Apache Software Foundation Reaches Agreement With Sun Microsystems To Allow Open Source Java Implementations

Sally Khudairi Sally@KnowNow.com
Tue, 26 Mar 2002 05:34:08 -0800

Contact: The Apache Software Foundation

     Jason Hunter
     Vice President, Java Community Process

     Sally Khudairi
     Media Relations

Apache Software Foundation Reaches Agreement With Sun Microsystems To
Allow Open Source Java Implementations

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (INTERNET WIRE) -- 03/26/2002 -- www.apache.org --
The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) today announced that it has reached
an agreement with Sun Microsystems and members of the Java Community
Process (JCP) to secure the basic right to implement Java specifications
in open source. This is the result of extended dialog over the past
year. Sun has pledged to use licenses that enable open source
independent implementations for all its Java specifications and Test
Compatibility Kits. Sun has pledged this for all future Sun-led Java
specifications as well as key specifications already released.=20

"It gives us great pleasure to have served the interests of the wider
open source community, largely made up of individuals and small groups
who may not have the resources and visibility to establish this level of
dialog," said Jason Hunter, ASF Vice-President, Java Community Process.
"To satisfy this trust, the ASF will be closely monitoring the
implementation details of the contents of this agreement to ensure the
gains represented by this agreement are not lost."=20

"We believe, properly implemented, these changes will fertilize the
growing open source Java community, resulting in wider adoption of Java
technologies. We also strongly believe the wider availability of Test
Compatibility Kits and the existence of solid open source Java
specification implementations will serve to improve and enhance Java's
compatibility," explained Hunter.=20


The agreement responds to four concerns Apache raised in January and
posted publicly on its Website at
jakarta.apache.org/news/jspa-position.html. These four points were seen
as critical to Apache's support of and continued participation in the
Java Community Process:=20

1.      The right to freely implement specifications in open source
2.      The right for specification leads to release reference
implementations and test
        kits in open source
3.      The right for specifications to be created more publicly
4.      The right to free access to test kits by open source,
non-profit, and academic groups

These issues are being addressed via two mechanisms. First, through a
series of proposed revisions to the legal agreement signed when joining
the Java Community Process, known as the JSPA. The JSPA is currently
undergoing revision by the JCP Executive Committee (EC). As part of an
early review, EC comments indicated a desire to address the concerns
Apache raised. Apache is pleased to see Sun, who leads the JSPA revision
process, propose modifications that address these concerns. This will
help guide the JSPA revision process to conclusion.=20
Second, and for more immediate effect, Sun has agreed to proactively
address Apache's issues for Sun-led JSRs in the following manner, as
expressed in a letter of intent posted at

=B7       For Sun-led specifications finalized from here forward
(including revisions to existing
        specifications) the license terms will allow independent
implemenations under open
        source licenses.
=B7       The Test Compatibility Kit (TCK) binaries for these
specifications will be made available
        at no cost to qualified open source, non-profit, and academic
=B7       A three-member board, including a representative from the =
Software Foundation, will
        assure an impartial qualification process.
=B7       Sun will provide substantial support to aid these qualified
groups in the use and
        execution of the TCKs.

Apache welcomes other companies leading Java specifications -- many of
whom have also desired more openness in the JCP -- in making similar


The Apache Software Foundation provides organizational, legal, and
financial support for the Apache open-source software projects. Formerly
known as the Apache Group, the Foundation incorporated as a
membership-based, not-for-profit corporation to ensure that the Apache
projects continue to exist beyond the participation of individual
volunteers, to enable contributions of intellectual property and
financial support, and to provide a vehicle for limiting legal exposure
while participating in open-source projects. For more information on the
Apache Software Foundation, please see www.apache.org.=20