OpenJDK Web Site Terms of Use: FAQ


Why are you changing the OpenJDK Web Site Terms of Use?
To allow work on specifications for Java SE JSRs to take place in the OpenJDK Community, right alongside the work on their reference implementations, in a way that satisfies the transparency requirements of version 2.8 of the Java Community Process (JSR 348).
Why isn't the existing Terms-of-Use document adequate?
The existing document was designed to cover contributions of code rather than specification material, and the latter must be governed by a different kind of license.
Does this change make the JCP subservient to OpenJDK?
No, not at all! The JCP remains the governing body for the Java programming language, the Java virtual machine, and all Java SE APIs. This change merely allows work on Java SE JSRs to be done directly in the OpenJDK Community, in the most convenient and transparent way possible.
How does JSR 348 change the way that JSRs are managed?
The principal changes are that JSR Expert Groups must hold their discussions on a public mailing list, they must use a public issue-tracking mechanism to record and track their progress, and they must publish their working documents for all to see.

Moving JSR EG work to OpenJDK

Must all JSRs related to Java SE now be hosted in the OpenJDK Community?
No, but going forward all active Oracle-led Java SE JSRs with open-source reference implementations will be hosted here.
Which Java SE JSRs does Oracle currently lead?
The active JSRs related to Java SE currently led by Oracle are:
So the mailing lists, web content, and issue trackers for the Expert Groups of those JSRs will be moved to OpenJDK?
Yes, as soon as practical.
The Lambda JSR has been active for quite a while. Will the past e-mail traffic of its Expert Group be published here?
The JSR 335 Spec Lead, Brian Goetz, will do that if the EG members agree to it.
I'm a spec lead for a JSR related to Java SE but I don't work for Oracle. May I host my JSR in the OpenJDK Community?
Absolutely! The best way to initiate that is to propose an OpenJDK Project for your JSR's prototype and eventual reference implementation. Detailed guidance on how to host JSR work related to an OpenJDK Project will be available soon.

The Oracle Contributor Agreement

Will members of Expert Groups of JSRs hosted in the OpenJDK Community be required to sign the Oracle Contributor Agreement (OCA)?
No, but if they want to make material contributions to a JSR then they will need to do so.
How can I tell if I, or someone else, has signed the OCA?
A list of OCA signatories is available here.
I previously signed the old Sun Contributor Agreement (SCA). Do I need to sign the OCA too?
No, all SCA signatories are now considered OCA signatories.
I'm not an EG member but I want to make material contributions to a JSR specification. Do I also need to sign the OCA?
I'm not an EG member, I want to make material contributions to a JSR specification, and I've signed the OCA. Do I also need to sign the JCP's Java Specification Participation Agreement (JSPA)?
No, but if you want to become a member of the JCP then you'll have to sign the JSPA.


Will specifications for Java SE JSRs now be licensed under the GPL?
No, they will continue to be licensed under terms similar to those used for Java SE 7.
Will I still have to agree to that annoying click-through license every time I want to view a draft JSR specification?
No! There will be no click-through agreements for JSR materials hosted in the OpenJDK Community.
What terms will govern the e-mail discussions of JSR Expert Groups?
The content on JSR EG mailing lists, which will now be public, will be licensed for comment and evaluation purposes only.
What does it mean to license materials for "comment and evaluation purposes only"?
You may download and evaluate such materials, you may post comments on the materials back to locations that have the same terms (e.g., JSR EG mailing lists, web pages, issue trackers, and Mercurial repositories), and you may post modified versions of the materials to those locations. You may not use the materials in any other way.
So this means that content on the EG mailing list for a JSR will be licensed for comment-and-evaluation, while code on the development list for that JSR's reference implementation will be licensed under the GPL?
Yes, that's correct.
How can I tell which terms, i.e., comment-and-evaluation or GPL, apply to a particular mailing list, web page, issue, or Mercurial repository?
The terms applicable to a mailing list will be displayed on the list's main page and also sent to all new subscribers. The terms applicable to an OpenJDK web page or issue will be displayed at the bottom of the page. The terms applicable to a Mercurial repository will be available in the LICENSE file at the root of the repository or, if appropriate, in the root of its containing forest.
Can I forward an e-mail message from one list to another when the terms of the lists are incompatible?
No, please don't do that.


Aren't the specification license and the comment-and-evaluation terms on JSR EG mailing lists inconsistent with the goal of having an open development community?
Some people will consider these terms to be less than ideal. Existing contractual obligations, however, require the use of these terms.
Aren't these terms inconsistent with Appendix A of the OpenJDK Bylaws?
No, that section is about licenses for code rather than for specification material.
Does this change mean that the Java SE conformance tests (the JCK) will be released under the GPL or some other open-source license?
No, but the JCK remains available at no charge for OpenJDK-derived implementations under the terms of the OpenJDK Community TCK License Agreement (OCTLA).
What should I do if I have a question that isn't answered here?
Send your question to the general discussion list. (You'll need to subscribe first, otherwise your message will be discarded as spam.) We'll do our best to respond to all questions, but please understand that questions of a legal nature may require extra time to answer.
Last update: 2012/6/20