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OpenSource License - commercial use

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pcarew
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Joined: 2004-08-30

I'm sure this has come up and been discussed before, but I couldn't find any reference in the forum archives.

I understand that 'PhoneME' is an open source initiative, but can someone point me in the correct direction to understand the details of the Open Source License?

Specifically, what (if any) are the commercial restrictions on using the PhoneME product?

We are a small company that has a MIDP product. I would like to be able use PhoneME to allow us to use platforms that do not have a native JavaME VM on them.

Can I do this?

Thanks.
Paul.

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davyp
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Joined: 2007-01-03

Binky,

I have a license question as well. I have made several builds of pMEF and pMEA for Windows Mobile available on my website. I also included all the
patches that are currently not in the main tree in order to comply with the terms of GPL2.

What if people ask me whether they can use my binaries if they want to make these binaries and a non-gpl midlet available to their 'clients' or on
their website?

According to your post, the answer should be "No", because they distribute the application together with the VM? And that they instead should tell their
clients to download the binaries themselves? The post of Terrence at http://forums.java.net/jive/message.jspa?messageID=175849#175849
only talks about the GPL requirement in the case of installing your code into a device together with the platform implementation *at the time of
manufacturing of the device*.

Regards,
Davy

Roger Brinkley

Again, "I'm not a lawyer" and don't take my words as such.

That said your interpretation is correct base on my understanding. If
pMEF and pMEA were licensed with a classpath exception then people could
do as you described. Otherwise they can't "distributed" a GPL binary
with a non-GPL licensed midlet.

Binky

davyp wrote:
> Binky,
>
> I have a license question as well. I have made several builds of pMEF and pMEA for Windows Mobile available on my website. I also included all the
> patches that are currently not in the main tree in order to comply with the terms of GPL2.
>
> What if people ask me whether they can use my binaries if they want to make these binaries and a non-gpl midlet available to their 'clients' or on
> their website?
>
> According to your post, the answer should be "No", because they distribute the application together with the VM? And that they instead should tell their
> clients to download the binaries themselves? The post of Terrence at http://forums.java.net/jive/message.jspa?messageID=175849#175849
> only talks about the GPL requirement in the case of installing your code into a device together with the platform implementation *at the time of
> manufacturing of the device*.
>
> Regards,
> Davy
> [Message sent by forum member 'davyp' (davyp)]
>
> http://forums.java.net/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=275849
>
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Roger Brinkley

Let's start with the "I'm not a lawyer" phrase and "don't construe this
as legal advice"

That would be a correct interpretation. Distribution is the key.

If you distribute all three components together then all software would
have to be GPL. Typically this would apply to OEMs gathering components
and redistributing. If you distribute just phoneME and your own
application then those two would have to be GPL.

Alternatively, you could get a commercial license of phoneme or a
commercial distribution and assuming your own code is distributed under
some license other than a GPL type license. Then you can distribute the
three together.

Binky

andipi wrote:
> Hi,
>
> if I read it right, it would violate the GPLv2, if I distribute a Windows Mobile device (without native java support) with PhoneME (to get java on it) and my own application, or not? I relate to http://forums.java.net/jive/message.jspa?messageID=175849#175849 and the statement "Note that integrating your code into the Java ME platform implementation or installing your code into the device together with the platform implementation at the time of manufacturing of the device may trigger the copyleft properties of the GPL." from there.
>
>

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pcarew
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Joined: 2004-08-30

Binky,
Can you point me in the right direction for getting the details on obtaining a commercial licence for PhoneME?

terrencebarr
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Joined: 2004-03-04

Davyp,

I think your interpretation is not unreasonable ;-) but I can't speak for Sun's legal dept. You're right though that for platforms where the Java runtime is installable post-production the situation becomes similar to Java SE on the desktop and we will probably need to revisit the initial assumptions.

-- Terrence

terrencebarr
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Joined: 2004-03-04

pcarew,
davyp,

Sorry for the slow reply - slugging through me emails after a week of vacation.

Same "I am not a lawyer" caveat applies to my answer here too. Problem with GPL from day one has been that the definition of "producing a combined works" is open to interpretation and has not been tested in court.

+1 to what Roger said. As long as you don't bundle or distribute phoneME with a non-GPL application you should be fine because simply running and application on top of phoneME is covered by http://weblogs.java.net/blog/terrencebarr/archive/2006/11/a_license_to_i.... So if a user installs phoneME first and separately from the app there should be no problem.

pcarew,

For more information on commercial licensing I can get you in touch with our OEM sales dept. Please contact me off-directly.

-- Terrence

ebresie
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Joined: 2003-08-06

IANAGLL (I Am Not a GNU License Lawyer) :-)

Figured I would include Wikipedia's content as additional guidance (see Terms and Conditions) and GNU's License page.

Would it be a problem to package the run time (with it's license info included) and the separate application together as long as the source for the run time in question does not deviate from the original source? All those Linux distributions package a wealth of GPLed packages with their kernel runtime, how is this any different?

If a modified version of the run time (optimized for a platform) was to occur and the changes are not made publicly available or pushed back into the original work, then I could see a problem.

I hope I am not repeating someone else here...

davyp
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Joined: 2007-01-03

Thanks for the clarification, Terrence.

IANAL either, but if someone develops a non-GPL midlet, say a game,
without using phoneME, and wants to distribute it together with a phoneME
VM which he or she did not modify, then I guess the midlet is a separate
and independent work. Section 2 of the GPL2 license states that the GPL2
does not apply to the midlet if you distribute both as "separate works". If
you distribute both as a whole, then both are under the GPL2. The last
paragraph of section 2 also talks about aggregation of the two works. If
a midlet is not a derivative work or not based on phoneME, then distributing
them together does not bring the midlet under the GPL2 license.

So I guess in your case ebresie, packaging the VM and the application
together would be distributing as a whole. If aggregation is the same thing
as packaging is everybody's guess, but I think "distributing separately" is a
bit more strict than "distributing as separate works". So I guess it would be
OK if you would package them separately and distribute them as separate
works?

Perhaps if people want to start shipping applications with a phoneME VM
like they can with OpenJDK, the argument of Sun to not add the classpath
exception (cfr. Terrence's link: "Java ME applications are typically not
shipped in a bundle together with the platform implementation") is no longer
valid? Perhaps an idea for a new poll?

Davy

terrencebarr
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Joined: 2004-03-04

pcarew,

Here is a bit more detail:

http://weblogs.java.net/blog/terrencebarr/archive/2006/11/a_license_to_i...

You can of course install phoneME Advanced on a Windows Mobile device at any time and that way add Java ME capabilities.

-- Terrence

andipi
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Joined: 2008-04-16

Hi,

if I read it right, it would violate the GPLv2, if I distribute a Windows Mobile device (without native java support) with PhoneME (to get java on it) and my own application, or not? I relate to http://forums.java.net/jive/message.jspa?messageID=175849#175849 and the statement "Note that integrating your code into the Java ME platform implementation or installing your code into the device together with the platform implementation at the time of manufacturing of the device may trigger the copyleft properties of the GPL." from there.

Greetings,
andipi

pcarew
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Joined: 2004-08-30

This might be an issue.
We are providing via a MIDP application, a specific capability to our users.

We need to support a WindowsMobile platform and because WinMobile does not support or is shipped with a JVM, we would have to supply the PhoneME as part of the process of installing our application.

The uses don't care or know that MIDP is a Java application and have no wish or in some cases ability to go out specifically and separately install PhoneME independently. This is a non-technology based audience, so we need to install PhoneME as a seamless part of providing the application.

From what I've read, this sounds like it might violate Suns licence and thus GPL infect our application.

Does anyone have any clarifications?

danila
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Joined: 2006-09-25

Hi Paul,

you can find the licensing information at:
https://phoneme.dev.java.net/downloads_page.html#licensng

On the other question, I don't think phoneME will help you to run MIDP product on a phone that does not have Java VM, as in most cases you are not allowed to install new native applications on a shipped phone.

Danila

pcarew
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Joined: 2004-08-30

Thanks Danila for responding and pointing me in the right direction for the licensing info.

With respect to installing PhoneME on a device, I would like to use PhoneME on a WindowsMobile device so that we can start supporting our applications on WindowsMobile platforms.