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Use of Classpath in commercial projects

Hi folks,

I've been looking at the materials relating to the licensing
of Classpath, and I'm still a little unsure as to what happens
if we incorporate Classpath code into a commercial embedded

Consider a device which is shipped with the following stuff
  - a commercial RTOS.
  - our own VM, as an executable.
  - some other native methods, device drivers, etc. of ours,
[statically] linked in.
  - other device drivers etc. from third parties, e.g. an OEM.
  - class and jar files for Java stuff which we've developed.
  - ditto for third-party Java code.
  - ditto for Classpath stuff.

In use, the device will download more Java stuff, coz that's
what it's for.

Even if the ACUNIA-supplied stuff were Open Source,
chances are that some of the third parties involved wouldn't
want their stuff to become Open Source.

As I understand it, dropping an unmodified class file from
Classpath into our distribution doesn't cause any problems,
so long as people know what they're getting and where the
source can be found.  If we were to modify the class before
distributing it, then we would have to make the modified
source available, but SFAICS there are no repercussions
for our code or for third parties.  Is this correct?

Now consider that we modify some class in such a way
that it becomes dependent on some other class of our
own devising (in com.acunia), or on an implementation
to be supplied by an OEM.  Is it still GPLly correct to
make the source to the modified Classpath class available,
but withold source to the class on which it depends?

Basically, what do we (and OEMs) have to do (or not do)
in order to avoid being "sucked into" the GPL?


Chris Gray

VM Architect, ACUNIA

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