With the DLJ ("Operating System Distributor License for Java version
") being announced
at JavaOne 2006, one might have thought that Linux and Java would finally get along, but apparently that's not necessarily the case. Some in the Debian community have rejected the DLJ as being "not open enough" and harming Debian.
One of the initial messages
about this was from Don Armstrong, who started his message with this:
Executive Summary: There are serious issues with clause 2a, 2b, 2c,
2f, and 4; and lesser issues with other bits of this license. As much as some of our users would like to see us distributing this JDK in non-free, I'm really not sure that it can be distributed while complying with the license or without incurring unreasonable burdens upon our mirror operators and Debian. I'd recommend that ftp-masters consider pulling this package from non-free until these issues are resolved (or at least understood.)
There's a FAQ on the DLJ
, but Mr. Armstrong says that it's not binding - as article 14 of the DLJ specifies.
[The text of this license] supersedes all prior or contemporaneous oral or written communications, proposals, representations and warranties and prevails over any conflicting or additional terms of any quote, order, acknowledgment, or other communication between the parties relating to its subject matter during the term of this Agreement.
In some places, the FAQ directly controverts the statements made in the debian thread, namely:
Section 2(c) prohibits us from using the software in conjunction with C, C++, Perl, Python, or *any reasonable Turing-complete programming language*.Worse: it seems that it prohibits combining, configuring and *distributing* the Software to run in conjunction with any similar compiler. Hence it seems that the Debian Project is already violating the license, by distributing all the other DKs (such as GCC, Python, Perl, ...)!
However, it seems absurd to think that the license actually requires all this.
Are they right? Should Linux distributions continue to avoid the Sun distributions of Java?