KnightExemplar wrote:For copyright, its arguably an important test of the GPL's "viral" clause. If you're a strong copyleft activist, you might be taking Oracle's side on the issue (maybe??) because its important for Java to remain a viral license.
Part of the reason that Google created DalvikVM was to avoid GPL. They recreated parts of Java and then licensed it with a non-copyleft license (the Apache license to be precise). For example, if Google licensed everything as GPL (which would force all App writers to release their code as GPL as well), then they would have been compliant with the Java GPL license.
Huh. Are you sure that app-writers would have to release their code as GPL? It's the virtual machine that's under GPL, so that doesn't quite make sense to me.
Actually... OpenJDK is under the GPL+Linking Exception
Otherwise... GPLed code is "viral", so anything that links to GPLed code needs to be GPLed as well. The idea is that you need to do your duty to "spread open source", by forcing other people to open source their stuff too. Now the Linking Exception means that you don't want to have this behavior...
So you're right in that Java doesn't force people to GPL their code. However, if Java were under the vanilla GPL license, then we'd all have to open source all Java code or be in violation of the GPL.
Nonetheless, it is still in violation of copyright law to change the terms of the license. There are other reasons to go Apache License instead of GPL+Linking Exception... so Oracle does have somewhat of a leg to stand on. On the other hand, it is utter bullshit that they're invoking the claim over the API of necessary system components of Java.
I also highly doubt any of the copyleft people will be going on Oracle's side for the reason that Rysto pointed out, not to mention WINE, and because, well, it's a clean room implementation. I.e., Google didn't actually copy any code.
I dunno... perhaps I've had too many internet arguments against copyleft people. The one thing that surprises me is the way they take a stance on these sorts of things.
Proponents of Copyleft understand that only through Copyright law will they get their goals accomplished. So they often want stronger copyright protections.
First Strike +1/+1 and Indestructible.