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Re: Use of Classpath in commercial projects


There is a special mailing list for the GNU Classpath project
<> the mauve mailing list os only for the test suite.

For questions about licensing you can best contact <>
since GNU Classpath is an official GNU project. And all copyright is
assigned to the FSF.

I have CCed that last email address in the hope that they can give you
a definite answer if you want to use Classpath with a proprietary system
Although I hope you will try to make your system free software.



P.S. Here is the special exception that is referenced in the mail below:

 GNU Classpath is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
 it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
 the Free Software Foundation; either version 2, or (at your option)
 any later version.
 GNU Classpath is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but
 WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
 General Public License for more details.

 You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
 along with GNU Classpath; see the file COPYING.  If not, write to the
 Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA
 02111-1307 USA.

 As a special exception, if you link this library with other files to
 produce an executable, this library does not by itself cause the
 resulting executable to be covered by the GNU General Public License.
 This exception does not however invalidate any other reasons why the
 executable file might be covered by the GNU General Public License. */

On Thu, Feb 01, 2001 at 06:11:15PM +0100, Chris Gray wrote:
> 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
> product.
> Consider a device which is shipped with the following stuff
> built-in:
>   - 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?
> Regards
> Chris Gray
> VM Architect, ACUNIA

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