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From "Danny Angus" <>
Subject RE: [JavaMail] concerns
Date Tue, 19 Aug 2003 12:21:35 GMT

> Danny, I took a quick look at the JavaMail licence and its pretty huge
> and I"m not too hot at reading big complex licences full of legal
> speak. Could we redistribute Sun's JavaMail API in binary form as part
> of the Geronimo project? If so could we also put the jar in the Maven
> repository to avoid painful user-intervention to get Geronimo to build?
> (i.e. so that the build process of Geronimo could auto-download Sun's
> JavaMail API?).
> If we can do the above then I agree creating a clone of the JavaMail
> API with the various required implementation code to conform to the API
> might not be a good idea - we might as well just use Sun's API distro.
> I guess it depends on how we're allowed to reuse Sun's API distro.

We've had this issue in James, it is part of the wider and longer running
"jars in cvs" debate so familiar to jakarta participants, and the conclusion
of our investigation of JavaMail was that it is acceptable to distribute it
as part of a binary, which we do. If we couldn't I expect James would also
be looking to create an ASFL-friendly JavaMail alternative.

However we're not allowed to put it in CVS, and in fact thats pretty much
the case for all 3rd party jars, because it is difficult (read impossible)
to ensure that people can't download them without first agreeing to their
licence conditions.
I understand that this is because "viewcvs" provides access to the jar
without compelling people to also download any other files, never mind
actually read the licence.

Someone, who deserves more credit than my forgetting who it was, produced
ant tasks for james which allow james' build to include a step which
automatically retrieves JavaMail, Activation and JUnit jars from their
respective homes, and compels the user to agree to accept the licence.

This is AFAIK allowable (or acceptable to Sun) under the licence.

The result is that the first time you build James you have to accept these
licences, and the jars are downloaded for you.
Thereafter the build is indistinguishable from the process having the jars
available from cvs, and the built binaries are distributable.

As both James and Geronimo use JavaMail as it is intended and for the
purpose it was written I don't see why our (Geronimo's) use of it should be
restricted by the licence, in exactly the same manner as Tomcat's "normal"
use of the Servlet API is not restricted by it's licence.


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