Author Topic: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison: I don't know if Java is free  (Read 1995 times)

miturbide

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This may be an interesting off-topic discussion.

* Oracle CEO Larry Ellison: I don't know if Java is free

Here we may confuse the terms "free" as "Free of charge" or "Free Software", which are complete different.

I really think that Java it is not open source or free software. AFAIK to even use the word "Java" in your products you need Oracle permission (sign and pay an agreement). It may be free of charge for some specific use, since the runtime environment and development kit is available under an specific user license.

The one that is open source and free software under the GNU GPL V2 license (copyleft) is OpenJDK, which is the open source implementation of Java. If anybody grabs the code from this project, any derivative work should be released by force under the same GNU GPL V2 license.

But I found that OpenJDK may have a trick, there is a classpath exception on the license (http://openjdk.java.net/legal/gplv2+ce.html). I really don't know which ones are not covered by the GNU GPL V2.

I really can not know where Google grab the source code or if it is innocent or not. But if Oracle wins this it will be bad for Java, since its primary competitor (MS) will say  "...see I told you... Java was not open and free and you thought" ;)
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ivan

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Re: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison: I don't know if Java is free
« Reply #1 on: 2012.04.18, 19:23:21 »
For an almost blow by blow account of what is going on in the court as well as informed commentary just go to GROKLAW http://www.groklaw.net


miturbide

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Re: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison: I don't know if Java is free
« Reply #2 on: 2012.04.18, 23:26:26 »
Thanks ivan

...seems like Groklaw is very conclusive with the evidence showed on the trial.

"It would seem pretty clear from that definition that Google made an independent implementation.

So where does this whole thing about the field-of-use restrictions (that prevent an independent implementation from being used on mobile devices) come into play. Why, it's in that separate TCK license referred to in Oracle's third slide above. But notice that in that slide Oracle maintains that "[t]hese restrictions prevent Apache Harmony from implementing Java SE." They do no such thing! Apache never signed the TCK license. That didn't prevent Apache from creating and distributing Harmony; it only meant that they couldn't call it Java or imply that it was Java-compliant, a point which Sun admitted (see Jonathan Schwartz's comment in the second Google slide).

Many of Oracle's claims and presentation in this case will be based on misdirection and creating a false understanding of Oracle's rights and Oracle's right to restrict the activities of others. The Oracle position is in direct conflict with the previous statements and actions of Sun upon which Google relied. If Google can keep the jury straight on these points, Oracle will be shown to have significantly overreached in bringing the copyright claims in this suit."
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dryeo

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Re: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison: I don't know if Java is free
« Reply #3 on: 2012.04.19, 06:26:28 »
This may be an interesting off-topic discussion.

* Oracle CEO Larry Ellison: I don't know if Java is free

Here we may confuse the terms "free" as "Free of charge" or "Free Software", which are complete different.

I really think that Java it is not open source or free software. AFAIK to even use the word "Java" in your products you need Oracle permission (sign and pay an agreement). It may be free of charge for some specific use, since the runtime environment and development kit is available under an specific user license.

The code seems to be free, at least in the GPL v2 sense. Just the name that is closed, which I don't really see as a problem, it just means that you can't distribute any old thing and call it Java. Other projects are similar, Firefox for example though they aren't quite so strict about the use of the name.

Quote
The one that is open source and free software under the GNU GPL V2 license (copyleft) is OpenJDK, which is the open source implementation of Java. If anybody grabs the code from this project, any derivative work should be released by force under the same GNU GPL V2 license.

But I found that OpenJDK may have a trick, there is a classpath exception on the license (http://openjdk.java.net/legal/gplv2+ce.html). I really don't know which ones are not covered by the GNU GPL V2.

The classpath exception seems to just be a variety of the linking exception. Basically it allows you to use needed parts of Java in your closed source binary.
GCC has the same thing, which is why having a program use one of the gccxxx.dlls does not make the program GPL, even if the gcc library is statically linked.
 
Quote
I really can not know where Google grab the source code or if it is innocent or not. But if Oracle wins this it will be bad for Java, since its primary competitor (MS) will say  "...see I told you... Java was not open and free and you thought" ;)


Well looking at the license for jdk6, as long as you follow the GPL, you're free to use, alter, and redistribute the code as long as you include the source.
What you are not free to do is use the trademarks without permission, which is a way to protect their brand. If you download something called Java, it should be Java.
Now I agree that Oracle are being bastards about allowing the use of their trademark but all any one has to do is fork the code and create a new brand and let it be known that the new brand is Java compatible.
I don't know enough about the Google vs Oracle case to comment more.