OpenJDK Governing Board Minutes: 20011/4/21

Mario Torre neugens.limasoftware at
Fri May 6 17:28:41 UTC 2011

Il giorno ven, 06/05/2011 alle 09.59 -0700, David Herron ha scritto:
> On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 9:37 AM, Mike Milinkovich <
> mike.milinkovich at> wrote:

> Sitting with it at the moment there's an additional consideration in my
> mind.  Just because someone donates code to a project should they become
> part owner of the project?  There are plusses and minuses.  But that's a
> rather moot point because Sun and now Oracle always was clear on what they
> needed and why.
> + David Herron

Hi David, great to hear you back :)

I think there is an important issue here.

First of all, let's consider an extreme case: I had to sign the SCA to
donate Caciocavallo to Sun (question: would I donate it again to

Cacio is part of the porting group, but now I find that I cannot
re-license it or that if I improperly use it with OpenJDK I can get
arrested ;)

This of course will never happen in reality, but why I cannot have a
grant back on code that I wrote completely by myself that Sun even
didn't contribute in the first place?

Second: the fact is that there is mutual ownership doesn't mean that I
own the OpenJDK code just because I contributed few patches to it, it
only means that I co-own the part of the code that I specifically
contributed. Sun/Oracle is still able to do whatever they want with this
code, but so I am.

True, this is only effective for any non trivial patch otherwise it
doesn't make much sense of course, but what it means is that if I got
included back then (for example) when all of this was the cool hype of
the day, the preference API integrated for GConf or the GStreamer based
javax.sound providers, I had to give them to Sun and say goodbye to all
my rights on that.

It's fine for me because I don't intend to re-license Cacio even if I
could (other than perhaps making it GPLv3), and also, I trust the GPL +
Classpath exception to cover me well, but still, "trust that I'm safe"
doesn't mean "I am safe".

The SCA has another real world implication though, and this is a serious
one: I cannot accept code in Cacio by contributors that do not sign the
SCA without forking the project and getting out os sync forever. You
see, this has nothing to do directly with OpenJDK, it's a side effect of
the SCA.

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