Sun and source licensing

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From: Mark Baker (
Date: Thu Mar 23 2000 - 21:41:59 PST

I know Sun's taken a lot of slack for its source licensing policy to date,
but I knew all along that our story was more than just SCSL. Here's the
latest straight-talk, including the non-event (apparently - didn't anybody
hear about this?) that Forte4Java (ne Netbeans) is going MPL;

15. How many different source licensing versions has Sun announced now and
what are the differences?

We have 4 now, ranging from proprietary to true, broadly accepted open
source, which is what we are announcing today. All of the licenses allow
no-cost access to Sun source code. Its helpful to think of our source
licenses as differing on degrees of stewardship. The Free Solaris Source
License, which is the most proprietary, maintains Sun as the sole steward
of Solaris. The Sun Community Source License allows the community of
developers who have agreed to the license to share information and code
with each other without Sun in the middle. The Sun Industry Standards
Source License, which is under review by OSI, was written following the
open source definition to use in cases where a Standards Body is acting as
the steward for a technology. Today we are announcing our plan to use the
Mozilla Public License in cases where Sun is distributing source code for
Public stewardship.

Of course, this doesn't change the fact that some things which people feel
should be under an open source license, aren't.


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