The ensuing discussion thread brings up some interesting points. One poster went into great detail:
The CDDL and the Copyright grant are completely independent, and basically unrelated. I think the CDDL is a fine license, as it balances programmer rights and user rights. But as Jim mentioned, copyright trumps license. With copyright, you can change the license.It's an interesting problem. At Java One, some Sun engineers admitted privately that Sun has a very difficult time being as supportive of Java as some of their competitors, simply because Sun has ownership of Java - supporting it as aggressively as, say, IBM does would mean competing with their own business partners. Therefore, any move Sun makes has to be examined very closely.
Several years ago, Borland released the Interbase Database source code as an Open Source project. They then, quickly, turned around and brought it back in house. Obviously, it was immediately forked and today we have Firebird, which as far as I can tell is on a divergent course from Interbase.
Interbase wasn't free long enough for any community work to have been done on it before it was taken back, and I'm not familiar with their license. But it is an example of a company "changing its mind" regarding an open source project.
With the copyright grant of the SCA, Sun has the ability of taking the totality of the work, both original code and new submissions, and forking it for a completely internal, closed source project, and then being able to relicense that code in any way it sees fit. After a year of work, Sun can take the GlassFish project, update it, change it, repackage it and relicense it as "Java AS 10 Super Edition". They can integrate enterprise clustering, managment, etc., and are not obligated to return any changes to the community.
If a community member tried to do the same thing, any changes they made to the original source code that were necessary to implement those changes WOULD have to be returned to the community (at least made available) because of the terms of the CDDL.
So, if I wanted to make GlassFish Enterprise, even though I wouldn't be obligated to release my "Enterprise Management Console" or whatever, since it may well be a new creation and not under the terms of the CDDL, however if I had to make internal changes to better support, say, clustering, those changes are required by the CDDL to be released.
But since Sun holds copyright, they are not obligated by the CDDL to release those internal changes, as they are not obligated to keep the CDDL license on the code.
The new licenses Sun has created recently do seem to be attempts to become "more open," but community support seems to be flagging. What's your opinion on the matter?