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Re: Eclipse 3.0 Running ILLEGALY on Kaffe

Raul Miller <moth@debian.org> wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 16, 2005 at 02:31:45PM -0500, Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
> > No, it talks about *any* copies at all, and then excepts mere
> > aggregation.  If there's code written by Debian, no matter how brief,
> > to run them together, then it's not merely aggregation.
> You've asserted this many times.
> You've not provided a convincing explanation for this assertion.
> You've offered:
> [1] Eclipse is aggregated with Kaffe.  [obviously allowed by the mere
> aggregation clause.]
> [2] Eclipse runs on Kaffe.  [obviously allowed by the clause which states
> "The act of running the Program is not restricted, ...]
> [3] Debian dependencies.  [The GPL doesn't seem to have any requirements
> in this area.]

Actually, it does.  The GPL says (with some parts elided)

  If sections are separate works, then this License does not apply to
  those sections __when you distribute them as separate works__.  But
  when you distribute the __same__ sections as part of a whole which
  is a work based on the Program, the distribution of the whole must
  be on the terms of this License.

If I give you a CD with Eclipse and Kaffe on it, I have given you a
whole work which will edit programs.  You may not even know what Kaffe
is, but if you don't have it, Eclipse is not going to run.  That sure
sounds like it makes up part of the whole which is an IDE.  This
relationship is well expressed by Debian dependencies.

Now, it is true that Eclipse will run with other JVMs.  But if they
are not on the CD, then it doesn't matter.  The GPL cares about what
it is distributed with, not about stuff it could be distributed with.
And the only thing allowed on the CD is stuff in main, because this
whole argument is over whether Eclipse can go into main.  Not whether
Eclipse is distributable at all.

> [4] There's would be an os-level association between Eclipse (as a java
> application) and Kaffe (as a JVM).  Except that this association has
> to do with running the program (which the GPL explicitly states is not
> restricted), the GPL doesn't seem to have any requirements about this
> sort of thing.
> Have you anything else to offer?  In particular, do you have any basis
> whatsoever for claiming that Kaffe+Eclipse falls into either of the
> categories where the GPL applies?  ["the Program" or a "work based on
> the Program"]
> If you're simply going to assert that "this is not mere aggregation"
> and are not going to provide any good reasons for that assertion, what
> is it that you're contributing to this discussion?

I feel like there are an awful lot of people that want to get Eclipse
into main ASAP, and are not fond of thinking through licensing issues.
It is hardly the first time.

There are a few ways to fix this whole issue

  1) The Kaffe hackers get the library exemption added to _all_ of

  2) The gcj or sablevm hackers get Eclipse working.

Walter Landry

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