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Re: [aspectj-users] redistribution of woven third-party jars

On Wednesday 26 February 2003 15.03, Tim Peierls wrote:
> Has anyone explored the legal issues surrounding "woven" versions of
> third-party jars with licenses that restrict redistribution? For example,
> if I weave a logging aspect into the Java Mail jar, is distribution of the
> resulting jar a violation of clause 2(i) of the Java Mail 1.3 Supplemental
> License Terms?
>
>     Sun grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited license to
> reproduce and distribute the Software in binary code form only, provided
> that (i) you distribute the Software complete and unmodified and only
> bundled as part of, and for the sole purpose of running, your Java applets
> or applications ("Programs") ...
>
> I have a dim memory of something like this being discussed in the earlier
> incarnation of this list, but I can't find it in the archives.

IANAL,TINLA, etc etc :)

I'd say it's a violation, quite clear and simple because you redistribute 
modified object code. And this "...(iii) you do not distribute additional 
software intended to replace any component(s) of the Software, ..." in the 
javamail supplement forbids you from distributing sofware which replaces
components ( replacing a provider would probably be an example ). And this 
"... and for the sole purpose of  running, your Java applets or applications 
("Programs"),..." forbids you to redistribute them if your _sole_ purpose 
isn't to run an applet or application.
But i guess the only feasible cause of action if you indeed need to modify  
javamail is to contact Sun and try to sort it with them. I haven't got a clue 
to whether or not it is possible to license it under different terms, but 
it's probably the only solution if you really need to do that.

[slightly OT text starts here]
But then a lot of code probably breaks the Java license(s). The following is a 
licence term from jdk 1.4 which also exists in javamail 1.2.

1. Software Internal Use and Development License Grant. Subject to the terms 
and conditions of this Agreement, including, but not limited to Section 4 
(Java Technology Restrictions) of these Supplemental Terms, Sun grants you a 
non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited license without fees to reproduce 
internally and use internally the binary form of the Software complete and 
unmodified for the sole purpose of designing, developing and testing your 
Java applets and applications intended to run on the Java platform 
("Programs"). 

Maybe i've whacked my head against something hard one time to much, but this 
clause evades all reason to me. Otoh one can't assume law and licenses have 
anything whatsoever with reason to do :)

I don't know if somebody has thought about this, but it's rather odd. Since 
making a distinction between applets and applicationes defines these rather 
narrowly i can only come to the conclusion that this tells me that i'm only 
allowed to develop/design applets and applications. So most libraries for 
Java on the market must be in violation to these terms ( unless they've made 
other arrangements with Sun ) because most libraries is not developed with 
the sole purpose of developing an application. As it then would be rather 
stupid then to not sell the application instead/also. But rather they're 
developed as a library in their own right. And as such they're forbidden from 
using the SDK in this reading. At some point in time the library will 
probably be part of an application, but from my pov this is a consequence, 
not a purpose, and these applications are by no means _my_ applications if i 
build the library.

Sorry for the slightly OT post, but Suns Java licenses (as many licenses) is 
utterly confusing and has bugged me more than once in the past. Esp when i 
found som (old) bugs in JavaMail that we depended upon being resolved. What 
am i supposed to do then ? Call Suns legal deperment ? Buy expensive support 
? Pray ? Make the problem go away and pretend it never existed ?
I didn't find a good solid answer to that at the time. But then i haven't 
spoken with Sun representatives about it. It might very well exist a good ( 
non-expensive ) solution to these and similar problems which i simply doesn't 
know about/understand.

>
> --tim
>
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/Mikael A.