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6 Replies Latest reply: Apr 20, 2011 4:53 AM by 649753 RSS

License change for JavaHelp?

847548 Newbie
Currently Being Moderated
The initial copy of JavaHelp I pulled from http://java.sun.com/javase/technologies/desktop/javahelp/download_binary.html was licensed under the Sun Binary License, but since the transition to Oracle, it appears to now be licensed as GPL 2.0 (that prevents use in commercial packages). How would I obtain permission to continue using the older version, or the current release under it's original license (or an equivalent)?
  • 1. Re: License change for JavaHelp?
    793415 Pro
    Currently Being Moderated
    844545 wrote:
    ..JavaHelp .. appears to now be licensed as GPL 2.0 (that prevents use in commercial packages).
    Are you certain that the GPL license applies to apps. that leverage/use JH, as opposed to creating direct extensions of JH?
    ---------------------
    As an aside. IANAL but AFAIU, GPL does not prevent use in a commercial app., but does require the source of the app. to be available (under similar license?).

    Given how easy decompilation is, and how obfuscation only makes it slightly harder &/or more irritating, I see no reason not to provide the source to the users.
  • 2. Re: License change for JavaHelp?
    847548 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    "+Are you certain that the GPL license applies to apps. that leverage/use JH, as opposed to creating direct extensions of JH?"+

    The GPL license is a viral license, unless the "Classpath" exception to the GPL can be invoked. However, the license at http://javahelp.java.net/license.txt does not have the text describing this exception, even though the web page linking it indicates it might have.

    There's further trouble because the software download still contains the Sun Binary license, and references it in the readme. This makes it unclear as to which license is the true governing license.
  • 3. Re: License change for JavaHelp?
    847604 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    JavaHelp is listed under GPL + the classpath exception so there is no viral effect.
  • 4. Re: License change for JavaHelp?
    847548 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    JavaHelp is listed under GPL the classpath exception so there is no viral effect.+

    Thanks for the suggestion, but the I believe that the readme included with the code distribution contradicts the GPL + classpath exception assertion with the following text; "The following files are redistributable. Distribution of these files is governed by the Terms and Conditions of the JavaHelp Binary Code License." And the license.html file included in the distribution is still the Sun Binary License (with no classpath notation).

    Edited by: 844545 on Mar 15, 2011 2:09 PM
  • 5. Re: License change for JavaHelp?
    849169 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi - Can the page at http://javahelp.java.net/license.txt be updated to include the class path exception? Our legal department will not let us distribute the javahelp package with the discrepancy between the actual linked license text and the javahelp web page.

    Thanks!
  • 6. Re: License change for JavaHelp?
    649753 Explorer
    Currently Being Moderated
    I will look into this. JavaHelp should be under the same BCL as the JDK and JRE, not (only) GPL.

    Henrik Ståhl
    Sr. Director, Product Management
    Java Runtime Products Group

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