FW: Sun revokes FreeBSD license for Java

Kurt Miller truk at optonline.net
Fri Jan 7 07:38:20 PST 2005

From: "Panagiotis Astithas" <past at ebs.gr>
> Achilleus Mantzios wrote:
> > Most users are quite happy with jdk14 i suppose.
> Although I am one of those users happily using the jdk14 port, I can't 
> say that I find the situation satisfying. When I am trying to pitch a 
> Java solution on FreeBSD to a customer I have to ask them to have the 
> jdk preinstalled for me, since I can't legally redistribute it. Clients 
> who don't have an existing FreeBSD installation or don't care about the 
> solution's underlying OS (which is why they usually pick Java in the 
> first place), wonder why on earth they should not go with Linux instead.
> For developer's like myself the port is fine. For managers (either 
> selling or bying products) it is a nightmare. Personally, I consider 
> Alexey's financial support and the binary distribution license as the 
> most important thing that the FreeBSD Foundation has ever done for the 
> future of the community.

I completely agree. However I think that the lack of a binary distribution
is far more important then many people realize. The SCSL doesn't only
restrict the distribution of the jdk's built from ports, it also restricts the
use of them too.
IANAL, but as I understand the SCSL it contains three licenses; Research
Use, Internal Deployment Use and Commercial Use. Research Use allow
an individual to use the jdk and modify the source of the jdk. It also allows
for personal and individual use of the binaries via the Research Use definition.
Once you want to use the binaries for anything other then that, you fall into
the other licenses and they require the TCK's be run (see Attachment C, 2.1).
Having the Foundation distribute the compliant binaries means businesses
can use the jdk's. The alternatives are not good. Each business would need
to contact Sun and license the TCK's if they want to use the jdk's.
I would be delighted if someone could find another interpretation of the SCSL
that allows a business to use the jdk's without the TCK's being run. In fact I
hope I'm wrong.

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