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This is old FUD (Was: Re: Eclipse 3.0 Running ILLEGALY on Kaffe)

Michael Poole wrote:
I think the disagreement is over what effect Debian's choice has.

It is not clear to me that saying either "Y depends on the JVM" or "Y
depends on Kaffe or some Java interpreter" is creative within the
meaning of copyright law or that it creates any sort of derivative
work.  However, it does seem like clear copyright abuse for a Kaffe
contributor to sue a DD because that DD identified Kaffe as fitting
the program's JVM requirement.


Even if some Kaffe contributor wanted to do that, they couldn't, as long as the work does not derive from parts of Kaffe that are copyrightable. Just because someone's data contains the sequence of chars "java.lang.Object", it does not constitute a derivative work from Kaffe's interpreter (obviously), or class libraries, as that particular string is, for a lot of reasons, not copyrightable by Kaffe developers.

The GPL does not restrict use, and the copyright law doesn't give the authors of an interpreter a way to limit its use, nor wouldn't any Kaffe author wish to do that, afaik.

The 'GPL of an application infects everything it touches' FUD is pushed forward by Microsoft in general, and a few SableVM developers in particular.

Would it make any legal difference if the package Depends: kaffe |
sablevm | java-runtime?  It seems easy enough to use the LGPLed
sablevm if kaffe's GPL is thought to pose problems.

It only causes problems if you believe SableVM developers, who are not copyright holders in either Kaffe or Eclipse, afaik. I assume that the hope is that by enough 'fudraising' about Kaffe, Debian users and packagers will 'switch' to use SableVM exclusively for their needs, if only to escape being harassed by a handful of people with unfounded assertions that the Debian users and packagers are doing something illegal.

This is a simply regular FUD campaign against Kaffe by a handful of people from a 'competing', technically inferior project, that has been going on for years and years. It's been discussed on debian-legal already, when SableVM developers falsely claimed that Debian was shipping undistributable Java in main in November 2003[1]. It turned out that that was not the case, but nevertheless the same few people keep regularly playing debian-legal as if it was a one-armed-jack in hope for a jackpot that would ratify their GPL-of-interpreter-spreads-across-to-data interpretation.

I'm sorry it causes everyone to waste so much time with this crap, but it's not coming from Kaffe developers. In contrary, it is pissing off some Kaffe developers, like me, to have waste their time debunking this infantile 'K4FF3 15 1LL3G4L, U53 54B13' bullshit every time there is a new release of SableVM to 'market'.

dalibor topic


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