[kaffe] using ant to build kaffe - ant needs non-free java!

Dalibor Topic robilad at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 6 09:23:26 PDT 2002

--- Jim Pick <jim at kaffe.org> wrote:

> I think we'll have trouble getting the OK from
> Transvirtual to do
> any relicensing, since it was officially shut down
> on the 31st, and
> won't really exist anymore - we'd have to convince
> it's investors and
> creditors or whoever buys the remaining intellectual
> property of the
> value of a license change.  I don't really think
> it's worth the effort.

I don't think that's worth it either. It would also
legally prevent us from merging back changes from
forks like pocketlinux, BeKaffe, etc. I'm not sure
that would benefit the kaffe project.

I assume that in the "worst-case-for-debian"
interpretation (i.e. a GPLd kaffe with GPLd class
libraries makes everything it touches GPLd), you would
have to relicense the whole thing at once: virtual
machine + class libraries. If some copyright holder
doesn't agree, then going to a "less strict" license
than GPL, would be trying to free up other people's
code without having the copyright, and the law doesn't
allow that.

In the other proposed approach, to license future
contributions under a GPL+exception license, you
wouldn't really have the choice under the worst-case

* If it's a patch to the java libraries, then the
classes patched must be using some GPLd code, even if
it is only through automatical inheriting from
java.lang.Object, so they fall under the GPL.

* If it is a patch to java.lang.Object, then you don't
have a choice because it's linked to the GPLd virtual
machine directly, and uses other GPLd classes. 

* If it is a patch to the virtual machine, then you
don't have a choice either, as it uses parts of the
class library to perform its work (and the patch is
probably derived work of a GPLd code base anyway).

It looks like a catch-22 to me.


dalibor topic

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