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Re: Some missing facts (Was: Eclipse 3.0 Running ILLEGALY on Kaffe)

Etienne Gagnon wrote:

Regarding the Kaffe FAQ at:


In this document, it is clearly written:

 Is the information given in this FAQ binding?

 The information in this FAQ is accurate to the best of our knowledge,
 but there is no guarantee. It is drawn from public and private
 statements by Tim Wilkinson and others. If you need binding information
 about copyright issues, contact the copyright holders.

So, in other words, you CANNOT interpret the text of this FAQ as an exception to the GPL. This FAQ is in now way legally binding, and it has not even been written by its copyright holder(s) [or, more precisely, agreed upon by all of them].

None of the the things you are trying to assert are legally binding either, as you are no copyright holder of Kaffe. No copyright holder of Kaffe has ever attacked Debian or another distribution with bogus copyright claims.

What's your point again?

Fact 2
In its early years, the Kaffe license was changed from BSD-like to the GNU GPL, explicitly to force people to get into separate licensing with Transvirtual, when the terms of the GPL seemed too restrictive.

The FSF did not want its own project, GNU Classpath, to harm the business of Transvirtual which was making an important contribution to Free software by releasing Kaffe under the GNU GPL. So, for many years, GNU Classpath's java.awt.* package was actually licensed under the GNU GPL *without* the linking exception. The reason was, explicitly, because the FSF believed that doing otherwise would undercut a stream of revenue for Transvirtual. I have learned of this through private email discussion with Richard Stallman, but there exists also some very public evidence of this:


That's not because of the interpreter.

Transvirtual had a specific, hacked up version of gcj for Kaffe that allowed them to precompile the class library and applications, afaik, for embedded systems. In that case, as I've explained before, the copyrightable parts of GPLd class libraries would end up in the compiled works, and require compiled works to be licensed under the GPL. It ran pretty fast and allowed Transvirtual's Kaffe to be used on mobile devices, afaik, like Helios. Presumably that was supposed to allow for a Trolltech like business-model. Well, it failed ;)

Work on this feature had been done for one specific version in Kaffe's CVS back in 1999, according to http://www.kaffe.org/doc/kaffe/FAQ.gcj. It predates your links, btw.

Do you have any proof of a copyright holder on Kaffe
enforcing this bogus interpretation of the GPL of yours on anyone
or is this all based on hearsay?

I think that the first paragraph is quite explicit.

So is the exception.

Kaffe's class library, as a whole, must be licensed under the terms of the GNU GPL or not at all. The GNU Classpath linking exception cannot be applied to the class library as a whole, unless Kaffe's copyright holders (all of them) agreed to add this exception to the license of the classes under their copyright.

Irrelevant to this discussion, as a program using standard Java interfaces is not automatically a derived work from Kaffe, not matter how you try to twist it.

Andrew Suffield quite effectively debunked your 'Kaffe's GPld portions of class library library automatically infect everything Java application they touch' nonsense in November 2003 already right here on debian-legal.


Are we done now?

dalibor topic

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