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

  • Lock-in is bad T-Mobile thinks they'll get new Hotspot customers with exclusive content and locked-in devices.
  • The importance of being good Starbucks is pulling CD burning stations from their stores. That says something interesting about their brand.
  • Comment Spam Manifesto Spammers are hereby put on notice. Your comments are not welcome. If the purpose behind your comment is to advertise yourself, your Web site, or a product that you are affiliated with, that comment is spam and will not be tolerated. We will hit you where it hurts by attacking your source of income.
  • Where do the RSS ad startups fit in? Yahoo's RSS advertising service could spell trouble for pure-play RSS advertising services unless they adapt their business model.
  • Simplified Form Errors One of the most frustrating experiences on the Web is filling out forms. When mistakes are made, the user is often left guessing what they need to correct. We've taken an approach that shows the user in no uncertain terms what needs to be fixed.
  • More of the best »

Recently Read

Get More

Subscribe | Archives

Recently

Dysfunctions of output-oriented software teams (Sep 17)
Whatever you call it, the symptom is that you're measuring your progress by how much you build and deliver instead of measuring success by the amount of customer value you create.
Evaluative and generative product development (Aug 30)
Customers never even talk to the companies that don't fit their needs at all. If the only product ideas you're considering are those that meet the needs of your current customers, then you're only going to find new customers that look exactly like your current customers.
Product Manager Career Ladder (Aug 19)
What are the steps along the product management career path?
Building the Customer-Informed Product (Aug 15)
Strong products aren't composed of a list of features dictated by customers. They are guided by strong visions, and the execution of that vision is the primary focus of product development.
Assumptions and project planning (Feb 18)
When your assumptions change, it's reasonable that your project plans and needs change as well. But too many managers are afraid to go back and re-work a plan that they've already agreed to.
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

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.