openjdk at yahoo.com
hwadechandler-openjdk at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 2 04:15:50 UTC 2011
----- Original Message ----
> From: Mario Torre <neugens at limasoftware.net>
> To: Stephen Colebourne <scolebourne at joda.org>
> Cc: discuss at openjdk.java.net
> Sent: Tue, February 1, 2011 2:05:09 PM
> Subject: Re: OpenJDK JRE & Embedded Devices
> Il giorno mar, 01/02/2011 alle 13.33 +0000, Stephen Colebourne ha
> > On 1 February 2011 11:30, Andrew Haley <aph at redhat.com> 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
> > > (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.
The OpenJDK license and agreements clearly state that one can create any
product as a derivative of OpenJDK. If one wants to get a JCK license and make
claims of Java compatibility then they need to not modify things considerably
and there are certain things which can't be changed or touched. Otherwise, and
outside of compatibility, one can do much of what they want with the openjdk as
long as the derivative is licensed according to the terms of the openjdk
license. That means one can even distribute and link to that derivative as
needed per the openjdk license.
The keys are 1) being a derivative 2) do you want to claim "Java" compatibility
or not 3) do you want to use the trade mark OpenJDK outside of "fair use" only
terms and if so must not change the derivative beyond a majority. 2 and 3 are
really optional based on use etc.
IANAL but some of this looks pretty obvious.
Apache Harmony and Android are two completely different issues from OpenJDK
derivatives (with changes or not), so those things really are separate. There
are clear words in the licenses of the Java Specifications, but then their
origin, the JCP and the agreement the JSPA should invalidate those encumbrances,
but of course on the Android issue if Google copied and pasted some code...their
Just a bit of a blabber and rant here. Please ignore if you don't want to read a
1) The issue with Harmony isn't whether they can distribute the software; well,
it is and it isn't per the use of the TCK and field of use and the JCP and JSPA
along with prior public statements made by Sun; would be a legal battle.
This is because it is a clean room implementation apparently, and with OpenJDK
they explicitly say one can create derivative works (including those which
change things considerable as long as they don't claim compatibility with "Java"
nor run or get the TCK for it). I think what Sun and now Oracle is doing in that
regard, considering their own processes, documents, and statements prior to
Harmony, is completely wrong. Were a valid court to exist which understood all
this, invalid meaning courts don't have the expertise in house without external
counsel to try to make the best decision they can on such subject matter, and
someone willing to test how well this would hold up in court, then I think that
would be cleared up, but given the parameters at hand, it seems nothing is going
to happen there.
My personal feeling is Apache should just release Harmony without that
certification and not make the claim about Java and compatibility...not even
call it Java perhaps, but I think Sun/Oracle's own claims and statements would
be used against them were they to try to take Apache to court for any use of the
word Java or compatibility even without running the TCK (their "planned" license
terms...i.e. what folks were voting on at the time or probably more correctly
the information which led to groups working on the JSR to its completion etc;
was work on the spec obtained by unjust means if prior to license release
statements of good faith were publicly made or in a manner which can be
verified). Let's say Harmony was 6 versus Java 5:
"7. Nothing in the licensing terms will prevent open source projects from
creating and distributing their own compatible open source implementations of
Java SE 6, using standard open source licenses. (Yes, you can create your own
open source implementation of Java SE 6 if you really want to. But we're also
doing everything we can to make it easy for you to use the original RI sources!
See http://jdk6.dev.java.net.) "
"10. The Java SE 6 TCK will be offered for license at no charge, with trademark
and branding rights, but without support, to qualified not-for-profit entities
(including not-for-profit academic institutions) and qualified individuals
engaged in efforts to create compatible implementations of the Java SE 6
Understandably Apache is in a tight spot though... They have other projects etc,
and law suits cost money. That money affects the other operations; too much and
it could kill Apache. The above statements, Oracles prior statements in
Harmony's defense, and the JSPA seems like a hell of a case.
Too, I think if one looks how Apache is structured there is money coming from
different companies which probably influence some of that too; different
employees involved, different CEOs pulling wallet strings, etc etc. I can't say
for sure on some specifics, but there are certainly different interests
involved. Different Apache devs and members signing NDAs etc and working for
competitors. Can cloud some things even more; such as who is really doing X for
the greater good versus a competitive edge and who can trust who and how common
ground is achieved. Just being real here.
I believe there are some clear violations on Sun and now Oracles part which
would play out in Apache's favor in courts. Good faith statements matter, and we
have a lot of that taking place in different capacities from both Sun and Oracle
in the past. Of course, this all depends on which state one were to sue as well,
and this would have to be California, USA.
2) Android Dalvik is not a JDK nor JRE. It is a different thing altogether which
converts binaries. I think at the end of the day, based on Oracles own
statements before purchasing Sun in relation to Apache Harmony and other things,
some of what occurs with OpenJDK, other things related to be able to implement
Java specifications as long as you don't mention Java or run the TCK etc the
case will be very hard to prove one way or another with regard to patents if
those statements are allowed to be entered as evidence along with some of the
above from the harmony section.
Now, what could get them in the hornets nest so to speak is if there is a line
by line copy of some code some where. Obviously this would have to be technical
code, but too, courts don't have the skills required to really sort this
out...legal folks are smart in their areas, but when it comes to CS, if they
don't have that background, they can't really get it, and that could make
technical code versus "public String toString()" or something harder for them to
That said, that part of the issue is manageable with regard to exposure if it
can be proven that steps taken by Google affected Oracles wallet directly; i.e.
were damages done. Damages etc would be paid along with costs and penalty, code
would be changed, probably a cease and desist would be in place until the court
is satisfied. Hopefully Google didn't do that. If they did, then it will be more
cloudy; carriers will probably drop them etc and that could likely kill Android
or cause a slow death of developers fearing no indemnification if they continue
outside a cease and desist.
Too, does the Dalvik have anything from the JVM in there. Are we just talking
about the converter/compiler versus the runtime. That will all just have to play
But, something I can see here is perhaps a shifting of the winds were Google to
win. It would be a game changer for Apache and all I believe. Precedence would
be set. New parameters would be visible for all. I think the JCP and some other
things would get cleared up if their prior statements came to be the Achilles
All this just really points to issues with software patents; leaving out whether
or not copyright issues were violated or not; definitely copy and paste is a bad
thing. I mean, what parts of Java were inspired by reading specifications for
other languages? What keywords came from some other specification? What
libraries ideas were copied from some other system? On and on. It is like
patenting nuclear processes. We don't create those things; we just learn how to
understand them. Same with applications or that damn one click bid thing someone
patented ;-). If we continue on such a course I can envision a time when writing
a program would be more about what one can legally implement versus getting the
work done. Yeah...that economy will work out for us.
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