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From Dalibor Topic <robi...@kaffe.org>
Subject Re: Full disclosure - GPL exception stuff (licensing - yuck!)
Date Sun, 04 Dec 2005 14:41:13 GMT
On Sat, Dec 03, 2005 at 06:20:18PM -0500, Fred Fox wrote:
> > I don't
> > care how 'free java' is licensed, as long as I can link proprietary code
> > to it if needs be, and it frees me from using Sun's java, and all the
> > restrictions that that entails.
> 
> The day you don't just want to link proprietary code, but want to make a proprietary
modification to GregorianCalendar, you'll appreciate the freedom of the ASL compared to GPL
+/- exceptions.
> 
> /FF

Fred Fox wrote:
>>I don't
>>care how 'free java' is licensed, as long as I can link proprietary
>>code
>>to it if needs be, and it frees me from using Sun's java, and all the
>>restrictions that that entails.
> 
> 
> The day you don't just want to link proprietary code, but want to make
> a proprietary modification to GregorianCalendar, you'll appreciate the
> freedom of the ASL compared to GPL +/- exceptions.
> 

Hmm, google knows no Fred Fox that deals with Apache or Java,
interesting. Welcome to the internet, anonymous friend ;)

That's an interesting way to see it, but bright people seem to have
found ways of doing all sorts of things within the very liberal
licensing framework created by the FSF using the GPL+linking exception
in the past 10+ years, including Sun, Microsoft, IBM, Apple, ... and
trust me, they don't only make open source software. I am sure if you
ponder on it long enough, the words "linking exception" will show you a
way how to have your proprietary GregorianCalendar code linked with the
rest of the GPL+linking exception licensed class libraries.

If on the other hand, your beef is with using code licensed under terms
making proprietary modifications hard, then may I introduce you the the
wonderful world of the BCL [1], under which many reference
implementations of standards in the Java technology space are licensed,
ocassionally without an open source alternative, including J2SE? 

As one of its core features, the BCL does not allow proprietary
modifications, or in fact, *any* modifications *at all* of the shipped
reference implementations in order to preserve standards compliance,
afaik. And guess what? Many Apache projects have *hard* BCL licensed
library dependencies (JMI, etc.), and many of them still require a BCL
licensed J2SE implementation to run. They won't build or run without
those BCL licensed dependencies. At all.

As long as Apache projects can and do happily use code that makes any
modification impossible (and that's fine for me, we'll just have to
reimplement that as free software eventually, or to find better ways to
do the tasks), I don't see how we can even have a discussion about
Apache projects being worse off using code that explicitely makes
modifications possible.

Please, do come back once you've made all apache.org java software build
and run with IKVM and ecj, I'll be here. Once you've fixed all the
instances of ASF's software depending on BCLd code that prohibts any
modification at all, then we can definitely talk about use of code under
licenses presumably limiting proprietary modifications in Apache projects.

I am looking forward to seeing your contributions in form of patches to
various Apache.org projects. Talk is cheap, right? So do show us the
code, please.

cheers,
dalibor topic

[1] from http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.5.0/jdk-1_5_0-license.txt

3. RESTRICTIONS. Software is confidential and copyrighted. 
Title to Software and all associated intellectual property 
rights is retained by Sun and/or its licensors. Unless 
enforcement is prohibited by applicable law, *you may not 
modify*, decompile, or reverse engineer *Software*."


> 
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