Skip to main content

Current license is GPL v2, without classpath exception. Why?

28 replies [Last post]
jacek
Offline
Joined: 2003-08-22
Points: 0

The current license on all the source files is GPL v2, not LPGL, no classpath exception.

That means that using it in any commercial application is illegal, only GPL apps can link to Scenegraph.

When is this going to change? Or is Sun planning to keep it like this and just release the Java FX SDK under a more commercial-friendly license?

See header for SGNode:

/*
* Copyright 2007 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
* DO NOT ALTER OR REMOVE COPYRIGHT NOTICES OR THIS FILE HEADER.
*
* This code is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
* under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2 only, as
* published by the Free Software Foundation.
*
* This code is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT
* ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or
* FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License
* version 2 for more details (a copy is included in the LICENSE file that
* accompanied this code).
*
* You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License version
* 2 along with this work; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation,
* Inc., 51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA.
*
* Please contact Sun Microsystems, Inc., 4150 Network Circle, Santa Clara,
* CA 95054 USA or visit www.sun.com if you need additional information or
* have any questions.
*/

Reply viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Jim Graham

JavaFX should be licensed already using a less restrictive license, is
it not? You don't have to worry about Scenario's license if you are
using JavaFX, just use the FX technology under its license and you will
be covered even though it uses Scenario under the covers.

With respect to Scenario, we're pretty sure the issue is more "when"
than "if" it will change, but right now everyone - even the Scenario
engineers - are focused on delivering the FX technologies and separate
support and licensing for the Scenario project is on the back burner
until we have time to do anything with it except support FX...

...jim

scenario@javadesktop.org wrote:
> Now that the SDK is officially out, is there any word on this changing? I have a project/product that I've been working on where I would love to use JavaFX and Scenario. I want to make sure there aren't going to be any licensing issues.
> [Message sent by forum member 'elberry' (elberry)]
>
> http://forums.java.net/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=292185
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> To unsubscribe, e-mail: dev-unsubscribe@scenegraph.dev.java.net
> For additional commands, e-mail: dev-help@scenegraph.dev.java.net
>

---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: dev-unsubscribe@scenegraph.dev.java.net
For additional commands, e-mail: dev-help@scenegraph.dev.java.net

elberry
Offline
Joined: 2004-03-22
Points: 0

Thanks for your reply. I absolutely understand the attention JavaFX is getting, it's a really great technology that I plan on using a lot in the future. At the moment however, I am on an older Mac Mini which is stuck in Java 5 land and the new SDK won't work on it. My current project is using Scenario 0.6 directly since it compiles under Java 5.

Do you know if the Scenario branch/version used in the SDK had it's license changed to work under the hood of JavaFX? If so, perhaps I can use that one instead?

In any case, I hope the licensing stuff gets worked out soon as someone else mentioned.

Cheers,
Eric

shemnon
Offline
Joined: 2003-06-11
Points: 0

Thank you. As I was hoping, the absence of the exception was an oversight and not a deliberate choice.

jwenting
Offline
Joined: 2003-12-02
Points: 0

they aren't, not in this context.
The legal entity submitting code to Scenegraph may not be Sun and therefore any code submitted to Scenegraph by forces outside of Sun may not be in any way (directly or indirectly) linked to by any code created by Sun or anyone else except that same legal entity that is not released under GPL.

That's the biggest problem with the GPL, and is quite intentional as the goal of the people who created the GPL is to eventually force all software worldwide to be released under the GPL and therefore "free" in their cramped and limited definition of "free" (which isn't free at all, but perpetually locked into their licensing scheme, with no freedom left to the creator of the software to control its distribution or development).

magnum
Offline
Joined: 2003-09-20
Points: 0

No, because the one that created the code is free to do what it pleases with the code. A lot of software projects are dual or tri-licensed this way

magnum
Offline
Joined: 2003-09-20
Points: 0

hmm, I was answering to the first jacek post (sun could sue itself)

buzzheavyyear
Offline
Joined: 2005-06-18
Points: 0

In that case, java with gpl and classpath exception can't be used on gpl linux

jacek
Offline
Joined: 2003-08-22
Points: 0

Incorrect.

The kernel is GPL, but most of the libraries apps link to in order to run are actually LGPL. The linux guys make a conscious decision early on to allow proprietary apps to run on top of the OS. So no issue there.

swv
Offline
Joined: 2007-05-28
Points: 0

my comment was redundant, so I removed it.

Message was edited by: swv

christiaan_se
Offline
Joined: 2006-07-13
Points: 0

Are there any rules regarding explicitly / publicly announcing what type of license a sofware package has? I mean, isn't it rather strange that you need to dive into the source code to find out that it is GPL?

alexandre_navarro
Offline
Joined: 2009-01-06
Points: 0

up !!!
JavaFX SDK 1.0 is already launched.
When will you change the licence?

Scenegraph is a dead project?

jonathanjohnson
Offline
Joined: 2005-05-05
Points: 0

For a Swing developers creating commercial applications for Linux scenegraph appears to be a nice solution on the surface, in in reality as of Feb 2009

* JavaFX is still not ready for Linux (http://blogs.sun.com/javafx/entry/a_word_on_linux_and)
* License is still GPL (from what I infer from the mailing list)
* Version is still 0.x, which implies its not fully baked and its not under active development since the last 0.6 version was 11 months ago

(Where is the license stated on the scenegraph project site?)

flocoon
Offline
Joined: 2008-06-23
Points: 0

**********************************************************************************
[b]Posted: May 19, 2008 12:43 PM [/b]

To be clear:

We all wish it was GPL+CP, but it currently is GPL only (no classpath
exception).

We have listened to the licensing feedback received so far to date on
this mailing list and have made management aware that the current
licensing terms are problematic for many of you. We will of course
notify this list when any changes are made to the licensing model.

[i]Chris Campbell[/i]
***********************************************************************************

Obviously the team is aware of the issues of this licensing model. We can just wait and hope the project will use a GPL + Classpath Exception since otherwise we won't be able to use it in a "business project".

This API is really great and it would be a shame to restrict its usage to GPL software. Let's just hope that as some told it's a way to "restrict" the usage of the API while it's not fully functional but that in a near future (maybe with the upcoming 1.0 version) it will be under a GPL + CP license.

billg
Offline
Joined: 2008-02-03
Points: 0

I don't want to keep beating a dead horse, however, I just wanted to document another instance of not being able to use Scene Graph due to its license.

I have spent several months working with it on some test projects, and am impressed with the things that Scene Graph can do that take an inordinate amount of time when working with the 2D package itself. Unfortunately the time has come to make a decision regarding what language to use for a big long term project we will be working on, and we are being forced to go with another language because of the Scene Graph license and the overhead of what it takes to work with the 2D package itself (compared with other languages).

I know I don't have to say this, but please do keep the community posted on any decisions that are made with the license. I hope this is not the case, but in the chance that the decision has been made not to change then license it would be helpful to know that too.

Regards
Bill

elberry
Offline
Joined: 2004-03-22
Points: 0

Now that the SDK is officially out, is there any word on this changing? I have a project/product that I've been working on where I would love to use JavaFX and Scenario. I want to make sure there aren't going to be any licensing issues.

pauldb
Offline
Joined: 2003-08-30
Points: 0

Hi,
I would like to add my voice to those calling for the SceneGraph project to include the classpath exception.

I am sure that Sun executives have already decided whether or not they will change the licensing terms. Please could they announce their intentions. At least that way, companies like ours can make a decision on which technology to use for future projects. If a change is planned, it would also be useful for our planning to know when that change is scheduled.

If Sun want people to use these new and exciting desktop technologies they should facilitate that by making the licenses commercially friendly and being public about their licensing strategy and future plans.

OK, that's the rant over. A word for the people who have actually developed the code - the scenegraph is truly excellent. It's a great boost to Java GUI development. Many thanks for your work.

Best wishes,
-Paul

buzzheavyyear
Offline
Joined: 2005-06-18
Points: 0

There's nothing stopping you creating another project (jar) which uses the scenegraph interfaces and which is released under GPL with classpath exception. Your commercial project can now use the intermediate jar and as it has not touched the gpl scenegraph jar will not have breached the pure gpl license.

aberrant
Offline
Joined: 2006-02-02
Points: 0

I'm pretty sure thats not legal. All of this has been argued hundreds of times before. You can't get around it. Use GPL, follow GPL. There is no way around it unless the license gives you permission. Wrapping a jar in another jar means the wrapper is subject to the GPL and hence anything that uses the wrapper is too. Thats why it's called "Viral". The "classpath exception" exists to clarify the intent of the scope of the license. I am not a lawyer but I'm pretty sure your advice isn't sound.

jacek
Offline
Joined: 2003-08-22
Points: 0

You are correct. GPL is viral...once it's in your classpath, *EVERYTHING* has to be GPL. You cannot wrap it in an isolating jar...that jar needs to be GPL too..and so on and so forth.

It would have to be released under the LGPL or GPL with classpath exception.

hence the issue.

coding
Offline
Joined: 2006-06-21
Points: 0

Edited away. Sorry I'm a front-pager and I clearly read OpenJDK, but this is an article on OpenJFX, lol I feel dumb right now.

Message was edited by: coding

jacek
Offline
Joined: 2003-08-22
Points: 0

Actually, if you think about it probably all of JavaFX is violating the GPL, since it links to Scenegraph...but it itself is not GPL. So Sun could sue itself. :-)

buzzheavyyear
Offline
Joined: 2005-06-18
Points: 0

Good point - so it's inevitable that the license will have to change.

jacek
Offline
Joined: 2003-08-22
Points: 0

I submitted a defect for this:
https://swinglabs.dev.java.net/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=55

Please vote/comment on it, so that is brought to someone's attention @ Sun.
thanks everybody

tball
Offline
Joined: 2003-06-10
Points: 0

I closed this issue as Invalid, with the following comment:

"The code distributed by the openjfx.dev.java.net project does not use the scenegraph.dev.java.net project -- it instead uses the Jazz scenegraph library from the University of Maryland. Jazz is licensed with the Mozilla Public License, which is not viral and so places no licensing requirements on projects which use it.

"The openjfx-compiler.dev.java.net project, whose runtime will replace the openjfx.dev.java.net, uses the scenegraph project as it describes. All of its code is licensed with GPL2, and is freely available from that project's site."

For the record, I agree with most folks on this forum that the classpath exception is necessary for this library (and the rest of the JavaFX API) to be successful. That community message is getting through loud and clear to the responsible managers, so I suspect the real question is when, not whether this will be added.

jacek
Offline
Joined: 2003-08-22
Points: 0

Thank you, much appreciated. I guess that's what everyone wanted all along :-)

jacek
Offline
Joined: 2003-08-22
Points: 0

See the comments from Danno Ferrin (of Groovy SwingBuilder fame) to see why this has come up.
http://jacekfurmankiewicz.blogspot.com/2008/06/java-swingbuilder-help-me...

Basically, it's impossible for any non-GPL app or library to legally link to Scenegraph at this moment. And anyone who is doing so right now is basically violating the license.

aberrant
Offline
Joined: 2006-02-02
Points: 0

If I were to assume the best and hazard a guess it would be that this is intentional. That because Scenegraph is still up in the air they wish to discourage people from building anything substantial with it until the API is locked in. Yet at the same time leaving it open for people to contribute. I could be wrong, but someone at sun knows the difference so I'm pretty sure it's no accident.

shemnon
Offline
Joined: 2003-06-11
Points: 0

That's what I am hoping, it's a placeholder license until the SDK is out, rather than an "open source, but only in the most extreme and useless sense of the phrase" which is what the ME stack being straight GPL is. I mean, if you can release a pure GPL phone stack go for it, otherwise Sun wants their licensing fees. But no commercially viable phone has a pure GPL stack.