Sun revoke FreeBSD’s Java License

More a case of “Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence” (Napoleon) but Sun have revoked the FreeBSD project’s license to bundle Java.

Read on for the excerpt from the FreeBSD newsletter.

Java Update

In August of 2003, the FreeBSD Foundation released its first
binary distribution of the Java runtime environment for the FreeBSD
platform. Since that time, the Foundation has funded additional
development to port the Java 1.4.x to FreeBSD, and worked diligently
to simplify the licensing process for “OEM” distribution of our
binaries. Work on the Java 5 port has also recently begun. While
we are pleased to report tremendous success in supporting Java
development initiatives, our negotiations with Sun Microsystems have
yielded few results.

The seemingly constant restructuring at Sun has made it difficult
to find and retain consistent contacts in their licensing program.
The latest blow to our efforts was the recent notification of
Sun’s desire to revoke and renegotiate the FreeBSD Foundation’s
SCSL license. From what we can determine, Sun is re-negotiating
all SCSL licenses to standardize their Java revenue model.

Even after receiving notice of the termination of our license
attempts to contact Sun to renegotiate the license have gone
unanswered. For now, it is safe to assume that the Foundation
will engage in another lengthy, and potentially costly, licensing
negotiation before our binary distributions can continue.

In the mean time, the FreeBSD Foundation is continuing its support
for Java development. With the recent introduction of Java 5.0,
and FreeBSD 5/6’s new KSE thread library, there is still much
work to do. This should ensure that FreeBSD continues to enjoy
excellent Java support while we await resolution of the Java
licensing issue.