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Re: Java License

João Pinheiro wrote:
> I'm currently working on a Debian/Ubuntu-based Linux LiveCD Distribution
> to be used by the students at my university. The goal of this distro is
> to provide students with a development environment featuring everything
> they might need to use for all of their subjects throughout the entire
> semester. This would obviously require me to bundle Sun's JDK along with
> the distro.

Depends on what you need. If you just need an IDE, a runtime and the
tools, you may find other alternatives, that are free to redistribute,
copy and modify (and improve, of course), already in Debian.

Eclipse on a free software stack just hit the unstable archive, thanks
to the good work of the #debian-java folks, like Barry Hawkins, Michael
Koch, Arnaud Vandyck, Matthias Klose, Jerry Haltom, Wolfgang Baer,
Jeroen Van Wolffelaar and many others.

There are various implementations of free runtimes in Debian, that may
or may not be suitable for what you have in mind. You may want to get in
touch with the  #debian-java IRC channel, where a lot of good work has
been going into making free runtimes like gcj suitable for packaging
applications written in the Java programming language in Debian, and

If you absolutely need non-free software, then you have little choice,
of course.

> If I understand this correctly, it should possible for me to bundle the
> JDK along with the distro for as long as it's only distributed inside my
> university. Am I correct? 

Maybe. Only Sun can know for sure. If in doubt, ask your university's
lawyers, and Sun's lawyers.

> Also, what would "unmodified" mean in this
> context? Is it possible for me to unpack and install the JDK on the
> system (without modifying any of the files) or am I forced to distribute
> the original self-extracting .bin file?

Debian does not distribute software under it, so debian-legal can't
really help you determine the exact effect of some proprietary software
license in your specific context.

In any case, the opinion of debian-legal would in no way be binding on
Sun, so Sun could still disagree with your usage of their work, if you
acted on advice of someone on debian-legal that turned out to be against
Sun's own intepretation of their license.

If you want to know for sure what effect a non-free license has in your
specific context, you'll have to ask the copyright holders of the
non-free software about it, since they are the ones who may take you to
court if you violate their license.

dalibor topic

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