Opening Java

Freshness Warning
This article is over 12 years old. It's possible that the information you read below isn't current.

So Java is now open source, licensed under the GPL. At startup camp, I discussed this a bit with Tim Bray. The challenges around open sourcing something as complex as Java (or Solaris) are immense. Establishing clear intellectual property is alone something that can take months. You’d think that it would be a simple question—it’s Sun’s code, so of course they have the right to release it under any license they wish. In reality such things are complex.

Sun needs to make sure that every contractor that has ever touched the Sun codebase had released their work to Sun. Most likely every contractor Sun uses is performing "work for hire" and Sun owns everything they do, but the lawyers need to check that anyway.

Some parts of Java were created by third parties and licensed to Sun. In the event that the license doesn’t allow opening the source, Sun would have to renegotiate, rewrite the licensed features from scratch, or do something to make sure Java is operational with these features excluded.

It’s possible that Java contains technologies that Sun acquired when they purchased or merged with other companies. So they need to go back and make sure there’s a clear IP chain with all of those, too.

So when Jonathan Schwartz thanks the lawyers when announcing Java’s move to the GPL, he’s acknowledging a whole lot of hard work.


Your comments:

Text only, no HTML. URLs will automatically be converted to links. Your email address is required, but it will not be displayed on the site.

Name:

Not your company or your SEO link. Comments without a real name will be deleted as spam.

Email: (not displayed)

If you don't feel comfortable giving me your real email address, don't expect me to feel comfortable publishing your comment.

Website (optional):

Follow me on Twitter

Best Of

Recently Read

Get More

Subscribe | Archives

Recently

Feature voting is harmful to your product (Feb 7)
There's a lot of problems with using feature voting to drive your product.
Encouraging 1:1s from other managers in your organization (Jan 4)
If you’re managing other managers, encourage them to hold their own 1:1s. It’s such an important tool for managing and leading that everyone needs to be holding them.
One on One Meetings - a collection of posts about 1:1s (Jan 2)
A collection of all my writing on 1:1s
Are 1:1s confidential? (Jan 2)
Is the discussion that occurs in a 1:1 confidential, even if no agreed in the meeting to keep it so?
Skip-level 1:1s are your hidden superpower (Jan 1)
Holding 1:1s with peers and with people far below you on the reporting chain will open your eyes up to what’s really going on in your business.
Do you need a 1:1 if you’re regularly communicating with your team? (Dec 28)
You’re simply not having deep meaningful conversation about the process of work in hallway conversations or in your chat apps.
What agenda items should a manager bring to a 1:1? (Dec 23)
At least 80% of a 1:1 agenda should be driven by your report, but if you also to use this time to work on things with them, then you’ll have better meetings.
Handling “I don’t have anything to talk about” in your 1:1s (Dec 21)
When someone says they have nothing to discuss, they’re almost always thinking too narrowly.

Subscribe to this site's feed.

Contact

Adam Kalsey

Mobile: 916.600.2497

Email: adam AT kalsey.com

Twitter, etc: akalsey

Resume

PGP Key

©1999-2019 Adam Kalsey.