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From Mark Wielaard <m...@klomp.org>
Subject Re: The Unofficial "Harmony, Licensing, the Universe and everything" FAQ
Date Sat, 12 Nov 2005 15:26:35 GMT
Hi Leo,

On Wed, 2005-11-09 at 05:38 -0800, Leo Simons wrote:
> I keep getting lost in the licensing discussions. I *think* the below accurately
> represents where we are right now.

Thanks for writing this down. I'll try to clarify some things below. 

There is one nitpick with the whole setup though. It really reads as if
harmony is just an ordinary Apache project. While when we started it we
want it to be something that is a much larger cooperative effort between
various different individuals, organizations and projects with similar
goals but completely different backgrounds. Presenting harmony as just
an Apache project doesn't do justice to it. And I feel it will fail if
we do that. There are a lot of people working on all the sister projects
who we currently are not giving the feeling they are part of our harmony
collaboration. This is not something specific to your email though. I
often get the feeling that people on this list act as if Apache is the
be all, end all for harmony and getting to a free software replacement
for the proprietary non-free j2se implementations. And that does push
away a lot of people who have been working on all this for years without
any Apache involvement at all. I personally feel that way at times
reading some of the discussions. Lets try to be a little more inclusive
and get the support of those hundreds of people working already on the
same goal, but who don't currently feel part of harmony.

>     = The Unofficial "Harmony, Licensing, the Universe and everything" FAQ =

> Q: under what license is the harmony code?
> A: the Apache License, version 2.0. Parts of our code are licensed to the ASF
>    under the terms of its Contributor License Agreement and/or its Corporate
>    Contributor License Agreement, licenses which allow the ASF to sublicense
>    those contributions to its users under the terms of the Apache License,
>    version 2.0.
>    Parts of our code may be licensed under terms which allow sublicensing of
>    under the terms of the Apache License. Such licenses include the MIT/X
>    License and the modified BSD license, and potentially others.
>    Parts of our code may be dependent on binaries licensed under terms which
>    allow sublicensing of those binaries under the Apache License and for which
>    the source code of those binaries is licensed under an open source license.
>    Such licenses include the MPL version 1.1, the CDDL version 1.0, and
>    potentially others.
>    Parts of our code may have optional dependencies on binaries or source code
>    licensed under other terms. For example, the Microsoft Windows version of
>    harmony obviously depends on the availability of Microsoft Windows, which,
>    the last time we checked, was not available under an open source license.
>    You can use these individual parts seperately under whatever terms apply to
>    them. We are making an effort to track the licenses that apply to all
>    significant individual parts of our code.

And add: "We do ask that all contributions are also available under
terms that allow integration into larger works distributed under other
Free Software licenses such as the (L)GPL to make sure the contribution
can be shared by the whole community".

> Q: does or will harmony depend on code licensed under the LGPL?
> A: Maybe. The ASF is working on a specific policy for allowing ASF projects to
>    have optional dependencies on binaries licensed under the LGPL.

If there is a timetable for this effort then it would be good to mention
this. I understood it will be discussed during the next ApacheCon.

> Q: does or will harmony code depend on GNU Classpath?
> A: Maybe. Once the ASF and FSF legal teams settle the LGPL stuff described
>    above, hopefully more attention will turn to answering whether we can / want
>    to depend on Classpath (from the legal perspective). (GNU Classpath is
>    licensed under the GPL but has a special exception:
>      http://www.gnu.org/software/classpath/license.html
>    ) which may or may not turn out to be acceptable. Even if the exception is
>    not suitable in its current form the ASF will try to work with the FSF and
>    the GNU Classpath developers to figure out some kind of workable arrangement.

Right, I think it is good to emphasize that part. Also again it would be
good to have a timetable associated with this. I know the ASF board has
been asked to review and give specific feedback on this, but I haven't
heard anything on the progress.

> Q: does or will harmony code depend on "external component X"?
> A: Quite often! For example, we're certainly not writing a C compiler or an
>    implementation of make. Similarly, there's open source versions of a variety
>    of tools that are part of the standard java tool suite already out there
>    (like implementations of 'javadoc' or 'jar' or 'keytool').

There is a list of such tools in one of my previous emails. Might be
good to reference or include them here:

> Q: can I combine the harmony code with code licensed under the GPLv2?
> A: we don't know. The ASF considers this issue in "legal limbo" and has no
>    official statement on the matter other than that. See:
>      http://www.apache.org/licenses/GPL-compatibility.html
>    Note that the FSF answer currently (November 9, 2005) a solid "no". See
>      http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/

It would be good to know any progress or primary contacts for solving
this "legal limbo". I know FSF legal has offered a couple of suggestions
to make the ASLv2 unambiguously GPLv2 compatible, but again I don't know
who is tracking that issue or what the current status is.

> Q: can I combine the harmony code with GNU Classpath?
> A: we don't know. The GNU Classpath project makes an exception to the GPLv2 (See
>     http://www.gnu.org/software/classpath/license.html
>    ), but the ASF legal counsel is not confident that this exception fixes the
>    problem described above.

Do you have a pointer to specific issues that ASF legal counsel has with
respect to the exception text?

>    The developers of the GNU Classpath project don't know yet either.

While the above "legal limbo" distributing a combined ASLv2/GPLv2 code
base as a larger work isn't clarified it is impossible to include any
harmony code distributed under the ASLv2 in GNU Classpath. That is why
we ask all contributors to make sure their contributions also available
under terms that are GPLv2-compatible like W3C/MIT/X/etc.



Escape the Java Trap with GNU Classpath!

Join the community at http://planet.classpath.org/

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