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Re: Sun Java available from non-free


Michael Meskes <meskes@debian.org> writes:
[Java flamewar]
> DPL, I wonder Why the Sun-Java package is not handled the same as any
> other package. What makes it so special that it deserves special
> treatment?
> Isn't this a discrimination against all other packages? :-)

ACK. This is the most important problem with the Java license for me -
in general, the ftp-masters are *very* strict when it comes to
licenses. Even if upstream provides some FAQ or something to clarify
badly worded parts of the license, they are usually required to change
the license of their software to get it into Debian.

I understand that a lot of people are interested to get Sun Java
packaged for Debian (and it would be a real improvement if we were able
to distribute it!), but I can not understand why it is special-cased
when it comes to licensing issues.

If Sun is interested in getting Java included in the major Linux
distributions, it shouldn't be such a big problem to provide a license
draft, hear opinions and then *change* it. 

In his mail, aj said "both James and Jeroen had extensive contact with
Sun to ensure that the tricky clauses were actually okay" - that's
nice. If the license wasn't public at that point, it shouldn't have been
too hard to change the problematic clauses of the license to say what
they mean. As far as I understand the whole thing, Sun simply provided
their license, but was not willing to address the concerns that were
expressed in the license itself.

It simply doesn't look like this was a fair process with the aim of
getting to a solution that satisfies both parties. Which is not really
helping to ensure that Sun will not try to do bad stuff at some time in
the future.

So at the moment, we have a license with some ambiguous clauses, a lot
of unhappy DDs and Java on those mirrors that provide non-free. I don't
think that removing the packages again is the right signal to send out,
but I think that we should work these problems out before etch is

OK, now to the reason for CCing aj: Could you please delegate someone to
do a status report, talk to Sun and then report back to project? I can
understand that for a big corporation like Sun, it's not easy to work
together with a many-headed hydra like debian(-legal), so this could
help to get to a solution in a reasonable time-frame. To calm everyone
down, it would probably good to choose someone for this who was *not*
involved in this cute little flamewar we're all enjoying so much.

Ignoring the concerns of the developers who are frustrated by the whole
thing will not help anyone, but those people should please remember that
we're trying to create the best Linux distribution *together*. Flaming
is usually not the best way to present one's arguments.

Marc (hating legal stuff and flamewars in general)
BOFH #431:
Borg implants are failing

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