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From Dalibor Topic <robi...@kaffe.org>
Subject Re: SableVM? -- ICLA details
Date Fri, 24 Mar 2006 13:38:22 GMT
Leo Simons wrote:

>> , that that can
>> lead to no end of confusion over the actual license of a VM using
>> modules from Harmony, if the SableVM developer believes to have a say in
>> it.
> 
> No I would say that it cannot, since that sablevm developer would at a minimum
> have licensed the software under the apache license to apache, and then apache
> would have licensed that software to the end user under the apache license, and
> what that means is rather clear.
> 

It's not clear at all to me from reading the ASL2, so let's spell it 
out: Would such a hypothetical developer have a say in the license of a 
VM using Harmony's modules or not? Cliff?

>> I'm asking since going to court over disagreement of Kaffe's license's effects 
>> has been explained to me by some SableVM developers as a possible consequence 
>> of using SableVM's code in the past
> 
> I have no idea what "Kaffe's license's effects" means. 

Some SableVM developers have asserted in the past that running some 
applications on top of a GPLd VM constitutes a crime, which could be 
avoided by using SableVM, rather than other VMs.

That was due to an unfortunate misinterpretation of the actual effect of 
the GPL, which had the even more unfortunate side effect that some 
people have blown it way out of proportion, and waged a campaign against 
distributors of GPLd VMs, their users and packagers for over two years. 
It was not very pleasant while it lasted.

I would very much like to avoid that Harmony's downstream users have to 
go through the same time wasting ordeal over and over again, that 
various people outside of SbaleVM went through a few times. Having 
submarine copyright holders on VMs using Harmony's VM modules or class 
libraries would be a pretty bad thing.

The requested changes sound to me like asking for shared copyright in 
all VMs using Harmony's modules, and I just want to know if that is the 
case, or not. Preferrably from the people asking for those changes. :)

> Honestly, the IP trail for
> kaffe is at best incomprehensible to most mortals, so I can somehow imagine lots
> of room for disagreement :-). 

Given that it's the oldest active free software VM, with an active, 
collaborative, transparent development community going back to 1996,
I don't think there are any questions regarding Kaffe's development 
history.

It's all been done out there in the open, afaict.

> The apache license is a rather nice license. If you trust it to be valid, and that
> all the people applying it apply it properly, and you yourself apply it properly,
> then there is not so much room for different interpretation or confusion as there
> is for (for example) GPLv2, and hence not so much chance of getting sued.

Most license stewards try leave very little room for confusion in their 
licenses, be it FSF, ASF, or anyone else. There is as little room for 
confusion in the GPL as is in the ASL2. Both work pretty much the same 
way, they only differ in the scope of how much of an author's rights 
they chose to pass on, under which specific conditions, and some small 
details, like using a lawyer-friendly vs. rest-of-us-friendly terminology.

Other than that, it's all the same thing: the let you use works, modify, 
lern from, pass them on freely, and have fun, based on copyright law.

At least from where I stand. :)

cheers,
dalibor topic

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