OpenJDK Governing Board Minutes: 20011/4/21

Mike Milinkovich mike.milinkovich at
Sun May 8 22:17:58 UTC 2011

> That is surprising. The Bylaws are based on the OCA, they use it
> to define OpenJDK contributors and members. They define the inbound
> licensing terms for the project as a whole. Since those are pretty
> essential definitions in the bylaws it would make sense to me to deal
> with them together at the same time.

Like I said, I am not 100% sure about this. However, that is my recollection.

> To be honest, your response is somewhat offensive. How would you
> feel if some appointed, non-contributor, to the Eclipse board would
> state that anybody harboring hopes that there can be a honest
> discussion on participation agreements, contributor terms,
> inbound/outbound licensing, right grants among members that are
> different from "all rights of all members will get assigned to one
> specific commercial company for unstated business motivations",
> should get to terms with reality?

My humble apologies for causing offense. However, my definition of an "honest discussion" is one where there is a chance that there can be movement or compromise on the issue at hand. In this case, since I do not believe that there is any hope of that happening, I think it is more honest to be clear. I'm sorry that you find what is meant as candour to be offensive.

> I think this is a good example of why the current so called governance
> board has a bad makeup. It "governs" based on the motivations of a
> very select group of contributors. Some of which don't even contribute
> themselves. Others are not even bound to the inbound/outbound license
> agreements all other project members uses. These people might be very
> good at defending the motivations and contractual obligations their
> companies have. But there is a very big chance that they completely miss
> the motivations and pain of other members.

I appreciate that I am an outsider to the OpenJDK community. However, I am pretty involved in the broader world of Java. I believe that I was invited to be on the GB because I have some very specific experience in constructing vendor-neutral governance. I am confident that I've had a positive and constructive influence on many of directions that has been taken. 

For the rest of your email, I obviously cannot speak for Oracle. However, it is my strong belief that there are contractual obligations which require them to aggregate the IP. At the heart of this issue is the balancing act between the free community and the pre-existing commercial ecosystem. The set of constraints to be solved are extremely complex and compromises are an inevitable result.

I really do appreciate your point of view. At Eclipse we don't use any CLAs and every contributor (corporate or individual) retains full ownership of their contributions. Eclipse also has complete symmetry with inbound and outbound licensing. So that kind of model is what I'm used to, and comfortable with. But IMHO, that is not a realistic expectation here.

More information about the discuss mailing list