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PhoneME/J2ME not really GPL?

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Joined: 2007-08-30
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I have not found the exact licensing terms for PhoneME/J2ME, but I got the impression that it is GPL. But, when you look at MIDP 2.0 API on Sun web site,
it has these licencing terms at This prevents non-internal implementation of the specifications which goes against the GPL, unless I'm missing something. In particular it has

"This includes (i) developing applications intended to run on an implementation of the Specification, provided that such applications do not themselves implement any portion(s) of the Specification, and (ii) discussing the Specification with any third party; and (iii) excerpting brief portions of the Specification in oral or written communications which discuss the Specification provided that such excerpts do not in the aggregate constitute a significant portion of the Specification."

So, the operative phrase is "does not themselves implement any portion(s) of the specificaiton." Although, I think that even earlier Sun said that they would not enforce this for J2SE, but I'm not sure about J2ME.


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Joined: 2004-03-04
Points: 0

Sorry for the slow reply.

The phoneME GPLv2 license is in the headers of the sources as well as on the download page:

More information can be found in my blog:

The license you are referring to at is the license of the Java ME *reference* implementation that Sun made available years ago (the original KVM code). The phoneME code base is *production* code (not a reference implementation like KVM) and is licensed under GPLv2. You can download this code from the phoneME project and do anything you like subject to the terms of GPLv2.

I hope this clarifies it.

-- Terrence