[Kaffe] can the classpath project be used with Kaffe.

Alexandre Oliva oliva at dcc.unicamp.br
Tue Feb 9 18:40:06 PST 1999

On Feb  9, 1999, Moses DeJong <dejong at cs.umn.edu> wrote:

> Well, I do not want to start a "useless debate" but I am still a little
> confused about what you quoted here. This is from the LGPL license right?
> I do not see what terms in the LGPL have to do with Kaffe as it is not
> licensed under the LGPL.

Classpath is LGPL, so we're free to merge it in, by making it GPLed or

> Well, my reading of the GPL seem to indicate that it covers more than
> just distribution of the program or derived works.

> You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except as
> expressly provided under this License.
> </SNIP>

> My impression is that is also covers the act of making a copy of the
> program.

Copying and distributing a program are just different views of the
same act, I think.

> The implication is that you must agree to the terms of the license
> (no linking to non GPL code) in order to be granted the right to
> copy it (put it on your computer).

If the copied program is not linked with non-GPLed code, there's no
problem.  Note that GPL does not cover the *execution* of a program,
only its distribution:

Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are not
covered by this License; they are outside its scope.  The act of
running the Program is not restricted, and the output ...

> This would seem to imply that linking a GPLed program to a non GPLed
> program would void the GPL license.

Correct, but only if the copied binary is linked with it.  But I agree
there is place for debate here, and the GNU GPL v3 will address some
of the issues associated with dynamic linking and dlopening (I think),
so we'd be better off by explicitly stating, in Kaffe's license.terms,
that it is ok to run non-GPLed code with Kaffe, either Java code or
JNI-linked code.

> I am not really sure if it is needed but it would be nice to put
> in language to state it once and for all. I am not trying to be
> a pain or anything, I just want people to be able to use my Tcl/Java
> package with Kaffe without ANY worry of license issues biting them
> in the rear end.

You're absolutely correct in your request, and I've told Tim more than
once that we should do that for Kaffe, but I'm not the one to change
the current license terms.  But I agree I could write one or two
paragraphs about this and suggest them to be pre-pended to
license.terms.  For example:

In the GNU General Public License, version 2, there is room for debate
about whether a GPLed program, like the Kaffe OpenVM, can be used to
run non-GPLed code.  In order to clear up this issue, and not leave
any doubt, we choose to explicitly allow the use of the Kaffe OpenVM
Java(TM) interpreter to run any Java(TM) code.  By Java code, we mean
Java class files, contained or not in Java archives, as well as any
implementations of native methods for Java classes that are not
provided by the Kaffe OpenVM.  This explicit permission covers only
execution of Kaffe OpenVM and of Java programs with it.  Any other
restrictions imposed by the GNU General Public License, version 2,

Alexandre Oliva http://www.dcc.unicamp.br/~oliva aoliva@{acm.org}
oliva@{dcc.unicamp.br,gnu.org,egcs.cygnus.com,samba.org} Universidade
Estadual de Campinas, SP, Brasil

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