Java licencing

Xin LI delphij at
Wed Dec 31 00:52:09 UTC 2008

Hash: SHA1

Ivan Voras wrote:
> Greg Lewis wrote:
>> On Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 10:12:16PM +0100, Ivan Voras wrote:
>>> If I understand Sun's JRE license correctly, if I have an application in
>>> Java I can't distribute the JRE binaries as a part of a VMWare image or
>>> a LiveCD without a "trademark license agreement" with Sun. Would it be
>>> possible with OpenJDK?
>> OpenJDK is under the GPL, so you can distribute it under those terms.
> Do you know if the OpenJDK Java interpreter and its libraries count into
> the viral aspect of the GPL? (I guess yes since it's the same
> process/address space).

I think it depends on how you want to distribute the image.  Does VMWare
enforce some licensing restriction on images it produces?  Additionally,
GPL allows you to distribute the whole distribution under a different
license, as long as you are careful enough to obey it on the software
package that is licensed under GPL (i.e. you can distribute Linux kernel
source code and binary with your CD-ROM under any license as long as it
does not depend on it to run, and the code for Linux kernel including
whatever your modification is released under GPL and in an obtainable form).

Of course, it's a good idea to avoid GPL software anyway to get rid of
the potential problem.  I'm not sure, but is there anybody working on
the Apache's JDK/JRE?

- --
Xin LI <delphij at>
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