Feeds

Apache reignites Sun open source dispute

Opens fire with open letter

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.