www-legal-discuss mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: Java SE IP Issues (affects Apache Harmony)
Date Wed, 14 Sep 2005 22:56:35 GMT
Eric Dittert wrote:
> All that said, I have 
> heard people claim that any implementation of an API 
> specification {may, probably does, or must
> - depending on who you ask} infringe copyright in the API 
> specification.
<snip>
> Another source that might be relevant (if not greatly 
> enlightening) is the license provided by Sun to the SE Specification:
> http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.5.0/docs/relnotes/license.html
> It purports to grant a license "under any applicable 
> copyrights or patent rights ... in the Specification to 
> create and/or distribute an Independent Implementation of the 
> Specification ..." provided the implementation passes the 
> TCK, etc, etc.  Whether such a license is actually necessary, 
> though, is left as an exercise to the reader. 

Did anyone here contractually agree to certain terms or conditions before
you would implement Sun's API specification? Did anyone here obtain and use
Sun's API specifications upon condition that you would pass their TCK? 

Failing to pass the TCK in those circumstances could be *breach of contract*
but not *infringement*. Black letter law: One infringes copyright by
copying, not by independent implementation. Whether a contract term to pass
the TCK if you read a specification is enforceable is itself an interesting
matter, because it appears to use copyrights to provide the equivalent of
patent protection. That's probably copyright misuse.

This is all hypothetical. What's the real question behind this thread? I've
been on record for a long time that Sun's Java licenses are dreadful and
perhaps not enforceable.

/Larry
 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dittert, Eric [mailto:eric.dittert@intel.com] 
> Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 3:24 PM
> To: lrosen@rosenlaw.com; legal-discuss@apache.org
> Subject: RE: Java SE IP Issues (affects Apache Harmony)
> 
> IANAL, I don't know what Sun's position is, and I would not 
> want to try to represent it if I did.  All that said, I have 
> heard people claim that any implementation of an API 
> specification {may, probably does, or must
> - depending on who you ask} infringe copyright in the API 
> specification.
> I have heard quite a wide variety of opinions on this from 
> lawyers that I have queried about this as a general 
> principle.  It is a rather important issue on which I wish, 
> for the sake of our industry, the law were more clear.
> 
> As noted, I don't know whether such copyright is some/all of 
> the "Sun SE IP" that Sun is referring to, but that would seem 
> to be one possibility, as Sun certainly does claim a 
> copyright to the Java SE Specification.
> In fact, it would seem that the only other possibility would 
> be one or more patent claims of sufficient breadth to cover 
> all possible implementations of the Specification; one could 
> check for the existence of such patents, though I have not done so.
> 
> Another source that might be relevant (if not greatly 
> enlightening) is the license provided by Sun to the SE Specification:
> http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.5.0/docs/relnotes/license.html
> It purports to grant a license "under any applicable 
> copyrights or patent rights ... in the Specification to 
> create and/or distribute an Independent Implementation of the 
> Specification ..." provided the implementation passes the 
> TCK, etc, etc.  Whether such a license is actually necessary, 
> though, is left as an exercise to the reader. 
> 
> -- Eric
>  
> 
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: Lawrence Rosen [mailto:lrosen@rosenlaw.com]
> >Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 12:51 PM
> >To: dims@apache.org; legal-discuss@apache.org
> >Subject: RE: Java SE IP Issues (affects Apache Harmony)
> >
> >Dims asked:
> >> Has anyone here reviewed the following note from SUN?
> >> https://jdk.dev.java.net/jse_ip_issues.html
> >
> >Does anyone know the specific "Sun SE IP" that Sun claims? 
> While it may
> be
> >fair to demand compatibility as a condition of licensing, I'd need to
> know
> >exactly what Sun is licensing first and whether we really need to
> license
> >it.
> >
> >>From what Sun wrote, I can't see why anyone would need a 
> license from
> Sun
> >as
> >long as they:
> >
> >   1. Don't copy any of Sun's code. The implementation must be
> independent.
> >
> >   2. Don't use any of Sun's patented technology. What patents?
> >
> >   3. Don't apply Sun's trademarks to the goods.
> >
> >   4. Don't desire to pass Sun's TCK.
> >
> >Nobody should need a license from Sun to make truthful 
> statements such
> as
> >"Apache Harmony is Apache's own implementation of Sun's Java 
> SE created
> by
> >reading public documentation and by reverse engineering solely to
> obtain
> >compatibility." For example, "Firefox is open source 
> software that does 
> >what Microsoft's Internet Explorer does, only better."
> >
> >/Larry
> >
> >Lawrence Rosen
> >Rosenlaw & Einschlag, technology law offices (www.rosenlaw.com)
> >3001 King Ranch Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
> >707-485-1242  *  fax: 707-485-1243
> >Author of "Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and
> >   Intellectual Property Law" (Prentice Hall 2004)
> >   [Available also at www.rosenlaw.com/oslbook.htm]
> >
> >
> >
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: Davanum Srinivas [mailto:davanum@gmail.com]
> >> Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 11:48 AM
> >> To: legal-discuss@apache.org
> >> Subject: Java SE IP Issues (affects Apache Harmony)
> >>
> >> Folks,
> >>
> >> Has anyone here reviewed the following note from SUN?
> >> https://jdk.dev.java.net/jse_ip_issues.html
> >>
> >> Thanks,
> >> dims
> >>
> >> --
> >> Davanum Srinivas : http://wso2.com/ - Oxygenating The Web Service 
> >> Platform
> >>
> >> 
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> >> DISCLAIMER: Discussions on this list are informational and 
> >> educational only, are not privileged and do not constitute legal 
> >> advice.
> >> 
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> >> To unsubscribe, e-mail: legal-discuss-unsubscribe@apache.org
> >> For additional commands, e-mail: legal-discuss-help@apache.org
> >
> >
> >---------------------------------------------------------------------
> >DISCLAIMER: Discussions on this list are informational and 
> educational 
> >only, are not privileged and do not constitute legal advice.
> >---------------------------------------------------------------------
> >To unsubscribe, e-mail: legal-discuss-unsubscribe@apache.org
> >For additional commands, e-mail: legal-discuss-help@apache.org
> 
> 
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> DISCLAIMER: Discussions on this list are informational and 
> educational only, are not privileged and do not constitute 
> legal advice.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> To unsubscribe, e-mail: legal-discuss-unsubscribe@apache.org
> For additional commands, e-mail: legal-discuss-help@apache.org


---------------------------------------------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: Discussions on this list are informational and educational
only, are not privileged and do not constitute legal advice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: legal-discuss-unsubscribe@apache.org
For additional commands, e-mail: legal-discuss-help@apache.org


Mime
View raw message