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Re: Sun's JVM in non-free

Ricky Clarkson <ricky.clarkson <at> gmail.com> writes:

> I think the JRE is a bit more lenient, but I hardly ever use just a
> JRE, so I don't read the licence for that very often.

from http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4.2/j2re-1_4_2_05-license.txt

"B.License to Distribute Software.

Subject to the terms and conditions of this 
Agreement, including, but not limited to the Java Technology Restrictions of 
these Supplemental Terms, Sun grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, 
limited license without fees to reproduce and distribute the Software, provided 
that (i) you distribute the Software complete and unmodified (unless otherwise 
specified in the applicable README file) and only bundled as part of, and for 
the sole purpose of running, your Programs,"

the 'unmodified' bit would prohibit distribution of debian packages that fix the
shell scripts for debian, for example (unless some README says so).


"(iii) you do not distribute 
additional software intended to replace any component(s) of the Software (unless 
otherwise specified in the applicable README file),"

conflicts with, for example, distributing free runtimes, compilers or jar tools,
as far as I can tell from it.


"(v) you only 
distribute the Software subject to a license agreement that protects Sun's 
interests consistent with the terms contained in this Agreement,"

That's essentially a joker to sue at will if Sun feels endangered in their
interest. Someone replaces JDS with Debian? Sue 'em for not protecting Sun's
interest :)

"and (vi) you 
agree to defend and indemnify Sun and its licensors from and against any 
damages, costs, liabilities, settlement amounts and/or expenses (including 
attorneys' fees) incurred in connection with any claim, lawsuit or action by any 
third party that arises or results from the use or distribution of any and all 
Programs and/or Software."

Unless someone wants to foot Sun's bill for anyone Sun's legal department
decides to sue, that casually happens to have installed j2re from non-free via
apt, that's not an option, I guess.

On a side note, all the references to 'applicable README' are really unhelpful
to understand the precise licensing terms. It means that you can't see
everything that you are agreeing to in the click-wrap license. So if some intern
at Sun sneaks in 'and if you are using Debian, you agree to pay Sun a $699
license fee' into some 'applicable' README, that you can not read when you
accept the license, you're bound to have some fun in court.

Non-free licenses are there to screw you. Avoid them. IANAL, and all that.

dalibor topic

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