Sun GPL’s Java

Sun has announced it is GPL’ing Java, a very welcome move!

I left the following comment on Jonathan Schwarz’s blog about the announcement.

First of all, many congratulations to Jonathan and to Sun on choosing the GPL! This is a *very* welcome move.

I would also like to encourage Sun to re-release OpenSolaris under the GPL as well – for exactly the same reasons. As it stands OpenSolaris code can be used in, well, OpenSolaris. There can be no mixing of code either way with Linux, which is a real shame as both kernels could benefit from this.

I’m also very surprised by the misinformation here by folks about the consequences of the GPL – Sun releasing Java under the GPL has no more effect on proprietary code written in Java than the fact that the Perl interpreter is licensed under the Artistic License means that people who write in Perl have to use the AL for their code!

Don’t forget as well that Sun, as the copyright holders, are quite free to release Java under different, even proprietary licenses, even sell it, as they see fit.

This is identical to the situation to MySQL where the GPL version is fine for use in projects licensed under the GPL but if you want to write proprietary code you need to purchase the commercial version from MySQL – the code is identical, just with a different license.

In closing though, I’d again really like to thank Sun for this release of Java under the GPL – I honestly didn’t think this would happen so soon.

All the best!


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