Feeds

Apache reignites Sun open source dispute

Opens fire with open letter

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has publicly slammed Sun Microsystems for dragging its feet over licensing it claims is unfair and discriminatory to open source, five years after the pair resolved similar differences.

The ASF has published a strongly worded open letter blaming Sun for hindering its open source Java Standard Edition (Java SE) project, Harmony, by maintaining IP restrictions in the Java SE 5.0 Test Compatibility Kit (TCK).

The TCK is needed to certify Harmony as an official JCP-compatible implementation. Invariably, TCKs have, in the past, contained licensed IP that makes them incompatible with certain open source licenses and deployments.

ASF Java Community Process (JCP) lead Geir Magnusson claimed ASF has sought modification of the JSE TCK license since August 2005, adding Harmony has been delayed since May 2005 because the current TCK conditions are "totally unacceptable." Magnusson has given Sun 30 days to develop a compliant license.

Magnusson said the licensing limitations are contrary to the basic principles of open source, and potentially damaged both the JCP and the "long-standing positive relationship" between Sun, the ASF and community.

That relationship, of course, dates back to 2002 when Sun pledged to use licenses for Java specifications and TCKs that are compatible with open source, and revised its JCP legal agreement and Java Specification Participation Agreement (JSPA) as a result. That agreement, announced at JavaOne, diffused mounting tension between ASF and Sun, who'd owned licenses that prohibited use and testing of Java with open source. The 2002 settlement provided coverage for six named projects, here, but not - it seems - Harmony. The JCP was also updated so Java Specification Requests (JSRs) could be submitted from the open source community.

Magnusson's letter skims over exact details of the IP in question, but indicates a belief that Sun's position is contrary to parts of the 2002 settlement. Namely, Java specification leads cannot impose contractual conditions limiting or restricting use, and leads must make all IP available under a Royalty Free license.

Sun has so far kept mostly mum, but responded briefly by saying this had been a private discussion with ASF and that it's considering a more detailed response. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.