Possible licensing issue with JavaSoft?

David Scott ds at ganymede.com
Thu Oct 30 06:01:19 PST 1997

On Wed, 29 Oct 1997 benjamin at marimba.com wrote:
> I remember a tale of someone who put a Java logo on his homepage in 
> the very early days of the language, to show his support.  But then 
> Sun threatened to sue him...  I think that Sun's legal department has 
> been quite stupidly aggressive in the past, and is probably still so.  
> Whether or not they stand a chance of winning, they might try.  
> Perhaps they were just bored back then, in which case we're all safe 
> for now ;)

My take on this issue is this: Sun is being very careful in defining its
legal position with regard to Java(tm) because of Microsoft, whom Sun
doesn't want mucking around with Java the way they muck around with
everything else. The thing is, for them to defend their turf against the
Evil Empire, they have to enforce some silly-looking boilerplate even
among more friendly folk. 

For example, it appears that O'Reilly Associates has recently heard from
Sun's lawyers about using the Java name without the (tm) on the covers of
their excellent Java books. This is particularly bizarre when you consider
how Java-friendly ORA really is. 

For the time being, I think Sun should be given very wide berth on this
issue, until things sort themselves out a bit.  I find their lawsuit
against Microsoft very interesting.  One way to support them is simply to
play along. 

David Scott

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