Possible licensing issue with JavaSoft?

Per Bothner bothner at cygnus.com
Wed Oct 29 16:36:48 PST 1997

> They expressed concern over my using it on a
> commercial platform, and even though Kaffe is a clean-room project, they
> have heard rumblings from JavaSoft about quashing any VM running without a
> JavaSoft license on a commercialized platform.

There are three separate issues:

a) Use of the trade-marked "Java" name.  In commercial use you would want
to be very careful when using "Java" without Sun's permission.  This is
an issue that came up when Sun proposed Java for ISO certification.
There is some Sun-approved work-around (something like "Java platform")
- look around java.sun.com.

2) Whether Sun would sue (or threaten to sue) over a commercial
clean-room re-implementation of Java, and if they did, whether they
would have a reasonable chance of prevailing.  I believe the answer
to these questions is no, and Cygnus is investing big bucks on that

3) Whether Kaffe is a clean-room implementation of Java.
Even though Kaffe is a clean-room re-implementation (or at least
close enough), the fact is that Kaffe is useless without Sun's
classes.zip.  And the license on classes.zip prevents its use
with Kaffe in a commercial context.  That is why a free replacement
for classes.zip is needed.  Cygnus will be re-implementing at
least the core classes.  (We have not looked at Kore or any
alternatives yet, so I cannot say to what extent we will
start with that.)  But we cannot re-implement all the features
in Sun's classes.zip in a timely manner (especially when Sun
keeps adding things like Java2D, Java3D, JDBC, etc etc), so
we hope "the Net" will help with the non-core classes.
(The core classes are too critical for us to wait for the net to

	--Per Bothner
Cygnus Solutions     bothner at cygnus.com     http://www.cygnus.com/~bothner

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