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RE: clickthrough license

From: David Holmes
Subject: RE: clickthrough license
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2004 09:30:16 +1000

Mark Wielaard writes:
> I just looked at these two jsr's and both are not even available through
> a click-through. (Strangely enough both just point to the sun 1.5.0
> implementation documentation, which as far as I know doesn't include the
> specs at all.)

Yes I was a little surprised to see this too. All of the JSR's covered by
the Tiger umbrella JSR's just point to the JDK as being the specification.
In otherwords the API Javadoc plus supporting package.html and other linked
pages *ARE* the specification.

And while you don't need to "accept" any license directly to read the online
documentation of the JDK you do need to accept the click-through to download
either the JDK or the DOCS, and the online doc page does have a link to
"Copyright and License Terms for Documentation". (I'm not a lawyer so I
don't know if reading the online docs implies any acceptance of the
licence - personally I'd expect that the license would be much more
prominent eg. "The documentation accessed from this page is protected by a
license .... any viewing of these pages constitutes acceptance of that

> The JCP also doesn't require the (final) specifications to be provided
> under a click-wrap.

Being involved in this at present with another JSR I can assure you that the
JCP does require a click-through license for downloading specs. For these
Tiger related JSR's it seems the actual J2SE specification license is
assumed to apply.

Aren't all "standards" whether deemed open or not, protected by some similar

> I am not sure I am following you here. The given goal of GNU Classpath
> is to provide a free implementation of the core class libraries so that
> people can use these libraries to create (free) software for the GNU
> system. For this we try to be as compatible as we can be while making
> sure that the freedoms of the GNU project are preserved. Hopefully we
> make this happen while also being 100% compatible with other
> implementations.
> GNU is not Unix, and GNU Classpath is not (the core) Java (library).
> We just don't have a cute acronym to express that.

I don't believe that not saying the "Java" word when describing what GNU
Classpath is lets you off the hook here. If nothing else the classes and
API's in the java* namespaces would fall under Sun's copyright.

Now I don't personally believe it would be in Sun's interests to come down
on GNU Classpath and "prosecute" this, rather it would be in Sun's (and the
Java Community's) best interests to have GNU Classpath be conformant with
the spec license and pass the TCK. But I'm concerned that the FSF's politics
on all this might deny the possibility of this ever happening. But that's
not my direct concern.


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