[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Sun responds to questions on the DLJ

Tom Marble <Tom.Marble@Sun.COM> wrote:
> All:
> Let me start by repeating the message that Simon and I gave
> to you at Debconf: there is every reason for us to be friends
> and working with you is very important for Sun.
> Please consider:
> - We consider the FAQ [2] to be an accurate representation of the intent of
>   this license [1] and do not consider it to be irrelevant.
> - Ignoring the FAQ is not helpful as it answers many of their
>   questions (it's a FAQ, after all).
> - The DLJ represents a very significant shift in Sun's approach to
>   licensing by trusting that distributors will "do the right thing"
>   (so that JDK works AND is integrated with the OS while adhering to
>   OS standards and policies).
> - We think our intent is pretty clear - if it isn't, we're happy to clarify
>   and incorporate those clarifications into updates to the FAQ.

What is key for Debian is for clarifications to go into the license,
not the FAQ.  I am spectacularly unimpressed with the arguments I have
seen about estoppel etc.  It makes the license lawyerbait.  Just fix
the license.

> - The design of the license which refers to the README is like
>   pointer to an object: the technical details in the README can
>   change without having to revise the license.  We are planning to revise
>   the README to further clarify and give explicit permission to
>   relocate or even modify certain files (e.g. font.properties)
>   needed to make the system run properly.
> Let me try to clarify the following:
> + SECTION 2(a)
>   Special care was taken in crafting the debian copyright file to
>   adequately implement the direction given by:
>   http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2006/03/msg00023.html
>   http://www.us.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-docs.html#s-copyrightfile
>   Indeed I wrote a script (albeit an ugly hack) to craft the
>   conforming debian/copyright file from a package preamble, the
>   copyright notice for Debian packaging, the license for Debian
>   packaging, the copyright notice for upstream, the license for
>   upstream and any third party notices and licenses.

Could you comment on the problem raised by Don Armstrong in 


Specifically, the license does not allow the software to be modified,
but Debian modifies it when packaging it (e.g. Debian splits it into
two packages instead of one).  I suspect that Sun does not have a
problem with the repackaging, but it needs to be mentioned in the

Also, I found another problem.  In the copyright file for
sun-java5-jre, there is the phrase

  Export or reexport to countries subject to U.S. embargo or to
  entities identified on U.S. export exclusion lists, including, but
  not limited to, the denied persons and specially designated
  nationals lists is strictly prohibited.

This is also repeated in French.  I do not think that the Debian
mirrors in Canada (for example) restrict downloads from Cuba.  I can
not imagine that all the mirror operators would be thrilled to start
implementing this.  This is a showstopper.

Finally, I found another annoyance.  In section 1 (Definitions), an
Operating System is defined as

  "Operating System" means any version of the Linux or OpenSolaris
  operating systems that manages the hardware resources of a general
  purpose desktop or server computer and shares these resources with
  various software programs that run on top of it.

This prevents distribution for use in specialized hardware (e.g. a
kiosk).  It also means that Debian's kFreeBSD project could not use it,
even if it runs fine with FreeBSD's Linux emulation.  It would be
helpful (though not required) if this definition could be reworded or
just eliminated.

Walter Landry

Reply to: