1. jsr358
  2. JSR358-49

Ambiguity of Specification, Content and License causes Spec Leads to ignore it or use other licenses


    • Type: Bug Bug
    • Status: Open
    • Priority: Major Major
    • Resolution: Unresolved
    • Component/s: Licensing
    • Labels:


      The Process Document under Definitions
      >Java Specification (Specification): A written specification for some aspect of the Java technology. This includes the language, virtual >machine, Platform Editions, Profiles, and application programming interfaces.

      Several Spec Leads and related organizations interpret "Specification" only as the first part of that, "A written specification for some aspect of the Java technology." ignoring the remaining definition, especially "and application programming interfaces."

      This first became clear, when I looked at all aspects of JSR 330, Dependency Injection, including Spec, RI and TCK prior to my vote.
      While, Bob Lee may have been misinformed, and we know, 330 was rushed into Java EE 6 not to miss the Release Train and still be used by CDI, that JSR and several others, mostly EE and non-Oracle lead have applied the same practice. It also looks the same for JSR 352, Batch, all the way down to the Java sources of the Specification which say "Apache License".

      This seems to be a common question of Spec Leads, e.g. one said:
      >We license all software artifacts, including JavaDoc, API jars etc. under the Apache License 2. It's only the Spec text that is >licensed differently, AIUI.
      So several Spec Leads assume, the Spec License was a "Shrinkwrap" license, before you download the Spec text (the "written specification for some aspect of the Java technology.") from JCP.org, but is otherwise irrelevant to their JCP or its users.

      Hence, where the Spec API is "really" downloaded from in everyday life, Maven, Artifactory, Eclipse P2 or similar Software repositories, none of the specs ever even mention a Spec License. Those who do also use Apache or a respective other license, usually that of the RI. Others may not mention a license, mainly Oracle lead specs, who leave the (Maven) POM or similar metafiles empty.
      With few exceptions like the Java EE 6 Web Profile, or newer JSRs by Oracle to be included in Java EE 7.

      • If the Spec License really does only apply to the written document, not any API or actual Java code, then there is no action required.
      • If this is not the case, both Process Document, and probably other resources like Spec Lead Guide should be revised and improved for a better understanding by Spec Leads and EG Members.

      For most Build Tools like Maven, this could also be supported by plugins like "License Maven Plugin" to check and adjust licenses.



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